Personalities | Matthew Locke | Early Baroque | Classical

c. 1622–77
English composer

While a chorister at Exeter Cathedral, where he learnt to play the organ, the young Matthew Locke met Christopher Gibbons (1615–76), with whom he later collaborated on the music for the masque Cupid and Death (1653). Locke’s revision of the piece in 1659 has survived in autograph and is the only known complete score of a seventeenth-century English masque. In 1656, Locke was one of five composers who provided music for Sir William Davenant’s The Siege of Rhodes, but none of this has survived. He contributed music to the coronation of Charles II and after the Restoration held various court appointments. His last publications were Melothesia (1673), containing keyboard pieces, and Tripla Concordia (1677), an anthology of music for two violins and bass violin. In these, as elsewhere, his distinctive melodic ideas and often dissonant harmonies strike an individual and experimental note. Locke is also remembered for numbering Purcell among his pupils.

Recommended Recording:
Consort Music, Phantasm (Global Music Network)

Introduction | Early Baroque | Classical
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