This is the fourth and final Advent hymn recording for 2016, marking the last Sunday in Advent.
Thomas Ravenscroft (c.?1588 – 1635) was an English musician, theorist and editor.
Little is known of Ravenscroft's early life. He probably sang in the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral from 1594, when a Thomas Raniscroft was listed on the choir rolls and remained there until 1600 under the directorship of Thomas Giles. He received his bachelor's degree in 1605 from Cambridge.
Ravenscroft's principal contributions are his collections of folk music, including catches, rounds, street cries, vendor songs, "freeman's songs" and other anonymous music, in three collections: Pammelia (1609), Deuteromelia or The Seconde Part of Musicks Melodie (1609) and Melismata (1611), which contains one of the best-known works in his collections, The Three Ravens. Some of the music he compiled has acquired extraordinary fame, though his name is rarely associated with the music; for example "Three Blind Mice" first appears in Deuteromelia.
As a composer, his works are mostly forgotten but include 11 anthems, 3 motets for five voices and 4 fantasias for viols. However, he published a metrical psalter (The Whole Booke of Psalmes) in 1621, from which this tune, now known as "Bristol" (CM) was taken to accompany the words "Hark The Glad Sound! The Saviour Comes". For those who like singing along, the score (including the lyrics by P Doddridge) is attached as a PDF, and one full verse is played as introduction. I play my own harmonisation of the last verse, concluding with an English Cadence which seems fitting for the period of the piece, and with the melody in the tenor register of the Ubertuba - I hope you tuba fans enjoy it!