Henry Purcell

Baroque composer. Born 10 September 1659. Died 21 November 1695
Henry Purcell
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1659-09-10
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/ddea5540-2c7d-4266-8507-b367c2635d35
Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell Biography (BBC)

Born in London in 1659, Henry Purcell was the son of a musician in the retinue of Charles II, and it was royal service that was largely to be his world as well. By the time he was 10 he was a chorister at the Chapel Royal, and in 1673, when his voice broke, he became for a while an unpaid assistant to the keeper of the king’s instruments.

His first formal royal appointment came in 1677, when he was created composer-in-ordinary for the violins (in succession to Matthew Locke), and in 1682 he was appointed as one of the organists at the Chapel Royal. In between, he had also become organist of Westminster Abbey (in succession to his teacher and friend, John Blow).

The last years of Charles’s reign were when Purcell composed the bulk of his outstanding output of English church music, culminating in the superb anthems he supplied for the coronation of Charles’s successor, James II, in 1685. His court connections were also responsible for the numerous odes he composed for royal occasions such as birthdays and homecomings, an unpromising genre that he managed to raise to unwonted heights.

The 1680s also saw him beginning to write for the theatre, contributing songs and instrumental pieces to plays by such distinguished Restoration dramatists as Dryden, Congreve and D’Urfey. But it was in 1690 that his theatrical career really took off with the success of Dioclesian, his first venture into the peculiarly English genre of the time, known today as ‘semi-opera’, in which music is mixed with speech. This was followed over the next few years by three works – King Arthur (with words by Dryden); The Fairy Queen (loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream); and The Indian Queen (words again by Dryden) – all written in a similar style.

It is not clear for what purpose Purcell wrote his only through-composed opera, Dido and Aeneas; its first known performance was by pupils at a girls’ boarding school in Chelsea in 1689, but it may have been first produced as a court entertainment some years earlier.

Purcell occupies a central position in British music. More than 300 years after his death he is still arguably the country’s greatest composer, and his music continues to provide successors with both inspiration and a point of cultural identification. Apparent in his church music, stage works and solo songs alike are an exquisite talent for English word-setting, a gift for attractive melody and a capacity for searing expressiveness that have attracted commendation from his own time to ours; he was acclaimed in his own day as ‘the English Orpheus’ and Holst, Vaughan Williams, Britten and Tippett were among his greatest 20th-century admirers. His untimely death at the age of 36 left Britain without a native composer of genius until the arrival of Elgar two centuries later.

Profile © Lindsay Kemp

Henry Purcell Biography (Wikipedia)

Henry Purcell ( or; c. 10 September 1659 – 21 November 1695) was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no later native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton and Benjamin Britten in the 20th century.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Henry Purcell Performances & Interviews


Henry Purcell Tracks

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Henry Purcell
An Evening Hymn upon a Ground 'Now the sun hath veiled his light'
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An Evening Hymn upon a Ground 'Now the sun hath veiled his light'
Henry Purcell
An Evening Hymn, Z.193
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An Evening Hymn, Z.193
Henry Purcell
3 Fantasias In 4 Parts: Fantasia IV, June 10 1680
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3 Fantasias In 4 Parts: Fantasia IV, June 10 1680
Henry Purcell
Evening hymn
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Evening hymn

Evening hymn

Performer
Eamonn O’Dwyer (treble), Jane Coe (bass violin), David Miller (theorbo), Robert King (organ)
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas: 'Fear no Danger'
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Dido and Aeneas: 'Fear no Danger'
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas: 'When I am Laid in Earth' (Dido's Lament)
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Dido and Aeneas: 'When I am Laid in Earth' (Dido's Lament)
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas: 'Oft she visits this lone mountain'
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Dido and Aeneas: 'Oft she visits this lone mountain'
Henry Purcell
The Fairy Queen: Chaconne - Dance for Chinese Man and Woman
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The Fairy Queen: Chaconne - Dance for Chinese Man and Woman
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas: 'Ah, Belinda'
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Dido and Aeneas: 'Ah, Belinda'
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas: Overture
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Dido and Aeneas: Overture
Henry Purcell
Sonata - 1683 no. 9 in C minor Z.798 for 2 violins and continuo
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Sonata - 1683 no. 9 in C minor Z.798 for 2 violins and continuo
Henry Purcell
King Arthur (Chaconne)
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King Arthur (Chaconne)
Henry Purcell
Chacony in G minor, Z.730
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Chacony in G minor, Z.730

