Born: 1659, Westminster, England
Died: 1695, Westminster, England
HENRY PURCELL is, arguably, England’s most famous composer. The son of a court musician, organist of Westminster Abbey at a mere 20 years of age, and the recipient of royal appointments by three different kings, he is considered one of the most original and prodigious composers of his – or any – time.
Although he incorporated French and Italian elements into his writing, his compositions would come to define the English Baroque style. Purcell’s relatively short life produced a broad repertoire, including sacred music, theater music and opera, fantasies and sonatas for keyboard, and vocal and chamber music – much of which endures in popularity and recognition to this day.
Chacony for Strings (c. 1678)
Academy of Ancient Music
Christopher Hogwood (Philips)
Dido and Aeneas (1689)
Taverner Players and Choir; soloists
Andrew Parrott (Avie)