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The Sonatas of Henry Purcell - Rhetoric and Reversal (Hardback)
  • The Sonatas of Henry Purcell - Rhetoric and Reversal (Hardback)
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The Sonatas of Henry Purcell - Rhetoric and Reversal (Hardback)

(author)
£80.00
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 29/05/2018
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Purcell's trio sonatas are among the cornerstones of Baroque chamber music. The composer himself unassumingly described them as "a just imitation of the most famed Italian masters." However, analysis of their underlying structures reveals that Purcell's modesty hides a highly original blend of Italian models, complex English traditional compositional devices, and his own near obsession with compositional and contrapuntal technique.

Alon Schab's pathbreaking Sonatas of Henry Purcell: Rhetoric and Reversal begins with an overview of the two sets of sonatas and their sources, their movement types, and some of the basic compositional and rhetorical procedures they demonstrate. The book's main part highlights several covert structures that are not necessarily heard but are consistent and played an important part in the compositional process. Symmetry, both temporal and spatial, governs much of these underlying structures. Beneath the surface of his studies in Italian style, Purcell created intricate correspondences between the micro and macro levels of the works, as well as unities of proportions and, above all, impressive mirrorlike structures.

Schab's book opens an important window to seventeenth-century compositional technique and offers further evidence of Purcell's use of advanced compositional techniques in works that aimed to be pleasurable for the amateur and excitingly thought-provoking for the professional.

Alon Schab is a lecturer at the University of Haifa.

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
ISBN: 9781580469203
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 518 g
Dimensions: 232 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Schab executes his analysis with skill and insight. Schab's analyses take on a dynamic quality where the details of observation compellingly lead to larger views. A welcome addition to the literature on Purcell, both for its insights into hidden aspects of compositional method and for the way it will inspire further examination of issues relating to historical analysis. Schab's work here provides new views of Purcell that all will want to ponder, and in so doing, he draws attention to the value of renewing and broadening our methodologies. NABMSA REVIEWS

The sonatas of Henry Purcell is a fascinating read, whether as a fresh take on familiar repertory or an introduction to an entirely new subject; it will surely be essential for students coming to Purcell's instrumental music for the first time, and performers too will find in it much to stimulate the imagination. The book is nicely produced and richly provided with handsome music examples. . . . For all these reasons, I look forward to returning to it frequently in future. EARLY MUSIC [Alan Howard]

The first book to concentrate on a part of Purcell's output that was not written for the theatre. Schab's analyses are informed by a strong sense of how the sonatas sound in performance...[and make] astute points about the qualities of entire movements. MUSIC & LETTERS

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