Draghi, Giovanni Battista: From Harmony (A Song for St Cecilia’s Day, 1687)
Purcell Society Edition Companion Series Vol 3.
Edited by Bryan White
Never previously published, though surviving in no fewer than five manuscript copies, Giovanni Battista Draghi’s A Song for St Cecilia’s Day of 1687 impressed his contemporaries, and merits admiration from modern audiences for its intrinsic musical qualities and as a crucial reference point for English music of the period. It is by far the largest of Draghi’s surviving works; its rich Italianate scoring includes a pair of trumpets (their first known appearance in an English choral work), and features concerto-like contrasts between voices and instruments. Greatly expanding on its models of court and Cecilian ode, From Harmony testifies both to Draghi’s reputation amongst his English contemporaries, and to his influence in style, form and instrumentation on the composer of Hail! bright Cecilia and The Yorkshire Feast Song (included in the new PE1) in particular.