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Emma Kirkby on Henry Purcell

Soprano Emma Kirkby chooses an English composer who died aged 36, Henry Purcell. With Matthew Parris. From 2014.

Soprano Emma Kirkby discusses the life of English composer Henry Purcell with Matthew Parris.

Despite dying at the age of 36, Purcell was arguably the first composer to become a national figure, as shown by his funeral at Westminster Abbey. Living through turbulent times, and through the reign of three monarchs, Purcell had to cope with shifting Catholic and Protestant regimes while producing a steady output of religious music. But he also did some of his most memorable and enduring work for the commercial theatre. Few composers have set the English language to music so felicitously.

After his death, Britain produced few world class composers for 200 years. To discuss his legacy, Emma and Matthew are joined by Purcell scholar Michael Burden

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Fri 28 Feb 2020 00:30


Role Contributor
Presenter Matthew Parris
Interviewed Guest Emma Kirkby
Interviewed Guest Michael Burden
Producer Jolyon Jenkins


  • Tue 20 May 2014 16:30
  • Fri 23 May 2014 23:00
  • Thu 27 Feb 2020 18:30
  • Fri 28 Feb 2020 00:30

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