John Amner

English Born 24 Aug 1579 Died 28 Jul 1641

A composer of sacred works, John Amner had a close association with Ely Cathedral—even before his employment there as Informator choristarum (1610–1641)—through his relatives, Michael and Ralph Amner, who were both lay clerks there. He received his Bachelor of Music from Oxford with the support of the Earl of Bath in 1613, and also from Cambridge in 1640. He was employed as both an organist and clergyman at the Cathedral after he obtained his first degree. He was subsequently ordained to the diaconate, later becoming vicarius (minor canon). In 1615, he published a collection entitled Sacred Hymnes of 3, 4, 5 and 6 parts for the Voyces and Vyols, which represents most of his known works. His other works include Preces (both for five voices), four arrangements of the daily canticles, several simple four-part anthems, slightly more complex five-part anthems, and verse anthems. Roughly a dozen of these works were recorded in the 1990s, and many were performed by the Ely Cathedral choir, including Blessed be the Lord God, Hear, O Lord, Have mercy, I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live, My Lord is hence removed and laid, O sing unto the Lord, O ye little flock, the Second Service (Cesar's), and Sing, O heav'ns. Amner also wrote a pavan and galliard for viols and a single keyboard piece that stands out historically as the only recognized group of variations on a metrical psalm tune ("O Lord in thee is all my trust").

 

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