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The head that once was crowned with thorns

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (05/25/17)
Composer: Clarke, Jeremiah
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Hymn
One of the great Ascensiontide hymns of the English church is "The head that once was crowned with thorns," sung to the tune of "St. Magnus" composed by Jeremiah Clarke (c. 1674 – 1 December 1707), an English baroque composer and organist. Thought to have been born in London around 1674, Clarke was one of the pupils of John Blow at St Paul's Cathedral. He later became an organist at the Chapel Royal. After his death, which was a suicide, he was succeeded in that post by William Croft. He is best remembered for a popular keyboard piece: the Prince of Denmark's March, which is commonly called the Trumpet Voluntary, written about 1700.

The words were written by Thomas Kelly, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. He was renowned for his earnest and evangelical preaching. He died May 14, 1854.

This upload is "rather fancy," as it includes two free accompaniments by T. Tertius Noble (May 5, 1867 – May 4, 1953), organist of Ely Cathedral from 1892 to 1898, then at York Minster from 1898 to 1913, and finally of St. Thomas Church in New York City from 1913 to 1943, where he was responsible for establishing a choral tradition along Anglican cathedral lines. Dr Noble also founded the Saint Thomas Choir School for boys in 1919.

In addition, this upload also has a "fauxbourdon" setting by Healey Willan (12 October 1880 – 16 February 1968), which is heard in verse 2.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Clarke, Kelly, Noble, and Willan.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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