“… the greatest Genius we ever had.” So was Henry Purcell described upon his death by his contemporary, Thomas Tudway.
This year’s Festival will explore the works of England’s greatest baroque composer. While incorporating influences from France and Italy, Henry Purcell established a uniquely English musical style in the 17th century, and remained the most famous English-born composer until the 20th century. His music was an important influence on Benjamin Britten, whose anniversary we celebrate this year.
Festival audiences will be presented with a truly unique experience of four days to explore the range of Purcell’s music and that of his contemporaries, performed on the instruments with which Purcell would have been familiar, and to receive the performance insight of Nancy Argenta, “..one of the foremost interpreters of baroque vocal music, particularly that of Henry Purcell.”
Wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins of Purcell: “The poet wishes well to the divine genius of Purcell and praises him that, whereas other musicians have given utterance to the moods of man’s mind, he has, beyond that, uttered in notes the very make and species of man as created both in him and in all men generally.”
“It was superb!!!! GOLD star.”
“This is a performance that will stay in my memory for ever. Bravo!! Bravo!!”
“I will tell all my friends about the Festival.”