The King was in a position to set an example of musical patronage to his subjects and offer opportunities greater than any other person. Odes for royal birthdays, weddings, the welcome of state dignitaries and a host of other occasions became an important new source for compositions. The great and rapid popularity for the theatre also brought new areas in which composers could exercise their talents. Just as Purcell began his musical career as a chorister of the Chapel Royal, John Blow too, at the Restoration, came to London from his native Nottinghamshire, joining a choir whose members included Pelham Humfrey and Michael Wise, under the direction of Henry Cooke.
See Article History Henry Purcell, born c. Purcell, the most important English composer of his time, composed music covering a wide field: In all these branches of composition he showed an obvious admiration for the past combined with a willingness to learn from the present, particularly from his contemporaries in Italy.
With alertness of mind went an individual inventiveness that marked him as the most original English composer of his time as well as one of the most original in Europe. His father was a gentleman of the Chapel Royalin which musicians for the royal service were trained, and the son received his earliest education there as a chorister.
From to he tuned the organ at Westminster Abbey and was employed there in —76 to copy organ parts of anthems. A further appointment as one of the three organists of the Chapel Royal followed in He married in or and had at least six children, three of whom died in infancy. Purcell seems to have spent all his life in Westminster.
Daniel Purcell had also been brought up as a chorister in the Chapel Royal and was organist of Magdalen College, Oxford, from to The nine four-part fantasias all bear dates in the summer ofand the others can hardly be later. Purcell was here reviving a form of music that was already out of date and doing it with the skill of a veteran.
Probably about the same time he started to work on a more fashionable type of instrumental An introduction to the life and history of henry purcell series of sonatas for two violins, bass viol, and organ or harpsichord.
Twelve of these were published inwith a dedication to Charles II, and a further nine, together with a chaconne for the same combination, were issued by his widow in Possibly he lacked experience in writing for voices, at any rate on the scale required for works of this kind; or else he had not yet achieved the art of cloaking insipid words in significant music.
By he had acquired a surer touch, and from that time untilwhen he wrote the last of his birthday odes for Queen Mary, he produced a series of compositions for the court in which the vitality of the music makes it easy to ignore the poverty of the words.
The same qualities are apparent in the last of his odes for St. Most of his theatre music consists simply of instrumental music and songs interpolated into spoken drama, though occasionally there were opportunities for more extended musical scenes.
From that time until his death, he was constantly employed in writing music for the public theatres. In these works Purcell showed not only a lively sense of comedy but also a gift of passionate musical expression that is often more exalted than the words. The tendency to identify himself still more closely with the Italian style is very noticeable in the later dramatic works, which often demand considerable agility from the soloists.
His son Edward was also a musician, as was Edward’s son Edward Henry (died ). Purcell seems to have spent all his life in Westminster. Henry Purcell, author of Dido and Aeneas [sound recording], on LibraryThing LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. The Purcell Society, founded in (principally by William Hayman Cummings) is an organization dedicated to making the complete musical works of Henry Purcell available. Between and , scores of all the known works of Purcell were published, .
Some of his church music may be earlier than that, but it is not possible to assign definite dates. The decline of the Chapel Royal during the reigns of James II and of William and Mary may have been responsible for the comparatively few works he produced during that period, or, alternatively, he may have been so busy with stage music and odes that he had little time or inclination for church music.
The style of his full anthems, like that of the fantasias, shows a great respect for older traditions. His verse anthems, on the other hand, were obviously influenced, in the first instance, by his master at the Chapel Royal, Pelham Humfreywho had acquired a knowledge of Continental styles when he was sent abroad to study in the mids.
The most notable feature of these latter works is the use of expressive vocal declamation that is pathetic without being mawkish. The same characteristics appear in the sacred songs he wrote for private performance. Of these the anthem is the more impressive; the Te Deum and Jubilate suffers on the whole from a forced brilliance that seems to have faded with the passage of time.
Many of the songs are quite substantial pieces, incorporating recitative and arias on the lines of the Italian solo cantata. A favourite device used widely by Purcell in his secular music, though rarely in his anthems, was the ground bass a short melodic phrase repeated over and over again as a bass line, with varying music for the upper parts.
The chaconne in the second set of sonatas uses the same technique with impressive results. Works of this kind represent the composer at the height of his capacity. Purcell seems to have abandoned instrumental chamber music after his early years.
His keyboard music forms an even smaller part of his work: After his death his widow published a collection of his harpsichord piecesinstrumental music for the theatreand the Te Deum and Jubilate ; and the publisher Henry Playford issued a two-volume collection of songs titled Orpheus Britannicus andwhich went through three editions, last appearing at midth century.
The first volume was published inthe second in From to volumes appeared at intervals. Then the scheme was in abeyance untilwhen a volume of miscellaneous odes and cantatas was published. It was finally completed in 32 volumes in Revision of earlier volumes proceeded simultaneously with the issue of later ones, beginning with a revised edition of Dioclesian in Henry Purcell, author of Dido and Aeneas [sound recording], on LibraryThing LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist.
Henry Purcell () is the greatest of all English composers and a pivotal figure in European musical history. In this rich and colorful biography, Jonathan Keates deftly traces Purcell's life and artistry against the backdrop of the turbulent political, religious, theatrical, and social movements of his time.5/5(1).
Purcell Studies is a collection of twelve essays by leading authorities on the music of Henry Purcell (). Many of the contributors are active as editors for the collected edition of Purcell's music, and have published important books and articles on the composer.
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The Purcell-Campbell Debate: An Introduction. When John B. Purcell, the Catholic bishop of Cincinnati, and Alexander Campbell, a leader in the American Protestant restoration movement known as the Disciples of Christ, met in mid-January in Cincinnati to debate the truths of Christian theology, it was only the second time they had encountered each other in person.
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