Music for St Cecilia’s Day: From Purcell to Handel
Title Details

399 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

15 b/w. 45 line. Illustrations

Series: Music in Britain, 1600-2000

Imprint: Boydell Press

Music for St Cecilia's Day: From Purcell to Handel

by Bryan White

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
In 1683 English court musicians and the Musical Society of London joined forces to celebrate St Cecilia's Day (22 November) with a feast and the performance of specially composed music. The most prominent composers and poets of the age wrote for these occasions, including Henry Purcell, John Blow, John Dryden and William Congreve.
In 1683 English court musicians and the Musical Society of London joined forces to initiate annual observations of St Cecilia's Day (22 November), celebrating the occasion with a feast and the performance of specially composed musical odes. The most prominent composers and poets of the age wrote for these occasions, including Henry Purcell, John Blow, John Dryden and William Congreve, and the best musicians of the city, primarily drawn from the court music, undertook the performances. After a decade of celebrations, a church service was added before the feast, and elaborate vocal and instrumental music was performed. At the same time, celebrations of St Cecilia's Day began to spread widely throughout the British Isles, where they were held by local music clubs, often with the support of cathedral musicians. Though the annual London celebrations came to an end after 1700 in the face of increasing competitionfrom the city's busy musical and theatrical offerings, Cecilian poetry continued to inspire new musical settings in the eighteenth century, including works by Pepusch, Greene, Boyce and, most notably, Handel.
This book examines the social, cultural and religious significance of celebrations of St Cecilia's Day in the British Isles and explores the music and poetry that originated from them. The annual feasts of the Musical Society are analysed in detail, as is the role they played in the development of the ode. The book also considers how advances in musical culture in London were imitated in the provinces and provides a detailed discussion of the variety of Cecilian celebrations held at provincial centres throughout the British Isles.
BRYAN WHITE is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Leeds.
Introduction
The Rise and Fall of the London Cecilian Feasts 1683-1700
'A Splendid Entertainment': The Musical Society and the Organization of the Cecilian Feast
The London Odes 1683-1700
'Church-Musick Vindicated': Services for St Cecilia's Day
Provincial Celebrations of St Cecilia's Day
Cecilian Music in London after 1700
Bibliography

BRYAN WHITE is Senior Lecturer and Director of Research at the School of Music, University of Leeds.

"Studies of English music of the period can often be overshadowed by Handel; White demonstrates the richness of the musical context in which he was operating and how central Purcell remained to it. This book will be necessary reading to anyone concerned with England in the late seventeenth century and the eighteenth, and with its socio-cultural contexts." JOURNAL FOR EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY STUDIES
"Will be of value to anyone interested in the music of this period and its social background in London and other parts of the United Kingdom; substantially researched, it can be highly recommended." THE CONSORT
"A fascinating account of British music seen through the prism of compositions written specifically to celebrate the feast of the patroness of music St Cecilia...exemplary scholarship... that will enhance the bookshelves of any interested reader." BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY

Hardcover

9781783273478

February 2019

Buy

£45.00 / $80.00

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPUB)

9781787445246

February 2019

Buy

£19.99 / $24.99

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPDF)

9781787445031

February 2019

Buy

£19.99 / $24.99

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Title Details

399 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

15 b/w. 45 line. Illustrations

Series: Music in Britain, 1600-2000

Imprint: Boydell Press