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Compositional Artifice in the Music of Henry Purcell

Compositional Artifice in the Music of Henry Purcell

$120.00 (C)

Part of Musical Performance and Reception

  • Publication planned for: December 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107006669

$ 120.00 (C)
Hardback

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About the Authors
  • Fugal invention has proved a successful line of analytical inquiry in recent studies of repertoires from Josquin to J. S. Bach. Alan Howard brings similar insights to the music of Henry Purcell, and proposes the first analytical approach to his music to examine compositional methods alongside historically contemporary theory, focusing particularly on Purcell's 'artificial' approach to imitative counterpoint. Through this methodology Howard challenges many misunderstandings about Purcell's music that led to him being categorized as old-fashioned and unimaginative. This study offers fresh insights into the musical world in which Purcell lived and worked and situates Purcell's compositional concerns in the broader context of notions of artifice in Restoration culture. Howard thereby offers both a fresh analytical approach - both to Purcell's early instrumental works and to his later concerted vocal music - and a critique of the reception history surrounding the fantazias and sonatas in particular.

    • Presents a close analytical reading of Purcell's music, grounded in the parallel study of the music theory of his time
    • Places Purcell's compositional interests in the context of wider artistic concerns in the Restoration, and of eighteenth-century reception
    • Includes generous use of music examples to engage readers fully in the book's analytical arguments
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: December 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107006669
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 mm
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 8 tables 185 music examples
    • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. Purcell's 'Art of Descant':
    1. In counterpoint: sources and analysis
    2. Artifice, Fugeing and fantazia
    3. 'The chiefest instrumental musick now in request': canzonas and other sonata fugues
    4. 'The power of the Italian notes': Purcell's sonatas as and in reception
    Part II. 'Thou Didst Thy Former Skill Improve':
    5. 'Celestial art[ifice]' in Hail, bright Cecilia
    6. Artifice and musical modelling
    7. Augmentation as artifice, artifice as augmentation
    8. 'Italian sonatas in orchestral garb'.

  • Author

    Alan Howard, Selwyn College, Cambridge
    Alan Howard is a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he is Lecturer and Director of Studies in Music. His edition of Odes on the Death of Henry Purcell (2013) was published for the Purcell Society, and he has published widely on English music in journals including JRMA, Music and Letters, Early Music, Musical Times and Eighteenth-Century Music. He is also co-editor of the journal Early Music, a member of the Purcell Society committee, a General Editor of the Works of John Eccles and a trustee of Cambridge Early Music.

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