Thomas Weelkes began his career as organist for Winchester College, a position he held for only a few years, during which he wrote his best madrigals.
Around 1602 he became organist for Chichester Cathedral. Here he enjoyed initial success, but after the publication of his fourth set of madrigals in 1608, his situation began to deteriorate. After being charged for public drunkenness and neglect of duty, Weelkes was discharged from his post in 1617. He held one other position as an organist, but again failed to fulfill his duties to satisfaction. When he died in 1623, he left everything to a friend who had supplied him with food, drink and lodging. Most of Weelkes compositions are vocal pieces, both sacred and secular. A prolific madrigalist, he has been criticized for his lack of skill in integrating the texts with his melodic lines. However, Weelkes is remembered for his creative musical imagery and his mastery of counterpoint. These attributes make him one of the finest composers of English madrigals in the seventeenth century. ~ Lynn Vought, Rovi