Purcell, Henry: Come ye Sons of Arts. Score
Reconstructed by Rebecca Herissone
In a remarkable case of musicological detective work, Dr Rebecca Herissone has cast doubt on the veracity of the sole surviving source for one of Henry Purcell’s best loved choral works. Furthermore, through careful analysis of the manuscript, and inspired by a fascinating historical ‘find’, she has established the probable text of the composer’s ode as it was first performed on 30 April 1694 for the birthday of Queen Mary. How an eighteenth-century copyist known to history only as Pindar amplified and extended Purcell’s lost examplar, in ways that corrupted his original intentions, is described in the Preface to the edition – a remarkable story, which is supported by a detailed Editorial Commentary. Brass and timpani are now omitted as being late-baroque additions, and there are modifications to the shape and phrasing of a number of movements. The overall effect is to simplify both the scoring and structure, with clearer word-setting and instrumental part writing.
This new edition of Come ye Sons of Arts was performed by the Gabrieli Consort & Players at the Wigmore Hall in April 2008.