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“A brave expression of the tragedy of mortality.”

He allows you to see that life is full of different moods and emotions… Whatever you do… however long you live… there’s one thing you’re sure of … that you’ll go … That’s the language Purcell is wonderful at speaking…. He’s writing this devotional stuff for church, and in the middle of it you suddenly realize you’re hearing the song of an anguish.”

Pete Townshend, in this
, is far
better than UD‘s
been at explaining – as
she’s tried to do, all these
years on this blog – why
Henry Purcell is the fairest
one of all.


Margaret Soltan, November 2, 2009 9:44PM
Posted in: forms of religious experience, great writing, henry purcell

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3 Responses to ““A brave expression of the tragedy of mortality.””

  1. Bill Gleason Says:

    By an odd coincidence, I’m listening to the Eagles version of the Hotel California now.

    "It could be heaven or it could be hell"

    I know it is not politically correct to quote Wiki, nonetheless:

    "Popular culture influences

    Purcell is among the Baroque composers who has had a direct influence on modern rock and roll; according to Pete Townshend of The Who, Purcell was among his influences, particularly evident in the opening bars of The Who’s "Pinball Wizard".[10] The song "Procession" by British rock band Queen is obviously inspired by the processional section from Purcell’s "Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary," which was also adapted for the synthesizer by Wendy Carlos to serve as the theme music for the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange. Meanwhile, noted cult New Wave artist Klaus Nomi regularly performed "The Cold Song" from King Arthur during his career, including a version on his debut self-titled album, Klaus Nomi, from 1981; his last public performance before his untimely death was an interpretation of the piece done with a full orchestra in December 1982 in Munich."

  2. Polish Peter Says:

    Many, many thanks for posting this, which explains why for 40 years I’ve been such a fan of the Who and Pete Townshend.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    You’re very welcome, Polish Peter.

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