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John Blow

February 23, 1649 - October 1, 1708
born in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England, composed during the Baroque period
English composer John Blow was an important influence on Henry Purcell; his organ compositions, court odes, songs, and single opera, Venus and Adonis, are his most important works.

Blow was born in February 1649 and was baptized on the 23rd of that month. He became a choirboy in the Chapel Royal at an early age and must therefore already have served in that capacity in another church, perhaps in Newark. Blow studied with the chorus master Henry Cooke, and later with Christopher Gibbons, the son of Orlando Gibbons. In December 1668, Blow was given the post of organist at Westminster Abbey, a prestigious position indicating his considerable keyboard skills. A month later he was taken into the royal court to serve as a performer on the virginal. In 1670, anthem, Blow took on the young Henry Purcell as a student and was given the post of composer-in-ordinary for voices, an indication his vocal works had already found much favor.

Blow was taken into the service of the Chapel Royal in March 1674, and in July he was named to a post there as children's chorus master. During this period Purcell began a more intense regimen of studies with Blow, and a friendship between the two arose. In 1674, Blow married Elizabeth Braddock; she would bear him five children, of whom two would die before reaching adulthood and Elizabeth herself lived a decade into their union. Blow was appointed one of three organists at the Chapel Royal in 1676.

During this time and until 1685 -- the year of James II's coronation -- Blow composed most of his anthems and his opera Venus and Adonis, written with librettist Aphra Behn. In the late 1670s, he began composition of a large number of songs, which appeared in anthologies from 1679 through 1684. Blow also began writing many odes during this period. His Begin the Song (1684), the first of his St. Cecilia's Day Odes, for vocal soloists, chorus, and instrumental ensemble, is one of Blow's greatest achievements.

Blow continued composing at a fairly prolific rate in the latter years of the seventeenth century and garnered further posts, including master of choristers at St. Paul's Cathedral, in 1687. The death of Henry Purcell on November 21, 1695, was a devastating loss for Blow. He was moved by the event to write his most fomous work in 1696, An Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell.

In 1700 Blow was appointed to the position of composer of the Chapel Royal, the top ranking job for a composer in England at the time. Ironically, his output slowed to a trickle in succeeding years, and what little he did produce was not necessarily new: the 1702 anthem, The Lord God Is a Sun and Shield, for vocal soloists, chorus, instrumental ensemble, and organ, for instance, is based on the 1686 effort of the same title. Blow died on October 1, 1708, in London. ~ Rovi Staff, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Blow: Awake my lyre (English Orpheus Vol 20) /Redbyrd * Parley of Instruments * Holman

1. Awake, Awake, My Lyre! (A Supplication): Awake, Awake, My Lyre! (A Supplication)

2. Salvator Mundi For Chorus: Salvator Mundi Salva Nos

3. Stay, Gentle Echo, Dialogue Between Philander And The Echo: Stay, Gentle Echo, Dear Nymph, Stay (A Dialogue Between Philander And The Echo)

4. Sonata In A: Sonata In A Major

5. Poor Celadon, He Sighs In Vain (Loving Above Himself): Poor Celadon, He Signs In Vain (Loving Above Himself)

6. Ode For St. Cecilia's Day, 1684: Music's The Cordial Of A Troubled Breast

7. Go, Perjur'd Man, And If Thou Ere Return (The Curse): Go, Perjur'd Man, And If Thou Ere Return (The Curse)

8. Help, Father Abraham! (A Dialogue Betwixt Dives And Abraham): Help, Father Abraham! (A Dialogue Betwixt Dives And Abraham)

9. Chloe Found Amyntas Lying For Voice & Continuo: Chloe Found Amyntas Lying All In Tears (Rondelay)

10. Ground For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Minor: Ground In G Minor

11. Paratum Cor Meum: Paratum Cor Meum Deus

12. Whilst On Septimnius's Panting Breast (Septimnius And Acme, Ode From Catullus): Whilst On Septimnius's Panting Breast (Septimnius And Acme, Ode From Catullus)

13. Gloria Patri Qui Creavit Nos: Gloria Patri, Qui Creavit Nos

14. Sing, Sing Ye Muses For 4 Voices & Continuo: Sing Ye Muses (Epilogue)

x

Track List: Blow: Venus And Adonis

Title: Venus And Adonis, Masque
Title: Welcome, Welcome, Every Guest
Title: Ground For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Minor
Title: Chloe Found Amyntas Lying For Voice & Continuo
x

Track List: John Blow: Music For Harpsichord & Spinet

Title: Prelude For Keyboard In G Major, KL 58
Title: Sett For Keyboard In G Major
Title: Ground For Keyboard In G Major, KL 5
Title: Sett (Suite) For Keyboard No. 1 In D Minor (Almand - [Tune] - Tune [Gavott] - Jigg)
Title: Chacone For Keyboard In F Major, KL 46
Title: Aire For Keyboard, KL 80

12. Aire For Keyboard, KL 80: [Aire] (Kl80)

Title: Minuet For Keyboard, KL 77

13. Minuet For Keyboard, KL 77: Minuet (Kl77)

Title: Suite For Harpsichord, No 4 In C
Title: Ground For Keyboard In C Major
Title: Overture For Keyboard In G Minor, KL 69

19. Overture For Keyboard In G Minor, KL 69: Overture In G Minor (Kl69)

Title: Sett (Suite) For Keybaord No. 2 In D Minor (from A Choice Collection)
Title: Ground For Keybaord In G Major, KL 61
Title: Sett (Suite) For Keyboard In G Minor (from The Second Book Of The Harpischord Master)
Title: Theatre Tune For Keyboard In D Minor (Mr Mountfort's Delight), KL 40
Title: Gavott For Keyboard (from The Second Part Of Musick's Hand-maid), KL 34

28. Gavott For Keyboard (from The Second Part Of Musick's Hand-maid), KL 34: Gavott (Kl34)

Title: Aire For Keyboard (from The Second Part Of Musick's Hand-maid), KL 41

29. Aire For Keyboard (from The Second Part Of Musick's Hand-maid), KL 41: [Aire] (Kl41)

Title: Sett (Suite) For Keyboard No. 5 In D Minor (from A Choice Collection)
Title: Chacone For Keyboard In G Minor, KL 71

33. Chacone For Keyboard In G Minor, KL 71: Chaconne In G Minor (Kl71)

Title: Prelude For Keyboard In G Major, KL 57
Title: Morlake Ground, For Keyboard

35. Morlake Ground, For Keyboard: Morlake Ground (Kl60)

Comments

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With a name like that he'd be a regular celebrity in this day and age. I second the thank you to Pandora for spinning Fortuna's wheel and letting it land on this guy.
Report as inappropriate
Never heard of this gentleman and yet his music is wonderful, thank you Pandora
Report as inappropriate
AAAAHHHHHH Salvator Mundi For Chorus: Salvator Mundi Salva Nos

so much dissonance great sounding though.
Report as inappropriate
His brother Joseph Blow was a master of the piccolo. Check out his "Sonata for Piccolo and 2 Triangles" if you get the chance.
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful and complex
Report as inappropriate
nfisch
I like his music very much

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