Art of the Day — Music: Henry Purcell’s “Funeral Sentences” (1695)

  October 16th, 2011

“Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and ne’er continueth in one stay.

In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears unto our pray’rs; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty.

O holy and most merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall away from thee.”

                    – from the Book of Common Prayer (as revised by composer Henry Purcell)

Here is Purcell’s musical setting of “Funeral Sentences” (Note: videos appear shrunken on purpose; just use to play sound, the visuals are unnecessary):

1. First, the Funeral March:

2. Second, the sung text:


A terrific bio and collection of info about Purcell lives over at classical label Naxos’ site, right here.

[posted by C Way at 8:39 PM]


[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| Music ||| poetry ]

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