Robert White (±1538-1574): Magnificat

When Morley, was writing his A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597) he listed White as one of the greatest English composers saying that he was equal to de Lassus and included him in a list of seven eminent Tudor composers that included "Fayrfax, Taverner, Sheppard, Whyte, Parsons and Mr Byrd." Whenever I…

Robert White (±1538-1574): Miserere mei, Deus

White’s five-part (ATTBarB) setting of the Miserere consists chordal singing interspersed with imitative. It’s possible that White set it intending it to be sung alongside the Lamentations to which it bears a distinct resemblance particularly in the way in which in the block chords one voice leads the others thereby providing the vocal clarity that…

Robert White (±1538-1574): Domine, quis habitabit (III)

Mid-sixteenth century English composers were great admirers of Josquin and sought to emulate him. His psalm motets were particularly admired and pretty much everyone tried their hand at least once, White was no exception this is his setting of Psalm 14 – you might find it interesting to contrast it with Byrd’s setting about  which…

Robert White (±1538-1574): Tota pulchra es

When Robert White died at the age of thirty six during one of the many outbreaks of plague that London was subject to at the time Robert Dow made a copy of all his motets and added this epitaph ‘Greatest glory of our muses, White: you perish, but your muse remains for ever’ nor was…

Robert White (±1538-1574): Ad te levavi oculos meos

Maxima musarum nostrarum gloria White Tu peris aeternum sed tua musa manet. White, thou glorious leader of our art has died But thy muse lives on in eternity. (Robert Dow’s lament on the death of Robert White in the London plague outbreak of 1574). Robert White was born into a well-to-do family with many connections…

Robert White (±1538-1574): Exaudiat te Dominus

This is a strange but very lovely piece of music. White was born in London sometime around 1538 he attended Trinity College, Cambridge, in the 1550s graduating with a Mus.B. degree in 1560. He married Tye’s daughter and succeeded his father-in-law as Master of the Choristers at Ely Cathedral in 1562. Sometime 1n 1567 he…