Henry Purcell (c. 10 September 1659 – 21 November 1695) was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Benjamin Britten in the 20th century.
This famous aria is taken from the opera, "Dido and Aeneas", written by Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate. The dates of the composition and first performance of the opera are uncertain. It was composed no later than July 1688, and some scholars argue for a date of composition as early as 1683. The story is based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid. It recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. A monumental work in Baroque opera, Dido and Aeneas is remembered as one of Purcell's foremost theatrical works. It was also Purcell's first opera, as well as his only all-sung dramatic work. One of the earliest English operas, it owes much to John Blow's Venus and Adonis, both in structure and in overall effect.
The work is featured each year in the UK on Remembrance Sunday, and THAT is why I have uploaded it at this time.
The arrangement, done by Marc Boniteau, has already been uploaded twice before on the Concert Hall, in fine performances by EdoL and sanden.
I have not attempted to do it a "baroque manner," but have played it using the Salisbury solo stops, much in a manner that I believe the great Walter Alcock, organist of Salisbury would have played it.
The score is attached below, as well as painting of Purcell, his gravestone in Westminster Abbey, a painting of Dido and Aeneas, and a photo the Remembrance Sunday ceremonies at the Cenotaph in London.