He died an early death in Canterbury of apoplexy, and a monument to him was built in Canterbury Cathedral. One of the most versatile English composers of his time, Gibbons wrote a quantity of keyboard works, around thirty fantasias for viols, a number of madrigals (the best-known being The Silver Swan), and many popular verse anthems. His choral music is distinguished by his complete mastery of counterpoint, combined with his wonderful gift for melody. Perhaps his most well-known verse anthem is 'This is the record of John', which sets an Advent text for solo countertenor alternating with full chorus. He also produced two major settings of Evensong, the Second, and the 'Short' service.
The former is an extended composition, combining verse and full sections, and the latter possesses a beautifully expressive Nunc Dimittis. Gibbons' full anthems include the expressive 'O Lord in thy wrath', and the Palm Sunday setting of 'O clap your hands together' for 8 voices. He contributed six pieces to the first printed collection of music in England, Parthenia (of which he was by far the youngest of the three contributors), published circa 1611. Gibbons was the "favorite composer" of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould: "Ever since my teen-age years his music has moved me more deeply than any other sound experience I can think of." To this day, his obit service is commemorated every year in King's College Chapel. Read more on Last.fm.
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