Edmond (S)turges

(?-after 1501?)

Edmund Sturges or Turges is now known from two settings of Gaude flore virginali in the Eton Choirbook, a very florid Magnificat in the Caius Choirbook, and presumably the Kyrie and Gloria ascribed to Sturges in the Ritson manuscript. A very great deal by him has been lost--three four-part Magnificats from Eton, and the eight six-part pieces listed in the 1529 King's College Inventory. The style of his music in Eton and Caius does not always argue very decidedly for an early date; but the three-part Ritson piece does have frequently crossing lower parts in the old-fashioned way.

Edmund Turges is the earliest composer in the Caius Choirbook, being represented by one work, a Magnificat, which is considered to be one of the most intricate and technically challenging works in the early tudor repertoire. He joined the Fraternity of St Nicholas (or the London Guild of Parish Clerks) in 1469. Of the other composers represnted in the Choirbook, Fayrfax and Prentes joined the Fraternity in 1502, Pasche in 1513, and Ludford in 1521. William Cornysh 'senior' joined in 1480.

No other biographical information on Turges has yet been unearthed, although his membership of the Guild indicates that he was working in or around London at this time. Roger Bowers has proposed that Turges's song From stormy wyndis may have been written around 1501, when Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon travelled to Ludlow shortly after their marriage, so the composer is likely to have died after this date.

A Partial Edmond Turges Discography   |   IV M: England Through 1635   |   Latin Church Music 1460-1575: The Composers