Dialogue on the Death of Henry Purcell
Editor: Edited by Peter Holman
for soprano (d'-a''), bass (A-f'), two recorders and bc
Henry Purcell’s sudden and unexpected death on 21 November 1695 at the age of 36 came as a considerable shock to London’s artistic community. Within a few weeks poetic tributes began to appear, and before long some of them had been set to music by his colleagues and followers. Of these, three survive complete today: John Blow’s setting of Dryden’s ode ‘Mark how the lark and linnet sing’, for two countertenors, two recorders and continuo, Jeremiah Clarke’s full-scale choral and orchestral ode ‘Come, come along for a dance and a song’, and the present work, Henry Hall’s ‘Yes, my Aminta ’tis too true’, for soprano, bass, two recorders and continuo. The main source of Clarke’s ode, British Library, Add. MS 30934, has a note in William Croft’s hand that the work was ‘perform’d upon the stage of Druery Lane play house’, so it may have been given in a staged form, with the singers dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses. Hall’s work is a dialogue between a shepherd and a shepherdess, and may have been performed on the same occasion in a similar manner.