Henry Hall

Henry Hall was well qualified to commemorate Purcell. He was born in about 1656,
and so was two or three years older than Purcell. They had both been children in the Chapel
Royal choir and had studied composition together under John Blow. Purcell remained in
London while Hall worked as a provincial organist, first at Wells and Exeter cathedrals and
then at Hereford, where he remained until his death in 1707. Hall was an accomplished poet
as well as a composer, and wrote the text of ‘Yes, my Aminta’ as well as the music.

Hal 1

Dialogue on the Death of Henry Purcell

Edited by Peter Holman

for soprano (d'-a''), bass (A-f'), two recorders and bc

Price: £ 8.70

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 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.

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