Music in History

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Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695).

Henry Purcell is considered one of the greatest native born English composers before Edward Elgar (1857-1934). Although he incorporated Italian and French elements in his music he had an "English" style. He wrote operas, anthems, does., among others.

The Purcell was born in London.  His younger  brother Daniel was also a composer. Indeed  he completed the Henry's opera "The Indian Queen" after his early death.
When his father died, in 1664, his uncle, Thomas Purcell, a musician of the Royal Chapel, placed  him under his guardianship and  he  placed him as a chorister in the Chapel Royal.
He studied and sang  there  as a chorister until his voice broke  in 1673  when he  became assistant to the organ builder, John Chingkston.

He was a student of  John Blow (1649-1708). In 1679, Blow, who had been appointed organist of Westminster Abbey in 1669, resigned his office in favour of his pupil. Since then , Henry devoted himself to the composition of religious works. Until that time he  had written  plenty of  works, including  his  most famous opera "Dido and Aeneas" (libretto in English).
He got  married  during 1682. Soon after his marriage he was appointed organist of the Chapel Royal, an office which he hold  simultaneously  with the same position at  the Abbey.

from wikipedia the free encyclopedia
"His first printed composition, Twelve Sonatas, was published in 1683. For some years after this, he was busy in the production of sacred music, odes addressed to the king and royal family, and other similar works. In 1685, he wrote two of his finest anthems, I was glad and My heart is inditing, for the coronation of King James II. In 1690 he composed a setting of the birthday ode for Queen Mary, Arise, my muse and four years later wrote one of his most elaborate, important and magnificent works – a setting for another birthday ode for the Queen, written by Nahum Tate, entitled Come Ye Sons of Art."

He died at the age of 35.

                                      Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

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