Jeremiah Clarke (c.1674-1707)

Jeremiah Clarke, like his older German contemporary Johann Pachelbel, seems condemned still to be known to the general public for a single tune, and even among Baroque specialists little of his other music has been revived. Some of Clarke’s trumpet music has been performed by Crispian Steele-Perkins and others, and his attractive ode on Purcell’s death has been recorded by the Parley of Instruments. As regards his forty or so solo songs, only one of those included in the Green Man Press edition "Fifteen songs" has previously appeared in a modern edition, and a handful of others have been made available to present-day singers. Even within the genre of immediately appealing melodies, Clarke is certainly not a mere one-tune composer, for he had a knack for the catchy number. As Watkins Shaw remarked in relation to one of Clarke’s church pieces, his music can display “a quality which, if one compares it with Blow and Purcell, might almost be called galant”.

Fifteen Songs