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Destruction’s Our Delight

Upon the Grave of Henry Purcell

Upon the Grave of Henry Purcell (by kind permission of Dean & Chapter of Wesminster)

Huw Belling’s miniature tribute to Henry Purcell written for the Ossian Ensemble was be premiered at the Royal College of Music at the Junior Fellow’s Evening on the 6th of July. Michael Parkinson, one of the guests at the evening, said the piece made him laugh “in all the right places”.

The piece, which was composed atop the Grave of Purcell himself, carries the program note:

Deriving its principle musical material from Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, this miniature titled Destruction’s Our Delight after a chorus in the opera pays tribute to Purcell. Its music exaggerates elements of baroque compositional technique and performance practice by bloating Purcell’s best known musical material. Ornamentations are distended, ground-bass nauseatingly repeated and accelerated, dots tripled and quadrupled, and chromatic motions are compressed into pallid glissandi. Performances should attempt to reflect the piece’s humorous extreme-baroque character.

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