William Cornysh

The younger. Born 1470. Died 31 August 1523
William Cornysh
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1470
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/691b2e05-334b-42c9-b121-defae8f84cb3
William Cornysh

William Cornysh Biography (BBC)

It has long been assumed that the Latin church music attributed to 'Cornysh' in the Eton Choirbook and other early 16th-century manuscripts was composed by William Cornysh (died 1523), composer, poet, dramatist and actor, active at the royal court from at least 1493. However, recent research has suggested that, while songs, both secular and devotional, are undoubtedly by this colourful figure, the sacred music may well have been by an older William Cornysh (died 1502), very probably his father.

Relatively little is known about Cornysh the elder, but he was clearly active as a musician for a number of years at Westminster Abbey. His name appears in records there as Instructor of the Choristers of the Lady Chapel between 1479 and 1491, and he remained living in Abbey premises until his death. Although he was also granted a pension by the Abbey in 1499, he probably continued to be musically active in his last years; it has been proposed by David Skinner that he may have been elevated to a position in the king's chapel of St Stephen. Certainly, his close association with other composers, such as Edmund Turges and Robert Fayrfax, through membership of the Fraternity of St Nicholas in Westminster, and the preservation of the sacred works attributed to Cornysh alongside theirs in manuscripts such as the Eton Choirbook, would suggest that they may well have been by Cornysh pre rather than his polymath son.

Indeed, William Cornysh the younger seems not to have gained his reputation through church music, but through devising pageants and 'disguysings' for the royal court, notably those for the wedding of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon in 1501, as well as the music for the ceremonies of the Chapel Royal at the celebrated meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I on the Field of the Cloth of Gold in northern France in 1520. Two years later he devised an entertainment for the London visit of Charles V; this took the form of a simple allegory on the negotiations for an alliance between the Emperor and Henry VIII. He is also known to have performed in a number of plays at court. However, in addition to all these activities, William Cornysh junior was Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal from September 1509, and, as such, was responsible not only for the education and care of the choirboys, but also for the music to be performed there, so it is certainly not impossible that he composed sacred polyphony.

While the riddle of the two Cornyshes remains to be resolved, it is worth noting that the pieces by Cornysh preserved in the Eton Choirbook, including the five-voice setting of the Salve regina heard tonight, and especially the florid Magnificat, reflect more the musical idiom cultivated by composers of the earlier generation.

Profile © Tess Knighton, 2005

William Cornysh Biography (Wikipedia)

William Cornysh the Younger (also spelled Cornyshe or Cornish) (1465 – October 1523) was an English composer, dramatist, actor, and poet.

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William Cornysh Tracks

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William Cornysh
Ave Maria mater Dei
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Ave Maria mater Dei
William Cornysh
Ave Maria mater Dei à 4
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Ave Maria mater Dei à 4
William Cornysh
Ah Robin, Gentle Robin
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Ah Robin, Gentle Robin
William Cornysh
Woefully arrayed
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Woefully arrayed
William Cornysh
Ave Maria Mater Dei
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Ave Maria Mater Dei
William Cornysh
A Robyn, gentyl Robyn
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A Robyn, gentyl Robyn
William Cornysh
Ah Robin, gentle Robin
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Ah Robin, gentle Robin
William Cornysh
Woefully arrayed
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Woefully arrayed
William Cornysh
Salve Regina
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Salve Regina
William Cornysh
My love she mourn'th
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My love she mourn'th
William Cornysh
Ah Robin!
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Ah Robin!
William Cornysh
Salve Regina (excerpt)
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Salve Regina (excerpt)
William Cornysh
Ave Maria
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Ave Maria

Ave Maria

Ensemble
Cardinall's Musick
William Cornysh
Magnificat (excerpt)
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Magnificat (excerpt)
William Cornysh
Ah Robin
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Ah Robin
William Cornysh
Ah, Robin
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Ah, Robin

Ah, Robin

Choir
The Ebor Consort
William Cornysh
Hoyda, jolly ruttkin
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Hoyda, jolly ruttkin

Hoyda, jolly ruttkin

Choir
The Ebor Consort
William Cornysh
Ave Maria mater Dei à 4
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Ave Maria mater Dei à 4
William Cornysh
Ah Robin
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Ah Robin
William Cornysh
Ave Maria mater Dei for 4 voices
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Ave Maria mater Dei for 4 voices
William Cornysh
A Robyn, gentyl Robyn
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A Robyn, gentyl Robyn
William Cornysh
Ah Robin
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Ah Robin

Ah Robin

Music Arranger
Roderick Williams
SDASA Chorale
Choir
SDASA Chorale
I Fagiolini
William Cornysh
Fa la sol (a3)
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Fa la sol (a3)
William Cornysh
Fa la sol
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Fa la sol
William Cornysh
Ah Robyn, Gentle Robyn
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Ah Robyn, Gentle Robyn
William Cornysh
Trolly Lolly Loly Lo
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Trolly Lolly Loly Lo
William Cornysh
Hoyda Hoyda, Jolly Rutterkin
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Hoyda Hoyda, Jolly Rutterkin
William Cornysh
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William Cornysh
Salva Regina
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Salva Regina

Salva Regina

Performer
The Sixteen
William Cornysh
Ave Maria
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Ave Maria
Tallis Scholars
Woefully arrayed
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Woefully arrayed
William Cornysh
Whilles Lyfe or Breth
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Whilles Lyfe or Breth

Whilles Lyfe or Breth

Performer
Jennie Cassidy (mezzo-soprano)
Musica Antiqua of London
Philip Thorby (director)
William Cornysh
Ave Maria, Mater Dei
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Ave Maria, Mater Dei
William Cornysh
Woffully araid for 4 voices
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Woffully araid for 4 voices
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