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Dido & Aenas
Henry Purcell
Purcell - a biography
Purcell remembered
Dido & Aeneas

Here I will present (not review) some of my Purcellian books

bulletPeter Holman: Henry Purcell. Oxford University Press. More info

From the back cover of the book:

"In recent years Purcell's biography has received a good deal of attention, but there has been little writing on his music; indeed, this book provides the first general survey since Sir Jack Westrup's 1937 volume in the Master Musicians series (new reissued by Oxford University Press). Furthermore it is the first book to explore in detail the historical context of Purcell's music, dealing fully with the institutions he worked for, the origin and development of the various genres to which he contributed, and the sources of his music. In the process, a new picture of Purcell's creative personality emerges: a composer obsessed with formal counterpoint, extraordinaly well-versed in English music of the previous century, yet eager to embrace up-to-date features of the Italian style in the 1680s."

bulletDido & Aeneas: Vocal and full score. Novello. More info.

Here is a link to play.com where you can buy this score

bulletJonathan Keates: Purcell - a biography. Pimlica. More info
bulletMichael Burden: Purcell remembered. Faber and Faber. More info

From the cover of the book:

"Purcell was the greatest ornament of English music in the seventeenth century, and has been a source of inspiration for British composers ever since. Michael Tippett, Benjamin Britten and Peter Maxwell Davies are among those who have expressed indebtedness to Purcell's musical genius. But the person of Henry Purcell has seemed shadowy; in his day there were no newspapers to illuminate his career, no colour supplements to delve into Frances Purcell's sitting room.

From the mass of assortet material that does excist Michael Burden has assiduously and cunningly devised a portrait of the composer both in his time and since, using diaries, letters, and official and published writings from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Many pieces thar are known in excerpts are given here in full and placed in context, including all of Purcell's prefaces and dedications, collected together for the first time. There is a comparative chronology of the period, a time of extreme political fragility in England. The fragility of Purcell's own life is bleakly evoked in the composer's final will, signed on the day he died, aged 36. As the views of musicians from the three hundred years since his death show, however the "English orpheus" remains a vital thread in his country's musical thought."

bulletArthur Hutchings: Purcell. BBC. More info.

From the back cover of the book:

"In this BBC music guide Arthur Hutchings offers a guide to the most important works of Purcell that we are likely to encounter in broadcasts and in the concert hall, and surveys the range and depth of his achievement."

bulletEllen T. Harris: Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Clarendon. More info

Coming soon

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Copyright © 2004 Tore Frantzvåg Steenslid
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