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Variations on a Dutch Carol (Laet ons met herten reijne)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/17/14)
Composer: Bull, John
Sample Producer: OrganArt Media
Sample Set: 1675/88 Hus/Arp Schnitger, Stade, Germany
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Medieval and Renaissance
John Bull (1562 or 1563 – 15 March 1628) was an English composer, musician and organ builder. He was a renowned keyboard performer of the virginalist school and most of his compositions were written for this medium. In 1573 he joined the choir at Hereford cathedral, and the next year joined the Children of the Chapel Royal in London, where he studied with John Blitheman and William Hunnis. In addition to singing he learned to play the organ at this time. He received his first appointment as organist of Hereford Cathedral in 1582, and then became Master of the Children there. In 1586 he received his degree from Oxford, and he became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal that same year. In 1591, following the death of John Blitheman, he became organist at the Chapel Royal in 1592 and received his doctorate from Oxford. On the death of Elizabeth, he entered into the service of King James. Bull left England for good, secretly and with great haste in October 1613, fleeing the wrath of the Archbishop of Canterbury and King James I himself. In 1615 Antwerp Cathedral appointed him as assistant organist, and as principal organist in 1617. While in Antwerp he most probably met Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, the most influential keyboard composer of the age. In the 1620s he continued his career as an organist, organ builder and consultant. He died in Antwerp on 15 March 1628 and was buried in the cemetery next to the cathedral.

Bull was one of the most famous composers of keyboard music of the early 17th century, exceeded only by Sweelinck in the Netherlands, Frescobaldi in Italy, and, some would say, by his countryman and elder, William Byrd. He left many compositions for keyboard, some of which were collected in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. In addition to his keyboard compositions, he wrote verse (with solos) anthems, canons and other works. He is sometimes credited with the composition of God Save the King, the British national anthem.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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