In recent years Purcell's biography has received a good deal of attention, but there has been little writing on his music; indeed, this book provides the first general survey since Sir Jack Westrup's 1937 volume in the Master Musicians series. Furthermore, it is the first book to explore in detail the historical context of Purcell's music, dealing fully with the institutions he worked for, the origin and development of the various genres to which he contributed, and the sources of his music. In the process, a new picture of Purcell's creative personality emerges: a composer obsessed with formal counterpoint, extraordinarily well-versed in English music of the previous century, yet eager to embrace up-to-date features of the Italian style in the 1680s.
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