The Ashgate Research Companion to Henry Purcell provides a comprehensive and authoritative review of current research into Purcell and the environment of Restoration music, with contributions from leading experts in the field. Seen from the perspective of modern, interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship, the companion allows the reader to develop a rounded view of the environment in which Purcell lived, the people with whom he worked, the social conditions that influenced his activities, and the ways in which the modern perception of him has been affected by reception of his music after his death. In this sense the contributions do not privilege the individual over the environment: rather, they use the modern reader's familiarity with Purcell's music as a gateway into the broader Restoration world. Topics include a reassessment of our understanding of Purcell's sources and the transmission of his music; new ways of approaching the study of his creative methods; performance practice; the multi-faceted theatre environment in which his work was focused in the last five years of his life; the importance of the political and social contexts of late seventeenth-century England; and the ways in which the performance history and reception of his music have influenced modern appreciation of the composer. The book will be essential reading for anyone studying the music and culture of the seventeenth century.
'… this volume would readily supplement collections on music in the English Restoration period. Recommended.' Choice 'Dr Herissone has assembled a team of distinguished scholars to produce a companion to Purcell's music for the 21st century. The strength of The Ashgate Research Companion to Henry Purcell is not just its encyclopaedic summary of Purcell scholarship to date, but the suggestions for potentially rewarding areas for future research. Time and again we read that a topic or an area has "potential as a field for further investigation": this is a strength not a fault of the book. Scholars and students of Purcell and his contemporaries will find this Companion an invaluable reference tool and source of information for years to come.' Jonathan Wainwright, University of York, UK 'The fact that so much has been written about Purcell and his music during the last two decades makes The Ashgate Research Companion to Henry Purcell a timely publication. But it is much more than timely: it dovetails deft and in-depth syntheses of recent research about Purcell with considerable new insights provided by the authors of the individual chapters. This clever integration brings our early 21st-century picture of Purcell into high-definition. Simply put, the Companion expands the list of important writings about Purcell it seeks to chronicle.' Robert Shay, University of Missouri, USA 'The Research Companion is well and engagingly written in a style that goes beyond its intention ’to provide a comprehensive review of current research in the field’… It will make an agreeable companion to anyone with an intelligent interest in the music of Purcell and his time.' British Institute of Organ Studies '… [the volume] is very well researched and documented as well as being eminently readable… there are excellent footnotes as well as a thorough bibliography and index of the works… a useful addition to research libraries.' Reference Reviews 'Herissone and her authors s
Contents: Introduction, Rebecca Herissone; Sources and transmission, Robert Thompson; Understanding creativity, Alan Howard; Performance practices, Stephen Rose; Theatre culture, Andrew Pinnock; Politics, occasions and texts, Andrew R. Walkling; Society and disorder, Amanda Eubanks Winkler; Performance history and reception, Rebecca Herissone; Bibliography; Indexes.