Matthew Locke (c. 1621 – August 1677) was an English BaLocke was born in Exeter and later trained in the choir of Exeter Cathedral, under Edward Gibbons, the brother of Orlando Gibbons. At the age of eighteen Locke travelled to the Netherlands, possibly converting to Roman Catholicism at the time.roque composer and music theorist.
In 1673 Locke's treatise on music theory, Melothesia, was published. The title page describes him as "Composer in Ordinary to His Majesty, and organist of her Majesty's chapel"—those monarchs being Charles II and Catherine of Braganza. Locke also served King Charles as Composer of the Wind Music ("music for the King's sackbutts and cornets"), and Composer for the Violins. (His successor in the latter office was Henry Purcell; Locke was a family friend and may have had an influence on the young composer).
His treatise, "Melothesia", contains these 7 voluntaries, which are the entire opus of Locke's surviving organ music. Each of the 7 are distinctive, showing the "intense" ornamentation and rich harmonies.
The seventh voluntary in F in some ways the most "question provoking" for the performer. The long, unadorned chords at the start are probably intended for elaboration at the performer's discretion. Doing these one after another, my "discretion" was to play the chords as written, increasing the tempo to "twice as fast" at the start of the quick part, which is implied by the score. I chose NOT to mess it up by a wrong elaboration!
The music is rich and intense. Interesting, especially if the music of the "English tradition" appeals to you. The language and style is more "involved" than the Voluntary by John Robinson that I uploaded several days ago.
Hopefully these will appeal without sounding as "mind music" only.
A likeness of Matthew Locke is attached below, as well as a copy of one of his manuscripts. There is also a photo the magnificent organ case of Exeter Cathedral.