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Composer Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell - Small Photo
1659 – 1695

An English organist and composer of secular and sacred music, Purcell is considered to be the all-time greatest setter of the English language to music.  Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of the Baroque style.  He wrote a vast number of anthems, as well as service music, for the Anglican liturgy, and was also very active in writing music for the theatre, composing a number of Masques, or Semi-operas, including King Arthur, The Fairy Queene, and Diocletian. He is also credited with the first great English-language opera, Dido and Aeneas. After his death, his contemporaries honored him with the epithet "The British Orpheus."  (Read more: Wikipedia article.)


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