Robert White (16th cent. English composer)

~ Person


Robert White (also Whyte; c. 1538 – 1574) probably born in Holborn, a district of London, was a catholic English composer whose liturgical music to Latin texts is considered particularly fine. His surviving works include a setting of verses from Lamentations, and instrumental music for viols.

Thomas Morley, in his A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597) extols him as one of the greatest English composers, equal to Orlando di Lasso. He notes White's bold harmonies, and includes him in a list of seven eminent Tudor composers that includes "Fayrfax, Taverner, Sheppard, Whyte, Parsons and Mr Byrd." Some MS partbooks now at Christ Church, Oxford dated about 1581 contain the tribute "Maxima musarum nostrarum gloria White' Tu peris, actemum sed tua musa manet" ("Thou, O White, greatest glory of our muses, dost perish, but thy muse endureth for ever").

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 Lamentations White, Tallis, Palestrina, Lassus, de Brito; Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly 1
1994 Tallis / Messe Puer Natus Est - White / Motets Thomas Tallis & Robert White 1
2008 Treasures of Tudor England Robert Parsons, Robert White, Christopher Tye; The Sixteen, Harry Christophers 1
2013 The Phoenix Rising William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Thomas Morley, Orlando Gibbons, Robert White, John Taverner; Stile Antico 1

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