Composer of the Week: Henry Purcell
The life and times of the English Baroque composer
Henry Purcell (1659-1695) died at an early age, but in his short life achieved wide and lasting acclaim. He lived through a time of religious and political upheaval, and composed for the courts of four different monarchs.
This week, as part of BBC Radio 3’s Baroque Spring, Donald MacLeod provides five snapshots into the composer’s life and times.
The first is from the very end of his life: Purcell’s death at the age of just 36 shocked and dismayed patrons of his music, and was to have large repercussions.
The episode goes back to explore works from the beginning of the composer’s maturity in 1679-80 and watches him succeed to the position of organist at Westminster Abbey aged just 19.