John Blow - Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell


Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell, for 2 male altos, 2 recorders, viol, & continuo

The commemoration of the death of a fellow creative artist by the writing of an ode was a long and well-established practice by the time of Purcell's premature death in 1695. The brilliant young master was widely mourned, and many shared the sentiments expressed in John Dryden's tribute to the composer: "So ceas'd the rival crew when Purcell came, They sung no more, or only sung his fame." Few were more affected by Purcell's than John Blow, who not only taught the youthful Purcell, but became his close friend. (Blow's esteem for Purcell was such that he resigned from the post of organist of Westminster Abbey so that it could be assumed by Purcell.) It was therefore entirely fitting that Blow would not only set Dryden's ode to music, but do so in a manner that places it among the composer's most affecting works.

Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell is scored for two male altos, accompaniment by a pair of alto recorders, viol, and bass continuo. Blow's most extended work for solo voices, it is structured as a continuous sequence of arias and duets, with a central recitative. The sense of loss reflected in the work climaxes with the eloquent setting of the final lines, "The Gods are pleas'd alone with Purcell's Layes, Nor know to mend their Choice."

- Rita Laurance (


    Последние изменения в документе сделаны 27/10/2016 22:15:53

Главная страница