Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Ford, Ernest (A. Clair)

(b Warminster, 17 Feb 1858; d London, 2 June 1919). English composer and conductor. He was a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, and won the first Goss Scholarship at the RAM (1875), where he was a pupil of Sullivan. He also spent some time in Paris studying with Lalo. In 1886 his motet Exaudivit Dominus was performed at the 250th anniversary of Harvard University. Most of his other compositions were for the theatre and included operas (Daniel O'Rourke, 1884; Nydia, 1889; Joan, 1890; Jane Annie, 1893; Mr Jericho, 1893) and ballet music, excerpts from his Faust being given under Henry Wood in 1897. Ford held a professorship of singing at the GSM, where he was in charge of the opera class. He conducted Sullivan's Ivanhoe at the Royal English Opera House, Cambridge Circus, and for some years directed the Royal Amateur Orchestral Society. His Short History of Music in England (London, 1912) is informative on Sullivan and late 19th-century musical life.


Ford [Foard, Foord, Forde, Fourd, Fourde], Thomas

(d London, bur. 17 Nov 1648). English composer and viol player. He was appointed one of the musicians to Prince Henry in 1611, initially at a yearly salary of £30, but from March 1612 he received £40. Later he became one of the lutes and voices to Prince Charles, serving him after his coronation and up to the Civil War in 1642. On 1 January 1627 Ford was among 31 musicians who received as ‘Newyeares gifts given by the Kinges Matie … to each of them in guilt plate five ounces a peece’. In July 1634 he was granted a £20 increase of pension for life. The charter of the Corporation of Musick in Westminster (15 July 1635), which gave the King's musicians authority over the training and performance of musicians in the capital and its immediate environs, lists Ford as one of the Corporation's first two wardens (the second being Jerome Lanier) with the authority to administer the ‘corporall oathes’. Ford was buried at St Margaret's, Westminster. Under the terms of his will, dated 12 November 1648, several musicians received bequests including Walter Porter and Henry Cooke. At his death he was apparently enjoying a double place, both as ‘composer to the private musick’ and as ‘a viall, among the lutes and voices’ at a combined yearly salary of £80 plus liveries. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 this double vacancy was filled with the appointments of Charles Coleman ‘for ye Viall’ and Henry Lawes as ‘Composer’. Ford also seems to have been in receipt of an annuity of £120 granted by Charles when Prince of Wales.

Ford's Musicke of Sundrie Kindes (London, 1607) is in two parts, dedicated respectively to Sir Richard Weston of Skreens, Roxwell, Essex, and to Sir Richard Tichborne. Among the ayres are such famous pieces as What then is love, sings Coridon, Faire sweet cruell, Since first I saw your face and There is a ladie, sweet and kind. The ayres are given alternative four-part vocal settings. The lyra viol duets include M. Southcote's Paven with its galliard (MB, ix); other titles that might help to identify the circle in which Ford moved at this stage in his life are The baggepipes: Sir Charles Howard's delight, and Snatch and away: Sir John Paulet's toy. Some pieces contain indications of a pizzicato technique common in lyra viol playing: ‘thumpe them with the first and second finger of the left hand according to the direction of the pricks’.

Ford contributed two anthems to Sir William Leighton's Teares or Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule (RISM 16147) and a large number of three-part songs (ATB) both sacred and secular survive in manuscript, notably at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford. A number require the support of a basso continuo (missing from the set in GB-Och). Also in manuscript are some six-part anthems and madrigals, including 'Tis now dead night, a ‘Passion on the Death of Prince Henry’. Ford's viol music includes six fine five-part fantasias (anonymous in Lbl Add.17792–6, but ascribed to him in Lcm 1145).

Although Ford’s work in the context of his time has not yet been authoritively assessed, it is possible to say that the music merits better than its present relative obscurity. Hsieh has written of the anthems – perhaps the least well-known works – that some ‘are equal to the works of the most eminent composers of the period’. The lute-songs, such as the delicately elegant Since first I saw your face, rank with the best in a genre not lacking in great works. The lyra viol duets are so finely idiomatic as to suggest that Ford must have been an excellent performer; the depth of expression and originality of one like the Pauin, M. Maynes Choice show him to have been a composer of true inspiration.


19 anthems, 3–6vv, 16147, GB-DRc, Lbl, Llp, Ob, Och, Ojc, US-NYp; 2 ed. in EECM, xi (1970), 34, 146

4 sacred canons, 165210

Musicke of Sundrie Kindes, 4vv, insts (London, 1607/R); songs ed. in EL, 1st ser., iii (1921, 2/1966); 2 lyra viol duets, ed. in MB, ix (1955, 2/1962), 205, 206

35 partsongs, 3vv, GB-Och [bc lost], WCc

6 fantasias a 5, Ckc, Lbl, Lcm, Ob; 1 ayre a 4, Lbl, IRL-Dm; 1 almaine a 3, GB-Och; Fa mee fa, 2 b viols, Ob


AshbeeR, i, iii–v



C.S. Emden: ‘Lives of Elizabethan Song Composers: some New Facts’, Review of English Studies, ii (1926), 416–22

W.L. Woodfill: Musicians in English Society from Elizabeth to Charles I (Princeton, NJ, 1953/R)

F. Traficante: ‘Music for the Lyra Viol: the Printed Sources’, LSJ, viii (1966), 7–24; repr. in JVdGSA, v (1968), 16–33

F. Hsieh: The Anthems of Thomas Ford (ca. 1580–1648) (diss., Louisiana State U., 1989)


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