Born: Feb 23, 1649 in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England
Dead: Oct 1, 1708 in Westminster, England
Genre: Keyboard Music, Vocal Music
John Blow was the most important Baroque English composer before 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 and a composer of lesser rank. 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. His first works seem to date from this period, with the 1670 anthem, O Lord, I Have Sinned, for vocal soloists, chorus, and organ, perhaps his earliest surviving effort. Around this time 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 procured 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. Elizabeth herself lived for only nine years after their marriage. Blow was appointed organist (he was one of three) at the Chapel Royal in 1676, but despite his apparent successes and later affluence, he seems to have had some financial struggles during his married years, if one can judge by the family's modest living quarters.
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. In the late 1670s he began composition of a large group 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 the St. Cecilia's Day Odes, for vocal soloists, chorus, and instrumental ensemble, is a masterpiece and one of his greatest works.
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 one of his finest masterworks in 1696, An Ode, on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell, for two countertenors and two recorders.
In 1700 Blow was appointed composer of the Royal Chapel, virtually designating him England's greatest living composer. Ironically, his output slowed to a trickle in the 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.
- Robert Cummings (All Music Guide)
Джон Блоу (англ. John Blow; 1649, Ньюарк-он-Трент - 1 октября 1708, Лондон) - английский барочный композитор и органист.
Блоу, вероятнее всего, родился в городке Ньюарк-он-Трент графства Ноттингемшир. Дата его рождения точно не известна. Крещён он был 23 февраля 1649 года, и рождение его состоялось, скорее всего, незадолго до этого.
Незаурядный композиторский талант Блоу проявился очень рано: многие его юношеские сочинения вошли в сборник Клиффорда "Церковные службы" (англ. Divine Services). В 1660 стал певчим Королевской капеллы, а вскоре - её регентом (июнь 1674). Был включен в число органистов при капелле. В 1668 назначен органистом в Вестминстерское аббатство, но в 1679 эта должность перешла от Блоу к Пёрселлу. Когда его великий ученик неожиданно умер (1695), Блоу вернулся в аббатство, где прослужил до конца жизни. В 1687-1702 был регентом в соборе Св. Павла.
В его наследии более ста хоралов, музыка для церковных служб, сочинения для клавесина; он написал одно произведение для сцены - оперу Венера и Адонис (Venus and Adonis).
Среди его учеников есть имена Уильяма Крофта, Джереми Кларка, Генри Пёрселла.