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Classical Notes

Happy 350th, Henry Purcell

Posted at 4:42 PM on September 10, 2009 by Rex Levang (1 Comments)
Filed under: Musician stories

Two video tributes to Henry Purcell, on his 350th birthday. This aria from "Dido and Aeneas" is his most famous composition, with the possible exception of the theme that Benjamin Britten used in his "Young Person's Guide."

The first version features Janet Baker, and comes from the 1960s, if you didn't guess from the b/w photography and vintage costuming. But it's still capable of causing a shiver. The second is engrossing in its own right, unusual instrument and all.

Comments (1)

The theremin seems the perfect modern cum renaissance instrument. It's very singerly, like a bel canto instrument with pitch, vibrato, crescendo, everything so ready "at hand" to respond to the player's instincts. It reaches far back into the deep traditions of classical music in a way that most modern electronic and computer driven music doesn't. Unfortunately, its legacy is that of a novelty spook instrument used in grade b movies. It really deserves better. .

Posted by Tomasino | September 15, 2009 9:29 AM