Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625) was an English composer, virginalist and organist of the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods. He was a leading composer in the England of his day. Between 1596 and 1598 he sang in the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward Gibbons (1568–1650), eldest of the four sons of William Gibbons, was master of the choristers. The second brother Ellis Gibbons (1573–1603) was also a promising composer, but died young. Orlando entered the university in 1598 and achieved the degree of Bachelor of Music in 1606. James I appointed him a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, where he served as an organist from at least 1615 until his death. In 1623 he became senior organist at the Chapel Royal. He also held positions as keyboard player in the privy chamber of the court of Prince Charles (later King Charles I), and organist at Westminster Abbey. He died at age 41 in Canterbury of apoplexy,
One of the most versatile composers of his time, Gibbons wrote a large number of keyboard works, around thirty fantasias for viols, a number of madrigals, and many popular verse anthems. His choral music is distinguished by his complete mastery of counterpoint, combined with his wonderful gift for melody. He produced two major settings of Evensong, the Short Service and the Second Service. His full anthems show his complete mastery. His surviving keyboard output comprises some 45 pieces. The polyphonic fantasia and dance forms are the best represented genres. Gibbons's writing exhibits full mastery of three- and four-part counterpoint. Most of the fantasias are complex, multi-sectional pieces, treating multiple subjects imitatively.
This "Fantasia" demonstrates his typical style and mannerisms. The MANY ornaments would make for an ENDLESS topic for discussion... ;-)