Richard Farrant - Encyclopedia

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RICHARD FARRANT, composer of English church music, flourished during the 16th century. Very little is known about him. Fetis gives 1530 as the date of his birth, but on what authority does not appear. He became a gentleman of the Chapel Royal in the reign of Edward VI., but resigned his post in 1564 on being appointed master of the children of St George's chapel, Windsor. In this capacity he presented a play before the queen at Shrovetide 1568, and again at Christmas of the same year, receiving on each occasion the sum of £6: 13: 4d. In November 1569 he was reinstated as gentleman of the Chapel Royal. It is stated by Hawkins (History of Music, vol. iii. 279) that Farrant was also one of the clerks and organists of St George's chapel, Windsor, and that he retained these posts till his death. Many of his compositions are printed in the collections of Barnard and Boyce. Among the most admired of them are a service in G minor, and the anthems "Call to remembrance" and "Hide not thou thy face." It is doubtful whether Farrant is entitled to the credit of the authorship of the beautiful anthem "Lord, for thy tender mercies' sake." No copy of the music under his name appeared in print till 1800, although it had been earlier attributed to him. Some writers have named John Hilton, and others Thomas Tallis, as the composer. From entries in the Old Check Book of the Chapel Royal (edited for the Camden Society by Dr Rimbault) it appears that Farrant died, not in 1585, as Hawkins states, but on the 30th of November 1580 or 1581.

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