Jonathan Keates Purcell: A Biography

ISBN 13: 9780571249091

Purcell: A Biography

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9780571249091: Purcell: A Biography
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In the chaos of the English Civil War and Puritan Commonwealth, churches were defaced and organs broken, but the tradition of fine music survived. When Charles II returned from exile in 1660, one of the first things he demanded was music, sacred and profane, anthems and motets, pavannes and gavottes. In 1659 Henry Purcell was born, and his genius would give the period and nation an unforgettable voice. Jonathan Keates traces Purcell's development against the turbulent movements of his time - political, religious, theatrical and social. He shows him growing up in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and follows him as a chorister in the Chapel Royal, copying the innovative and colourful style of Matthew Locke; beginning to composer for the theatre, and for State occasions; writing his great settings of sacred music, his chamber sonatas, and his triumphant Dido and Aeneas, the first British opera. In the background are the heady politics of Restoration England, which expelled the Stuart James II and brought William and Mary to the throne. But almost more important is the rich musical history, the influence of French and Italian composers, blending with and modifying the native tradition. We know and love Purcell through his work; his songs were sung in taverns, his psalms in churches; he was urbane and witty, impassioned and profound. This engrossing biography is as remarkable for its sensitive critical appreciation of Purcell's music, in all its forms, as it is for its vivid portrait of the man, and the boisterous age in which he lived.

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About the Author:

The distinguished writer Jonathan Keates (b.1946) has written several acclaimed biographies and travel books, and his novel Allegro Postillions won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. Keates also reviews regularly for the Sunday Telegraph and teaches English at the City of London School.

From Library Journal:

The past three years have seen a veritable flood of tercentennial monographs on the life and works of Henry Purcell, England's preeminent 17th-century composer. Like Maureen Duffy's excellent biography (Henry Purcell, LJ 6/15/96), Keates's work is a marvel of insightful research and witty, elegant prose. The author is no stranger to British baroque music; his biography of George Frederick Handel (Handel: the Man & His Music, Trafalgar Square, 1993) is widely respected for its scholarly authority. In the present volume, Keates, with far fewer hard facts at his disposal, is nonetheless able to conjure up a vivid picture of Purcell's life and achievements amid the turbulent political and musical spheres of the English Restoration. No musical examples are provided, but Keates helpfully points the reader toward recent analytical studies. An excellent, thorough index of Purcell's works is included, in addition to the general index. This is another fine addition to the welcome wave of Purcellania. Smaller music collections that passed on Duffy's work would do well to buy this volume; larger collections should consider both works.
Larry A. Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In the chaos of the English Civil War and Puritan Commonwealth, churches were defaced and organs broken, but the tradition of fine music survived. When Charles II returned from exile in 1660, one of the first things he demanded was music, sacred and profane, anthems and motets, pavannes and gavottes. In 1659 Henry Purcell was born, and his genius would give the period and nation an unforgettable voice. Jonathan Keates traces Purcell s development against the turbulent movements of his time - political, religious, theatrical and social. He shows him growing up in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and follows him as a chorister in the Chapel Royal, copying the innovative and colourful style of Matthew Locke; beginning to composer for the theatre, and for State occasions; writing his great settings of sacred music, his chamber sonatas, and his triumphant Dido and Aeneas, the first British opera. In the background are the heady politics of Restoration England, which expelled the Stuart James II and brought William and Mary to the throne. But almost more important is the rich musical history, the influence of French and Italian composers, blending with and modifying the native tradition. We know and love Purcell through his work; his songs were sung in taverns, his psalms in churches; he was urbane and witty, impassioned and profound. This engrossing biography is as remarkable for its sensitive critical appreciation of Purcell s music, in all its forms, as it is for its vivid portrait of the man, and the boisterous age in which he lived. Seller Inventory # AAV9780571249091

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In the chaos of the English Civil War and Puritan Commonwealth, churches were defaced and organs broken, but the tradition of fine music survived. When Charles II returned from exile in 1660, one of the first things he demanded was music, sacred and profane, anthems and motets, pavannes and gavottes. In 1659 Henry Purcell was born, and his genius would give the period and nation an unforgettable voice. Jonathan Keates traces Purcell s development against the turbulent movements of his time - political, religious, theatrical and social. He shows him growing up in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and follows him as a chorister in the Chapel Royal, copying the innovative and colourful style of Matthew Locke; beginning to composer for the theatre, and for State occasions; writing his great settings of sacred music, his chamber sonatas, and his triumphant Dido and Aeneas, the first British opera. In the background are the heady politics of Restoration England, which expelled the Stuart James II and brought William and Mary to the throne. But almost more important is the rich musical history, the influence of French and Italian composers, blending with and modifying the native tradition. We know and love Purcell through his work; his songs were sung in taverns, his psalms in churches; he was urbane and witty, impassioned and profound. This engrossing biography is as remarkable for its sensitive critical appreciation of Purcell s music, in all its forms, as it is for its vivid portrait of the man, and the boisterous age in which he lived. Seller Inventory # AAV9780571249091

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