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See, see, the Word is incarnate

author of text

The longest, most powerful, ‘See, see, the Word is incarnate’, is another expanded to include divisi effects and a more triumphal Amen. Strangely, even this has no known connection to the Chapel of the day; but signs from the score are that here too revision may not have been quite complete. Its text, furthermore, fits no Anglican festival unless maybe Ascension: it traces Christ’s entire life up to then, Messiah-fashion. Its prose (assigned to Godfrey Goodman, soon to become one of the most latitudinarian of bishops), almost devoid of narrative, creates an oddly static series of icons or tableaux. Even so, the organic quality infused through the notes lifts that visual, verbless aspect, merging with it to a stained-glass brilliance. Paradoxically, it still streams on as irresistibly as anything else in the literature. Had Gibbons lived longer, English Baroque might have evolved to very different effect.

from notes by David Pinto © 2017


Gibbons: In chains of gold - The English pre-Restoration verse anthem, Vol. 1
Studio Master: SIGCD511Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Great Cathedral Anthems
Studio Master: SIGCD514Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Music from the reign of King James I


Track 12 on CDA67858 [6'15]
Track 14 on SIGCD511 [5'48] Download only
Track 3 on SIGCD514 [6'09] Download only

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