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Purcell, Henry Henry Purcell
United Kingdom United Kingdom
(1659 - 1695)
322 sheet music
270 MP3

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Purcell, Henry: "An Evening Hymn" pour hautbois et harpe

"An Evening Hymn" for Oboe and Harp
Henry Purcell

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Composer :Henry PurcellPurcell, Henry (1659 - 1695)
Instrumentation :

Oboe, harp

Style :


Arranger :
Publisher :
Henry PurcellMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Date :1688
Copyright :Public Domain
Henry Purcell holds a special place in the hearts of Englishmen. The reasons for this can be summed up quite simply. His music is ravishing, full of expressive dissonances, and with an unparalleled manner of setting text. Before his untimely death, at age 26, likely of tuberculosis, he had risen to be organist at Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royale, penned the first English opera, Dido and Aeneas, and composed music for the coronation of James II and the funeral of Queen Mary II. After his death, England would not have another composer of similar stature until the twentieth century. Purcell is buried next to the organ at London's Westminster Abbey.

"An Evening Hymn" is the opening work of Henry Playford's 1688 collection Harmonia Sacra and is set to words by "Dr. William Fuller, late Lord-Bishop of Lincoln" as published in Nahum Tate's collection of moralizing poems for children Miscellanea Sacra. It's hard to conceive of what sort of context this composition was performed; it certainly wasn't intended for liturgical performance and perhaps not even public performance. If there was any sort of public performance it may have been for small private gatherings or simple domestic devotional services.

Throughout the song, Purcell uses a repeating five measure figure known as a ground bass. It can be heard in its entirety at the very beginning of the song. Atop that he writes a melody that sometimes matches the five-measure phrase of the bass an other times doesn't - it is this tension that propels the work forward and makes it continuously interesting. In performance a continuo group would improvise an accompaniment based on this bassline.

The ground bass itself is an elaboration of a descending four-note figure, a figure that some feel is emblematic of lament owing to its appearance in many laments, among them Purcell's famous aria "Dido's Lament" from Dido and Aeneas.

It is also an example of a ciaccona or chaconne, a composition built on repeating descending bassline in a triple meter. Originaly the was used for upbeat music, but by the mid-17th century had come to be reserved for stately, elegiac music.

Although originally written for Chorus, I adapted this piece for Oboe and Concert (Pedal) Harp.
Source / Web :MuseScore
Added by magataganm the 2012-06-02

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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Harp Arrangements
arrangements pour harpe
Collection of Harp Arramgements
Sheet music list :
› "Élégie for Harp" - Harp
› "3 Salve Regina" for Oboe & Harp - Oboe, harp
› "A Carousel's Last Song" for Harp - Harp
› "Adelita" for Harp - Harp
› "Aeolian Harp Étude" in Ab Major for Harp
› "Alleluia" Harp Duet - 2 Harps (Duet)
› "Allemande" for Harp - Harp
› "Allemande" from the Suite in E-Minor for Harp - Harp
› "An Emigrant's Daughter" for Oboes & Harp - Oboe, harp
› "An Evening Hymn" for Oboe and Harp - Oboe, harp