Danby, John


Famous English glee composer, of whom very little is known. He was a pupil of Samuel Webbe, and for several years was organist of the chapel of the Spanish embassy, London. He gained ten prizes from the Catch Club for eight glees, two canons and an ode, written between 1781 and 1794. In all he wrote about ninety-two glees, three books of them having been published in his life-time and a fourth after his death. Among his most popular glees are When Sappho Tun'd; Awake  Eolian Lyre, which is considered his best; The Nightingale; and Let Gaiety Sparkle. He belonged to the pastoral school of Atterbury, Paxton and Spofforth rather than to that of Calcott and Webbe. His style is smooth and graceful and his glees are all charming. He died in London and is buried in Old St. Pancras cemetery, a monument having been raised to his memory.