The Magical Mortality Madrigal

Silver Swan

Gurt Lush Choir & Bristol MAN Chorus, ‘Sex, Death & Poultry’ concert in the Wills Memorial Building Great Hall, 8th July 2017

This is Orlando Gibbons’ (1583-1625) most famous madrigal, from an original poem by Gibbons’ musical patron, Sir Christopher Hatton (some say). The lyrics present the legend that swans only sing, just before they die. This is also thought of as a metaphor for the decline of the madrigal style of music, as the late Elizabethan era comes to an end.