The 300th anniversary of Henry Purcell's death in 1995 stimulated a good deal of new research into his music, its sources, performance, reception and cultural context. The 23 articles in this volume have been chosen by Peter Holman as a representative selection of the best scholarly writing over the last few decades, featuring most of the leading Purcell scholars, including Curtis Price, Robert Thompson, Robert Shay, Bruce Wood, Rebecca Herissone, and Christopher Hogwood, though it also includes some earlier classic articles, by Michael Tilmouth, Richard Luckett, Margaret Laurie and others. The four sections are 'Biography and Contexts', 'Sources, Editing and Publishing', 'Styles, Genres and Compositional Process', and 'Performance, Performance Practice and Reception'. Peter Holman's introduction explores the history of Purcell scholarship, reviews its present state, comments on the significance of the articles, and offers a prospect for the future.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Biography and Contexts: Only Purcell e're shall equal Blow, Bruce Wood; The Italian connection: Giovanni Battista Draghi and Henry Purcell, Peter Holman; Purcell's stage singers and Purcell's stage singers: a documentary list, Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson; 'He had the honour to be your master': Lady Rhoda Cavendish's music lessons with Henry Purcell, Michael Burden; Letter from Aleppo: dating the Chelsea School performance of Dido and Aeneas, Bryan White. Part II Sources, Editing and Dissemination: Manuscript music in Purcell's London, Robert Thompson; Creating the corpus: the 'complete keyboard music' of Henry Purcell, Christopher Hogwood; The Fairy Queen: a fresh look at the issues, Bruce Wood and Andrew Pinnock; Newly discovered autograph keyboard music of Purcell and Draghi, Curtis Price; Purcell's Rejoice in the Lord, all ways, Lionel Pike; Robert Pindar, Thomas Busby, and the mysterious scoring of Henry Purcell's Come Ye Sons of Art, Rebecca Herissone. Part III Styles, Genres and Compositional Process: The technique and forms of Purcell's sonatas, Michael Tilmouth; Purcell's extended solo songs, Margaret Laurie; Purcell's Laudate Ceciliam: an essay in stylistic experimentation, Martin Adams; Purcell's revisions to the funeral sentences revisited, Robert Shay; Compositional choices in Henry Purcell's Three Parts Upon a Ground, Peter Holman; Composition as an act of performance: artifice and expression in Purcell's sacred partsong Since God So Tender a Regard, Alan Howard; 'Fowle originalls' and 'fayre writeing': reconsidering Purcell's compositional process, Rebecca Herissone. Part IV Performance, Performance Practice and Reception: The Shakespeare-Purcell Fairy Queen: a defence and recommendation, Roger Savage; Continuity and tempo in Purcell's vocal works, A. Margaret Laurie; The first performance of Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary, Bruce Wood; 'Or rather our musical Shakespeare': Charles Burney's Purcell, Richard Luckett; Purcell debauch'd: the Dramatick Operas in performance, Michael Burden; Name Index.