Philip ap Rhys (Ryce)

(fl. 1545-1560)

Philip ap Rhys (Ryce), was probably a Welsh composer. He succeeded John Redford as organist at St Paul's Cathedral in 1547, having previously been organist of St Mary-at-the-Hill, Billingsgate; along with Redford and Thomas Preston he was an important keyboard composer of the time. His music includes an alternatim organ-Mass for Trinity Sunday and a setting of the Offertory chant Felix namque; his style is notable for its strongly contrasted rhythms.

His organ-Mass appears in a manuscript, where he is described as 'off St Poules, in London,' which otherwise contains a group of twenty anonymous, undated organ hymn-settings using as a cantus firmus a faburden derived from a plainsong melody, and two of the earliest known keyboard duets, one by Nicholas Carleton and one by Thomas Tomkins.

The organ-Mass is the sole surviving reasonably complete example of the genre in England.

IV M: England Through 1635   |  English Keyboard Composers Index