A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Clarke, John

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CLARKE, John, Mus. Doc., afterwards known as Clarke-Whitfeld, was born at Gloucester Dec. 13, 1770, and received his musical education at Oxford under Dr. Philip Hayes. In 1789 he was appointed organist of the parish church of Ludlow; in 1793 he took the degree of Bachelor of Music at Oxford; in 1795 he was appointed organist of Armagh Cathedral, which he quitted in the same year for the places of organist and master of the choristers of St. Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church, Dublin. In 1798 the Irish rebellion led him to resign his appointments and return to England, [App. p.592 replaces with "… in the same year (1793) he was appointed master of the choristers (not organist) at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church, Dublin. In 1794 he succeeded Richard Langdon as organist of Armagh Cathedral, which post he held till 1797. In 1795 he took the degree of Mus. D. in Dublin, and in 1799 the Irish rebellion led him to resign his appointments …"] where he soon afterwards became organist and master of the choristers of Trinity and St. John's Colleges, Cambridge. In the following year he took the degree of Doctor of Music at Cambridge, and in 1810 was admitted ad eundem at Oxford. He assumed the name of Whitfeld, in addition to his paternal name of Clarke, on the death [App. p.592 "1814"] of his maternal uncle, Henry Fotherley Whitfeld. In 1820 he resigned his appointments at Cambridge for those of organist and master of the choristers of Hereford Cathedral, and on the death of Dr. Hague, in 1821, he was elected Professor of Music in the University of Cambridge. In 1833, in consequence of an attack of paralysis, he resigned his appointments at Hereford. He died at Holmer, near Hereford, Feb. 23, 1836, and was buried in the cloisters of Hereford Cathedral, where a mural tablet is erected to his memory. Dr. Clarke-Whitfeld's compositions consist of Cathedral Services and Anthems (published in four vols. in 1805 and subsequently), 'The Crucifixion and the Resurrection,' an oratorio, and numerous glees, songs, etc. He edited a collection containing thirty anthems from the works of various composers. Amongst the many works arranged by him for voices and pianoforte his edition of several of Handel's oratorios and other pieces must not be forgotten, as being the first of that author's works so treated.

[ W. H. H. ]