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Purcell - The Londoner

Charles Hazlewood explores the lives of great composers. Seminal figure Henry Purcell is celebrated, from his tavern songs to sacred music and stage works.

In this series, conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the development of British music through the lives, times and works of four great composers, each with a major anniversary in 2009.

The first programme celebrates the music of Henry Purcell, one of the most seminal but mysterious figures of British musical history. Charles investigates what life would have been like for a composer in 17th-century London through a wide range of Purcell's music, from the vast but often overlooked output of tavern songs to his glorious sacred music and pioneering stage works such as Dido and Aeneas. He discovers how Purcell's work is still central to British life today, visiting the Grenadier Guards at Wellington Barracks and attending the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.

Music is performed by Charles Hazlewood's own ensemble, Army of Generals, as well as renowned musicians including Sir John Tomlinson and the Choir of Westminster Abbey.

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 30 Apr 2017 19:00

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:33

    Henry Purcell

    Dido & Aeneas: Overture

    Orchestra: Armonico Consort. Conductor: Christopher Monks.


Role Contributor
Presenter Charles Hazlewood
Series Producer Helen Mansfield
Director Andy King-Dabbs


  • Sat 9 May 2009 20:00
  • Mon 11 May 2009 20:00
  • Sat 25 Jul 2009 21:55
  • Fri 25 Jun 2010 20:00
  • Sat 26 Jun 2010 03:00
  • Sat 21 Aug 2010 20:30
  • Fri 17 Feb 2012 19:30
  • Fri 2 Nov 2012 20:20
  • Sun 30 Apr 2017 19:00