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 (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

Henry Purcell
Nymphs and shepherds (The Libertine)
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Nymphs and shepherds (The Libertine)

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Henry Purcell
Symphony [Sonata while the sun rises] (The Fairy Queen)
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Symphony [Sonata while the sun rises] (The Fairy Queen)
Henry Purcell
Thy hand, Belinda... When I am laid (Dido and Aeneas)
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Thy hand, Belinda... When I am laid (Dido and Aeneas)
Henry Purcell
Remember not, Lord, our offences, Z.50
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Remember not, Lord, our offences, Z.50
Henry Purcell
Chacony
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Chacony
Henry Purcell
The Fairy Queen (O let me weep (The Plaint)
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The Fairy Queen (O let me weep (The Plaint)
Henry Purcell
I will give thanks unto the Lord
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I will give thanks unto the Lord

I will give thanks unto the Lord

Performer
Andrew Parnell
Choir
St Albans Abbey Choir
Orchestra
Michael Wise
Psalms 142, 143
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Psalms 142, 143

Psalms 142, 143

Performer
Andrew Parnell
Choir
St Albans Abbey Choir
Orchestra
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas
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Dido and Aeneas
Henry Purcell
Sonata no. 6 in G minor, Z. 807
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Sonata no. 6 in G minor, Z. 807
Henry Purcell
A New Ground in E minor
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A New Ground in E minor
Henry Purcell
Three parts upon a ground Z.731
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Three parts upon a ground Z.731
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
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
Man that is born of a woman from Funeral Music for Queen Mary
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Man that is born of a woman from Funeral Music for Queen Mary
Henry Purcell
Evening Hymn
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Evening Hymn

Evening Hymn

Music Arranger
Silas Wolston
Ensemble
Last played on
Henry Purcell
O Solitude, my Sweetest Choice
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O Solitude, my Sweetest Choice
Henry Purcell
Celia Has A Thousand Charms
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Celia Has A Thousand Charms
Henry Purcell
Remember not, Lord, our offences
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Remember not, Lord, our offences
Henry Purcell
When I Am Laid In Earth
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When I Am Laid In Earth
Henry Purcell
Oedipus, King of Thebes, Z. 583: Music for a while (arr. R. Boothby)
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Oedipus, King of Thebes, Z. 583: Music for a while (arr. R. Boothby)
Henry Purcell
Come Ye Sons of Art - The Day That Such a Blessing
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Come Ye Sons of Art - The Day That Such a Blessing
Henry Purcell
Three Parts upon a Ground
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Three Parts upon a Ground
Henry Purcell
King Arthur (Overture)
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King Arthur (Overture)
Henry Purcell
Awake, and with attention hear for bass and continuo (Z.181)
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Awake, and with attention hear for bass and continuo (Z.181)
Henry Purcell
King Arthur (End of Act 2)
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King Arthur (End of Act 2)
Henry Purcell
Music for a While (Oedipus, Z.583, Act 3)
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Music for a While (Oedipus, Z.583, Act 3)
Henry Purcell
Hail, Bright Cecilia: Ode for St Cecilia's Day, Z.328
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Hail, Bright Cecilia: Ode for St Cecilia's Day, Z.328
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
The Duke of Gloucester's trumpet suite
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The Duke of Gloucester's trumpet suite
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas - opera in 3 acts Z.626
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Dido and Aeneas - opera in 3 acts Z.626
Henry Purcell
Sonata for trumpet and strings, Z 850
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Sonata for trumpet and strings, Z 850
Henry Purcell
Fantazia à 3 No 3 in G minor
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Fantazia à 3 No 3 in G minor
Henry Purcell
Music for a while
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Music for a while
Henry Purcell
Now that the sun hath veiled his light, Z. 193, "An Evening Hymn on a Ground"
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Now that the sun hath veiled his light, Z. 193, "An Evening Hymn on a Ground"
Henry Purcell
Music For A While
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Music For A While
Henry Purcell
Sound the trumpet (Come ye sons of art)
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Sound the trumpet (Come ye sons of art)
Henry Purcell
King Arthur (Chaconne)
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King Arthur (Chaconne)
Henry Purcell
Sonata No 7 for 2 violins in E minor, Z796
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Sonata No 7 for 2 violins in E minor, Z796
Henry Purcell
Fantasia in C minor for 4 viols Z.738
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Fantasia in C minor for 4 viols Z.738
Henry Purcell
From silent shades (Bess of Bedlam Z.370)
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From silent shades (Bess of Bedlam Z.370)
Henry Purcell
Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Z. 792: III. Poco largo. Allegro
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Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Z. 792: III. Poco largo. Allegro
Henry Purcell
Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Z. 792: II. Canzona. [Allegro] - Adagio
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Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Z. 792: II. Canzona. [Allegro] - Adagio
Henry Purcell
Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Z. 792: I. [Sans indication] . Adagio
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Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Z. 792: I. [Sans indication] . Adagio
Henry Purcell
Come, ye sons of art, away, Z.323 (extract)
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Come, ye sons of art, away, Z.323 (extract)
Henry Purcell
One charming night (The Fairy Queen)
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One charming night (The Fairy Queen)
Henry Purcell
Moonlight on the Green - Scotch Tune
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Moonlight on the Green - Scotch Tune
Henry Purcell
Rondeau (Abdelazar)
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Rondeau (Abdelazar)

Rondeau (Abdelazar)

Ensemble
Brandenburg Consort
Conductor
Henry Purcell
Sonata for Trumpet and Strings in D, Z850
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Sonata for Trumpet and Strings in D, Z850
Henry Purcell
Ground in C minor ZD. 221
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Ground in C minor ZD. 221
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Past BBC Events

Proms 2018: Prom 20: Ten Pieces Prom
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ebhz3d
Royal Albert Hall
2018-07-29T16:22:46
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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
2018-07-29T16:22:46
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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