Tomkins: Keyboard Music

Tomkins: Keyboard Music (Complete, Vol. 1)
Bernhard Klapprott
MD+G (Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm) 0563


  1. Prelude (MS Paris 1122, pp. 106-108)
  2. Voluntary (August 10, 1647)
  3. A Sad Pavan - For These Distracted Times (February 14, 1649)
  4. The Perpetual Round (September 7-8, 1654)
  5. Fancy (September 9, 1646)
  6. Ut Mi Re
  7. Pavan - Earl Strafford (October 2, 1647)
  8. Galliard - Earl Strafford
  9. Ground
  10. Worcester Brawls
  11. Fortune My Foe (July 4, 1654)
  12. The Hunting Galliard
  13. Pavan (September 4, 1654)
  14. Galliard (September 7, 1654)
  15. Barafostus' Dream

Playing time: 70'

Recording date: June 1994

Instruments: harpsichord, Cornelius Bom (after Giovanni Battista Giusti, c.1650); virginal, Klaus Ahrend (after Marten van der Biest, c. 1580) - meantone tuning

Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656) was the last of the English Virginalists. After him, the style died out entirely. Although he was something of a late starter (being the Chapel Royal's junior organist to Gibbons, despite being more than ten years older), he spent much of the later part of his life writing keyboard music (whereas Gibbons died thirty years earlier). Although he was content largely to adopt the forms and figures of the old masters, Tomkins did this expertly, due to his large collection of manuscript sources. By that time, no one cared about the English keyboard style at all (a fact Tomkins lamented), but he nonetheless sojourned on -- to one of the largest and most varied outputs in this style. In fact, only Byrd's output is comparable in size, and he was the primary initiator of the style. Therefore, this music (in spite of its artistic weaknesses) provides a fine endmark to an artistic endeavor that was all too brief.

The remainder of the present series:

Tomkins: Keyboard Music (Complete, Vol. 2)
Bernhard Klapprott
MD+G 607 0704
Tomkins: Keyboard Music (Complete, Vol. 3)
Bernhard Klapprott
MD+G 607 0705
Tomkins: Keyboard Music (Complete, Vol. 4)
Bernhard Klapprott
MD+G 607 0706

Another recital:

Tomkins: Barafostus' Dreame
Music for Harpsichord and Virginals
Carole Cerasi
Metronome 1049

Now Tomkins is best-known for his cathedral anthems. He also wrote consort music. Recordings featuring more of this variety:

Tomkins: Above the Starrs
Harmonia Mundi USA 907320
Tomkins: Consort Music for Viols and Voices / Keyboard Music
Rose Consort of Viols, Red Byrd, Timothy Roberts
Naxos 8.550602
Tomkins: Music Divine
I Fagiolini
Chandos 0680

And a recording in a cathedral setting:

Tomkins: The Great Service
Tallis Scholar - Peter Phillips
Gimell 454 924

To purchasing information for this disc.

To FAQ references to this recording.

To FAQ CD index page.

Todd M. McComb