megamole: (musical)
([personal profile] megamole May. 9th, 2009 09:48 pm)
Those of you in the UK (or with access to UK IPs) and with any interest at all in why my favourite composer is who he is should visit your IPlayer for Charles Hazlewood's run-down of Purcell here.

Some of the stuff Hazlewood says about Purcell's peculiar sympathy for and empathy with the English language chimes perfectly with my own thoughts about his special genius. One thing he said is flat wrong; we DO know how Purcell's surname was pronounced. It's PUR-cell, like the washing powder. We know this because it's the only conceivable pronunciation that matches one contemporary spelling of his name - Mr. Pursal.

It's also kind of weird to see familiar faces like David Clegg (who was in the year below me at school, for goodness' sake) singing on TV.

I can still not beat what Dryden wrote, and Blow set to music, -

Ye Brethren of the Lyre and tuneful Voice,
Now live secure, and linger out your Days;
The gods are pleas'd alone with Purcell's Lays,
Nor know to mend their Choice.
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