John Speller's Web Pages - Organ Music<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title>Johann Rudolph Ahle, Toccata ex Clave D John Speller's Web Pages Lilli Burlero

John Speller's Web Pages - Organ Music
Lilli Burlero
My reason for including this popular song, as harmonized by Henry Purcell, and differing somewhat from the usual modern version, as a piece of organ music is somewhat curious. On 8 February 1688, the eccentric Stephen Jefferies (or Jeffries), Organist of Gloucester Cathedral, was admonished for playing over upon the organ a common ballad, "insomuch that the young gentlewomen invited one another to dance." This was said to have been on the occasion of 5 November 1687, at the annual Thanksgiving Service, "A Form of Thanksgiving be used yearly upon the Fifth Day of November; for the happy Deliverance of King JAMES I. and the Three Estates of England, from the most traiterous and bloody intended Massacre by Gunpowder: And also for the happy arrival of his Majesty King WILLIAM on this day, for the Deliverance of our Church and Nation." (This was a service included in the Book of Common Prayer from 1688 to 1859.) Because of its associations with William of Orange, it is quite likely that Lilli Burlero was the piece of music that Jefferies played on this happy occasion.

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The Harris organ played by Stephen Jefferies at Gloucester Cathedral. Image T. A. Walker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
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