From September 25th to October 13th, the Louis-Jouvet Theater in central Paris is staging a Purcell festival. I have tickets for early October.
Henry Purcell, born and died in London (1659-1695), is considered one of England’s greatest composers. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music.
First performed in London in 1691, The Cold Song is an extract from Purcell’s semi-opera, King Arthur. Its beauty and vocal difficulty is such that it’s often taken over by German virtuoso singers. A particularly famous version is the one performed here by the late Klaus Nomi.
Here’s the sublime Funeral for Queen Mary, written specially to be played at the funeral of Queen Mary II of England in March 1695. Eight months later, Purcell’s Thou knowest, Lord was performed at his own funeral in November of the same year.