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Purcell (Master Musicians)
ISBN 0198165463 / 9780198165460 / 0-19-816546-3
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
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Celebrating its 100th anniversary, this extraordinary series continues to amaze and captivate its readers with detailed insight into the lives and work of music's geniuses. Unlike other composer biographies that focus narrowly on the music, this series explores the personal history of each composer and the social context surrounding the music. In a precise, engaging, and authoritative manner, each volume combines a vivid portrait of the master musicians' inspirations, influences, life experiences, even their weaknesses, with an accessible discussion of their work-all in roughly 300 pages. Further, each volume offers superb reference material, including a detailed life and times chronology, a complete list of works, a personalia glossary highlighting the important people in the composer's life, and a select bibliography. Under the supervision of music expert and series general editor Stanley Sadie, Master Musicians will certainly proceed to delight music scholars, serious musicians, and all music lovers for another hundred years.
In this classic study, reissued on the 300th anniversary of Purcell's death, Sir Jack Westrup drew on documentary evidence from the Court, Westminster Abbey, and other sources to give a vivid account of Purcell's life in seventeenth-century London. The range of Purcell's compositions is also fully covered, from small-scale pieces to music for state occasions and works for the Restoration stage. [via]