Henry Loosemore

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Born: 1607

Died: 1670

Biography Like many composers of his era, we know relatively little about Loosemore’s life. He was born in Devon, along with his brothers George and John. He moved to Cambridge in later life, where he worked as the organist of King’s College from 1627 until his death. He also worked as the music master to the children of the North family, housed in Kirtling. The North family seems to have had a significant interest in music, and contact with several composers from the period. This may have helped in the dissemination of Loosemore’s own compositions, which are represented in a number of sacred institutions of the day. His compositions even made it as far north as Durham.

The majority of Loosemore’s surviving output consists of sacred music, although a couple of instrumental compositions survive. Loosemore was prolific, and a large number of his sacred compositions survive. This includes 2 services, 9 full anthems, and 20 verse anthems, along with other works that have since been lost. His works are of high quality, and demonstrate his mastery of the musical styles of his day. This is perhaps best indicated by two of his full anthems, ‘O Lord, increase my faith’, and ‘Why are thou so heavy?’, which were long thought to be the work of Orlando Gibbons. In the modern day, he is best known for these two works, and for the Litany from his First Service. However, his other compositions, including his verse anthems in particular, are also worthy of note.

View the Wikipedia article on Henry Loosemore.

List of choral works

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