London: J. Heptinstall, for Henry Playford, 1698.
Folio. Attractively bound in full dark brown contemporary panelled calf. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (dedication to "The Lady Howard"), iii ("The Bookseller to the Reader"), vi-vi (tributes to Purcell), 1f. (recto "A Table of the Songs," verso publisher's catalogue), 248 pp. Watermark of a large circular shield. Title printed in red and black. Numerous decorative woodcut initials.
Armorial bookplate to front pastedown ("Arma comitis de bradford / Weston Library).
Contains a total of 81 songs by Purcell.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed and bumped; rebacked; endpapers worn, foxed, and stained; hinges reinforced with paper tape. Minor to moderate browning, most noticeable to final four leaves; pp. 166-67 misnumbered 165-66; several page numbers trimmed. Lacking frontispiece portrait of Purcell.
A very good copy overall.
First Edition. Zimmerman 1698d. Day & Murrie 166. BUC p. 859. RISM P5979.
"Purcell was a prolific contributor to all the main genres of secular vocal music current in 17th-century England. He has always been particularly admired as a song composer. Generations of English musicians got to know his music from the two posthumous song volumes Orpheus Britannicus ... and Henry Playford wrote in the preface to the first volume that he had 'a peculiar Genius to express the energy of English Words, whereby he mov'd the Passions of all his Auditors', while Henry Hall added in a poem that he 'Each Syllable first weigh'd, or short, or long, / That it might too be Sense, as well as Song'." Peter Holman et al. in Grove Music Online.
Price: $2,000.00 other currencies