Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

The collection of songs by Henry Purcell entitled Orpheus Britannicus is in two volumes, published in 1698 and 1702 respectively. These include solo songs, duets and dialogues, and some songs for 3 voices. The publisher, Henry Playford, describes the two volumes as "A/Collection/of all/the Choicest SONGS/for/One, Two and Three Voices/ Compos'd /By Mr. Henry Purcell". None of the songs are long pieces; many were originally written for the stage, either as operatic songs or incidental music to a play, and so most of them had been published previously. Orpheus must have enjoyed moderately successful sales. The first volume ran to a second edition in 1702, and the second in 1711: both were reprinted in 1721. Frances Purcell, in dedicating the first volume to Lady Howard, pays tribute to Sir Robert Howard, whose "Excellent Compositions were the Subject of his [Purcell's] last and best Performance in Musick". Robert Howard was co-author with John Dryden of The Indian Queen, performed in the year of Purcell's death.

Pur 01 Four Dialogues - I
Pur 02 Four Dialogues - II
Pur 03 In all our Cinthia's shining Sphear
Pur 05 Four Duets
Pur 06 Two Songs with Flutes
Pur 07 Three Songs with Hautboys
Pur 09 In Guilty Night (Z.134)
Pur 10 O, O let me Weep!
Pur 11 The Four SEASONS in the Fairy Queen
Pur 12 Songs for bass solo
Pur 14 See where she sits
Pur 15 Raise, raise the Voice
Pur 17 Two Songs on a ground
Pur 20 Three Songs with Flutes

Larger works
DQ-P The Songs in the Three Plays of Don Quixote
DQ-S The Songs in the Three Plays of Don Quixote
Pur 18-1 Circe (Z 575)
Pur 18-2 Circe (Z 575)

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