However, the English Civil War - which began in earnest in 1641 - lead to a suppression of Church music, and put an end to Gibbon's position. He fought for the Royalist cause but, after the execution of Charles I and the collapse of Royalist resistance following the battle of Worchester (1651), Gibbons moved to London where he lived from late in 1651 to his death in 1676. Worthy of mention is his work with respected contemporary Matthew Locke on the masque or quasi-opera Cupid and Death in 1653 - it is one of the few works from this period that still exists in full score. From 1653 until the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Gibbons made his living primarily as a music teacher and, more occasionally, as a composer of incidental music for the restricted theatres of Commonwealth London. With the return of Charles II to English throne Gibbons, in part because of his loyalty to the crown, was immediately welcomed into the artistic fold of the new court and, with church music again flourishing, was swiftly reinstated as a Gentleman and Organist of the Chapel Royal.
He subsequently became one of Charles' most important post-Interregnum composers, teachers and musical advisors. Christopher Gibbons was one of the few Royalist musicians not to flee England for the safety of the continent (such as did Nicholas Lanier) during the Interregnum - and this may explain Gibbons' rapid rise in the king's favour - for it had been no easy thing to remain a known Royalist in Cromwell-controlled London and had cost some their lives. Gibbons was well-known and influential in the later part of his life (1660-1676) - he is recorded several times in the diaries of Samuel Pepys - and importantly (given his direct link to the musical tradition of the Elizabethan period) he was responsible for the nurturing of several great Restoration composers including Blow, Humfrey and, most significantly, Henry Purcell. His music is little known - and few examples exist of any - but it is as a teacher and up-holder of the English musical tradition before the almost thirty year interruption to it, by war and Cromwell's excessive Puritanism, that secures for him a substantial role in the rebirth of English music, particularly church music, during the second half of the 17th century. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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