Often cited as the single greatest musical talent England has ever produced, Henry Purcell was one of the most important composers of the Baroque era. In an age where musical domination slowly developed in France, Germany and particularly Italy, Purcell was Englandís flagship composer of the time, almost single-handedly ensuring the countriesí place alongside them as a region of the musical elite.
Aside from his masterpieces Dido and Aeneas and The Fairy Queen, Purcellís output is surprisingly rarely performed, but commonly used in other contexts. Films such as A Clockwork Orange use the power of such pieces as the Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary to great dramatic effect.
Unfortunately for the world of music, Purcell died at the very peak of his powers, at the age of just 36. Various reasons are given for his death, perhaps the most intriguing being that he returned home on a cold night only to find his jealous wife had locked him out Ė subsequently catching a chill which developed into pneumonia.
Music on the Death of Queen Mary, Remember not, Lord, our offences Z 50, O God, the King of glory Z 34
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