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Look Inside Purcell Manuscripts

Purcell Manuscripts
The Principal Musical Sources


  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521028110

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • Few details are known about the life of Henry Purcell. This book provides an in-depth analysis of the most obvious documentary evidence of Purcell's career - the music manuscripts of his own hand and those copied by his colleagues. Robert Shay and Robert Thompson offer a richly illustrated study of Purcell's sources, examining in detail the physical features of the manuscripts as well as their musical content. Their survey sheds light on the chronology of composition and copying of Purcell's works and reassesses the place of extant autographs in his musical development. Major sources are fully catalogued, providing information about the context in which Purcell's music was collected and performed, and his handwriting is more closely examined than ever before. The book represents a significant reference tool for scholars, applying a forensic approach that greatly enriches our knowledge of the composer and the music of his time.

    • Examines the source manuscripts in comparable depth, including more than 30 illustrations
    • Sheds light on Purcell chronology, examines his handwriting in detail, identifies significant copyists, and reassesses the status of extant autographs
    • Comprehensive cataloguing of many sources
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is no exaggeration to say that it is the most important contribution to Purcell scholarship since the appearance of Franklin Zimmerman's analytical catalogue of Purcell's music in 1963 … All in all, this book is likely to remain a standard work of reference for a long time to come.' Musical Times

    'Robert Shay and Robert Thompson have produced the first major survey of Purcell manuscripts falling within the compass of his own period and artistic orbit. In its detail and comprehensiveness, Purcell Manuscripts: The Principle Musical Sources enables us to view the composer's achievement in the context of an abruptly changing political scene …' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521028110
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 188 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.672kg
    • contains: 86 tables 32 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: manuscript sources and Purcell's music
    2. Fitzwilliam Museum Music MS 88 and three principal concordances
    3. British Library Additional MS 30930 and its repertories
    4. British Library Royal Music 20.h.8 and its repertories
    5. Performing materials from the London sacred establishments and other sacred sources
    6. Music for the theatre
    7. Vocal, keyboard and instrumental music
    Appendix 1. Identified copyists and early owners
    Appendix 2. Unidentified copyists

  • Authors

    Robert Shay, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Robert Thompson, Colfe's School, Lee, London

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