Purcell: The Complete Ayres for the Theatre

Purcell: The Complete Ayres for the Theatre

The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)


When Henry Purcell died suddenly on 21 November 1695 he left a good deal of unpublished music. The music publishing industry was still relatively undeveloped in England during his lifetime and by and large only those pieces that could easily be performed in the home—songs, catches, trio sonatas and keyboard pieces—got into print. In fact, Purcell’s death stimulated a burst of unprecedented activity: his keyboard suites were published in A Choice Collection of Lessons for the Harpsichord or Spinnet (1696), a second set of trio sonatas was issued as Ten Sonata’s in Four Parts (1697), one of his most popular concerted works, the Te Deum and Jubilate in D major, was published in score in 1697, and a large collection of his songs appeared in the two volumes of Orpheus Britannicus (1698 and 1706).

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