Chacony in G minor, Z.730

Ensemble
The Sixteen Orchestra
Henry Purcell
Duet 'Fear no Danger' from Dido & Aeneas
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Duet 'Fear no Danger' from Dido & Aeneas
Henry Purcell
"Thy hand Belinda…When I am laid in earth" (Dido and Aeneas)
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"Thy hand Belinda…When I am laid in earth" (Dido and Aeneas)
Henry Purcell
'Oft she visits this lone mountain' (Dido and Aeneas)
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'Oft she visits this lone mountain' (Dido and Aeneas)
Henry Purcell
Chaconne: Dance for Chinese Man and Woman (The Fairy Queen)
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Chaconne: Dance for Chinese Man and Woman (The Fairy Queen)
Henry Purcell
'Ah Belinda...' (Dido and Aeneas)
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'Ah Belinda...' (Dido and Aeneas)
Henry Purcell
Overture to 'Dido and Aeneas'
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Overture to 'Dido and Aeneas'
Henry Purcell
Hail, bright Cecilia (Symphony)
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Hail, bright Cecilia (Symphony)
Henry Purcell
Sound the trumpet (Come ye sons of art)
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Sound the trumpet (Come ye sons of art)
Henry Purcell
Music for a while (Oedipus)
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Music for a while (Oedipus)
Henry Purcell
Rondeau (Abdelazar)
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Rondeau (Abdelazar)
Henry Purcell
Chacony in G minor, Z730
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Chacony in G minor, Z730

Chacony in G minor, Z730

Ensemble
Psophos Quartet
Henry Purcell
Sound the trumpet (Come ye sons of art)
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Sound the trumpet (Come ye sons of art)
Henry Purcell
Curtain Tune (From Timon of Athens)
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Curtain Tune (From Timon of Athens)
Henry Purcell
Chacony in G minor, Z.730
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Chacony in G minor, Z.730
Henry Purcell
Sonata No.9 for 2 violins and continuo in F major (Z.810)
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Sonata No.9 for 2 violins and continuo in F major (Z.810)
Henry Purcell
The Duke of Gloucester's trumpet suite
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The Duke of Gloucester's trumpet suite
Henry Purcell
Sonata No.6 for 2 violins and continuo in G minor (Z.807)
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Sonata No.6 for 2 violins and continuo in G minor (Z.807)
Henry Purcell
Cold Song
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Cold Song

Cold Song

Singer
Nora Fischer
Marnix Dorestein
Last played on
Henry Purcell
Hornpipe; Air No 3; How blest are the shepherds; Chaconne (King Arthur)
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Hornpipe; Air No 3; How blest are the shepherds; Chaconne (King Arthur)
Henry Purcell
Rejoice in the Lord alway, Z 49, 'Bell Anthem'
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Rejoice in the Lord alway, Z 49, 'Bell Anthem'
Henry Purcell
Suite in G major
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Suite in G major
Henry Purcell
'Twas within a furlong of Edinboro' town
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'Twas within a furlong of Edinboro' town
Henry Purcell
Fairest Isle
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Fairest Isle
Henry Purcell
Bess of Bedlam
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Bess of Bedlam
Henry Purcell
In the black dismal dungeon of despair
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In the black dismal dungeon of despair
Henry Purcell
Sound the Trumpet/Lost is my Quiet
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Sound the Trumpet/Lost is my Quiet
Henry Purcell
The Fairy Queen: Overture
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The Fairy Queen: Overture
Henry Purcell
Chacony (Z.730) in G minor arr. Britten
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Chacony (Z.730) in G minor arr. Britten
Henry Purcell
If music be the food of love (Z.379)
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If music be the food of love (Z.379)
Henry Purcell
Whilst I with Grief (The Spanish Friar, Z 610)
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Whilst I with Grief (The Spanish Friar, Z 610)

Whilst I with Grief (The Spanish Friar, Z 610)

Conductor
Singer
Johane Ansell
Ensemble
Aradia Baroque Ensemble
Choir of the King's Consort, Robert King, & Henry Purcell
Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts
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Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts

Performer
Choir of the King's Consort, Robert King,
Henry Purcell
Fantazia upon one note in F, Z.745
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Fantazia upon one note in F, Z.745
Henry Purcell
Moonlight on the Green - Scotch Tune
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Moonlight on the Green - Scotch Tune
Henry Purcell
Sound the Trumpet
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Sound the Trumpet

Sound the Trumpet

Orchestra
Oriana Concert Orchestra
Henry Purcell
An Evening Hymn
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An Evening Hymn
Henry Purcell
King Arthur (Overture)
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King Arthur (Overture)
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Playlists featuring Henry Purcell


Past BBC Events

Proms 2018: Prom 20: Ten Pieces Prom
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ebhz3d
Royal Albert Hall
2018-07-29T14:37:24
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29
Jul
2018
Proms 2018: Prom 20: Ten Pieces Prom

Proms 2018: Prom 20: Ten Pieces Prom

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 2018: Prom 19: Ten Pieces Prom
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e94wxj
Royal Albert Hall
2018-07-29T14:37:24
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/208x117/p061r7gy.jpg
29
Jul
2018
Proms 2018: Prom 19: Ten Pieces Prom

Proms 2018: Prom 19: Ten Pieces Prom

Royal Albert Hall

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