Composers

Thomas Weelkes

Voice
Viol
Organ
Mixed chorus
Soprano
Alto
Tenor
Bass
Madrigal
Anthem
Religious music
Pavan
Airs
In Nomine
Sacred choruses
Choruses
Voluntaries
Balletts
by alphabet
Ayeres or Phantasticke SpiritesAs Vesta Was, from Latmos Hill DescendingMadrigals to 3, 4, 5 and 6 VoycesWhen David Heard2 VoluntariesPavan a 5 No.5Thule, the Period of CosmographyAll People Clap Your HandsBallets and MadrigalsFantasia of Six PartsPavan a 5 No.1 'Mr. Weekles his Lachrymae'The Ape, the Monkey, and BabooneHosanna to the Son of DavidPavan a 5 No.2Pavan a 5 No.6Pavan a 5 No.3Alleluia. I heard a voiceO Mortal ManMadrigals to 5 and 6 partsLord to Thee I make My MoanNow Every TreeMy Flocks Feed NotCold Winter's Ice is FledHark all Ye Lovely SaintsHence Care, Thou art Too CruelIf Beauty be a TreasureIn Nomine No.1In Nomine No.2Mars in a FuryMy Phyllis bids Me Pack AwayMy Tears do not Avail MeNow Let Us Make a Merry GreetingO Care, Thou Wilt Despatch MeO How Amiable are Thy DwellingsRetire My ThoughtsSay Dear, When will Your FrowningSee Where the MaidsSit Down and SingThe Cryes of LondonThose Spots upon My Lady's FaceThose Sweet Delightful Lilies
Wikipedia
Thomas Weelkes (baptised 25 October 1576 – 30 November 1623) was an English composer and organist. He became organist of Winchester College in 1598, moving to Chichester Cathedral. His works are chiefly vocal, and include madrigals, anthems and services.
Weelkes was baptised in the little village church of Elsted near Chichester in West Sussex on 25 October 1576. It has been suggested that his father was John Weeke, rector of Elsted, although there is no documentary evidence of the relationship. In 1597 his first volume of madrigals was published, the preface noting that he was a very young man when they were written; this helps to fix the date of his birth to somewhere in the middle of the 1570s. Early in his life he was in service at the house of the courtier Edward Darcye. At the end of 1598, probably aged 22, Weelkes was appointed organist at Winchester College, where he remained for two or three years, receiving the quarterly salary of 13s 4d (£2 for three-quarters). His remuneration included board and lodging.
During his Winchester period, Weelkes composed a further two volumes of madrigals (1598, 1600). He obtained his B. Mus. Degree from New College, Oxford in 1602, and moved to Chichester to take up the position of organist and informator choristarum (instructor of the choristers) at Chichester Cathedral at some time between October 1601 and October 1602. He was also given a lay clerkship at the Cathedral, being paid £15 2s 4d annually alongside his board, lodging and other amenities. The following year he married Elizabeth Sandham, from a wealthy local family. They had three children and it was rumoured that Elizabeth was already pregnant at the time of the marriage.
Weelkes' fourth and final volume of madrigals, published in 1608, carries a title page where he refers to himself as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal; however, records at the Chapel Royal itself do not mention him, so at most he could only have been a Gentleman Extraordinary - one of those who were asked to stand in until a permanent replacement was found.
While Weelkes was there the Choir of Chichester Cathedral was often in trouble with the authorities for poor behaviour. Weelkes appears to have become an alcoholic. As the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography puts it,
he was not the only disorderly member of the cathedral establishment, though in due course he would become its most celebrated."
In 1609 he was charged with unauthorised absence from Chichester, but no mention of drunken behaviour is made until 1613, and J Shepherd, a Weelkes scholar, has suggested caution in assuming that his decline began before this date. In 1616 he was reported to the Bishop for being "noted and famed for a comon drunckard [sic] and notorious swearer & blasphemer". The Dean and Chapter dismissed him for being drunk at the organ and using bad language during divine service. He was however reinstated and remained in the post until his death, although his behaviour did not improve; in 1619 Weelkes was again reported to the Bishop:
Dyvers tymes & very often come so disguised eyther from the Taverne or Ale house into the quire as is muche to be lamented, for in these humoures he will bothe curse & sweare most dreadfully, & so profane the service of God … and though he hath bene often tymes admonished … to refrayne theis humors and reforme hym selfe, yett he daylye continuse the same, & is rather worse than better therein.
In 1622 Elizabeth Weelkes died. Thomas Weelkes was, by this time, reinstated at Chichester Cathedral, but appeared to be spending a great deal of time in London. He died in London in 1623, in the house of a friend, almost certainly on 30 November and was buried on 1 December 1623 at St Bride's Fleet Street. Weelkes's will, made the day before he died at the house of his friend Henry Drinkwater of St Bride's parish, left his estate to be shared between his three children, with a large 50s legacy left to Drinkwater for his meat, drink and lodging. Weelkes has a memorial stone in Chichester Cathedral.
Thomas Weelkes is best known for his vocal music, especially his madrigals and church music. Weelkes wrote more Anglican services than any other major composer of the time, mostly for evensong. Many of his anthems are verse anthems, which would have suited the small forces available at Chichester Cathedral. It has been suggested that larger-scale pieces were intended for the Chapel Royal. A number of Weelkes's church anthems were included in the Oxford Book of Tudor Anthems in 1978.
Only a small amount of instrumental music was written by Weelkes, and it is rarely performed. His consort music is sombre in tone, contrasting with the often gleeful madrigals.
Weelkes's madrigals are often compared to those of John Wilbye (who the Dictionary of National Biography described as the most famous of the English madrigalists): it has been suggested that the personalities of the two men - Wilbye appears to have been a more sober character than Weelkes - are reflected in the music. Both men were interested in word painting. Weelkes' madrigals are very chromatic and use varied organic counterpoint and unconventional rhythm in their construction.
Weelkes was friends with the madrigalist Thomas Morley who died in 1602, when Weelkes was in his mid-twenties (Weelkes commemorated his death in a madrigal-form anthem titled A Remembrance of my Friend Thomas Morley, also known as "Death hath Deprived Me").
Some of Weelkes's madrigals were reprinted in popular collections during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Weelkes, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.