Classical Sunday: Purcell’s Funeral For Queen Mary

Purcell composed an anthem and two elegies for Queen Mary II’s funeral, his ‘Funeral Sentences’ and ‘Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary’.

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Henry Purcell – Funeral For Queen Mary

Orchestra: The Sixteen
Direction: Harry Christophers

1. Man that is born of a woman
hath but a short time to live,
and is full of misery.
He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower;
he fleeth as it were a shadow,
and ne’er continueth in one stay.

2. In the midst of life we are in death:
of whom may we seek for succour,
but of thee, O Lord,
who for our sins art justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord, O Lord most mighty,
O holy and most merciful Saviour,
deliver us not into the bitter pains
of eternal death.

3. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts;
shut not thy merciful ears unto our pray’rs;
but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty.

O holy and most merciful Saviour,
thou most worthy Judge eternal,
suffer us not, at our last hour,
for any pains of death, to fall from thee. Amen.

 

Henry Purcell, (1659, London – 1695, London), English composer of the middle Baroque period, is most remembered for his more than 100 songs, the miniature opera Dido and Aeneas, and his incidental music to a version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, called The Fairy Queen.  He is said to have been the most original English composer of his time as well as one of the most original in Europe.

 

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