A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Corfe, Joseph

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CORFE, Joseph, born in 1740 at Salisbury, was one of the choristers at the cathedral there under Dr. John Stephens, organist and master of the boys. In 1782 [App. p.598 "1783"] he was appointed Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. [App. p.598 adds that "he sang in the Handel Commemmoration."] In 1792 he succeeded Robert Parry as organist and master of the choristers of Salisbury Cathedral, which offices he held until 1804. Corfe composed and published a volume of Cathedral [App. p.598 "Church"] Music, consisting of a service and eight [App. p.598 "eleven"] anthems, etc.; three sets of Glees, of twelve each; a Treatise on Singing; a Treatise on Thorough Bass, a work still held in esteem; besides editing a Selection of Sacred Music made by James Harris, and other works. He died in 1820, aged 80.

His son Arthur Thomas, was born at Salisbury, April 9, 1773. In 1783 he became a chorister of Westminster Abbey under Dr. Cooke. He subsequently studied the pianoforte under Muzio Clementi. In 1804, on the resignation of his father, he was appointed organist and master of the children of Salisbury Cathedral. A. T. Corfe produced and published a service and some anthems, several pianoforte pieces, and 'The Principles of Harmony and Thorough Bass.' [App. p.598 "he organised a successful festival at Salisbury on August 19–22, 1828."] He died, whilst kneeling in prayer, Jan. 28, 1863, in the 90th year of his age, and was buried in the cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral, where a tablet was erected to him by his thirteen surviving children, one of whom, Charles William, Mus. Doc., is organist of Christ Church, Oxford [App. p.598 "was, from 1846 to 1883; dates of birth and death, 1814, and Dec. 16, 1883.

Another of his sons, John David Corfe, born 1804, was for many years organist of Bristol Cathedral, and died in Jan. 1876. (Dict. of Nat. Biog.)"]

[ W. H. H. ]