Gibbons and the Chapel Royal

We will be singing Gibbons’ Short Service Magnificat and Nunc dimittis at our next Evensong, Saturday 9 April, 5pm. 

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) was barely into his 20s when he became a member of the Chapel Royal, and he remained in the service of the royal household for the rest of his life. While the Chapel Royal is an institution rather than a building, in Gibbons’ day it was most closely associated with the chapel in the Palace of Whitehall, destroyed by fire in 1698. Gibbons would also have been familiar with the Chapel Royal in nearby St James’s Palace (pictured), built by Henry VIII in 1540, and fortuitously still standing. The intimate dimensions of the chapel give an idea of the kind of space Gibbons had in mind when writing his sacred music. We think it sounds great in Pilgrim’s acoustic! 

Photo: Anthony Devlin, PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo. 

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