"If music be the food of love, play on!" - William Shakespeare

Henry Purcell

Westminster Abbey is not just the place where British monarchs were crowned, it's also the place where many English great men were burried. Among those was also Henry Purcell. This final resting place had a double meaning for him: firstly, with his status as a composer he deserved a spot in the abbey, but secondly this was also the location where he worked during the reign of Charles II and William & Mary.  Most people will recognise the last aria of Purcell's beloved opera Dido and Aeneas: "Remember me, but ah! forget my fate." More abstract, but less trenchant are his brilliant Fantasias (for viola da gamba) which Purcell composed in the early 1680s. These are small, at times daringly expirimental works, which he carefully dated. Yet, Purcell mostly developed himself as a composer of vocal music, with numerous odes, 'welcome songs', motets (anthems), songs for domestic use (both sacred and secular, both monophonic and polyphonic) and music for theatre. 

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