Mark Humphreys

Ariadne, 1675.

Abstracts


Mus.M. thesis (1998) RMA Student Conference (1998)
RMA Student Conference (2000) International Baroque (2000)
John Eccles, Florida (2005) D.Phil. thesis (2005)



'The Island Princess (1699): An edition with written commentary' (Mus.M. diss., University of Manchester, 1998).
The Island Princess (Jeremiah Clarke, Daniel Purcell, and Richard Leveridge, 1699) was the most popular semi-opera of its time, but it remains largely untouched in modern research. This major part of this study is a new critical edition of The Island Princess, and the accompanying commentary attempts to place the work in its musical and cultural context, examine problems of the main source manuscript, and aid the performer by investigating various performance practice issues in connection with late seventeenth-century English theatre music in general, and The Island Princess in particular.

'Without his brother's imagination'?: A glance at the reception of Daniel Purcell. RMA Research Students' Conference (University of York), December 1998.
Few composers have had less good fortune than Daniel Purcell. Forever in his brother's shadow, his music is always compared to that of Henry and not of his other contemporaries. Described by various writers as a 'minor imitator', a composer of music which is 'almost entirely devoid of inspiration' and someone who 'has left very little mark on the history of music', he has provided an easy target for the typical English apologist tradition on one hand, and on the other, been a victim of the neglect of those writing music for the theatre. Is this really fair? For example, in 1921 Barclay Squire suggested that Daniel's operas ought to be available in some sort of Denkmäler, yet at the moment none are available in a modern edition. Does this neglect of Daniel Purcell distort our view of theatre music at end of the seventeenth century, and of English music in general between the death of Henry Purcell and the arrival of Handel?

Daniel Purcell and Magdalen College, Oxford. RMA Research Students' Conference (University of Huddersfield), January 2000.
Daniel Purcell, musician and punster, was for over five years organist of Magdalen College, Oxford. This paper examines what biographical information we have about his time in Oxford, what Daniel's duties, privileges, and responsibilities were, and how he fitted into the Oxford social scene. It also looks at the religious and political upheaval present in Oxford in the late 1680s and its effects on Daniel's employment, and at subsequent literature which describes this period.

Works by 'Mr Purcell': Problems of authenticity. Third International Conference on Baroque Music (Trinity College, Dublin), July 2000.
A large amount of seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century music survives only in sources with anonymous or spurious attributions. The plethora of printed theatre songs published during this period, with their notoriously inexact attributions complicates this matter further. Similarly, some pieces of church music, transmitted via second- or third-hand sources, are often given incorrect authors. Purcell scholars, in particular, have for years tried to remove from his canon much of the poorer music ascribed to him, often attributing it to Daniel Purcell, his brother, solely on the grounds of quality. In an attempt to establish a reliable work-list for Daniel Purcell (and, indirectly, for Henry), his musical style has been studied, and the authorship of works erroneously attributed to other composers, or spuriously to Daniel himself, has been examined. By using a number of detailed musical examples, as well as looking at the sources in which they survive, the authorship of certain works can be established.

Daniel Purcell and Theatrical Competition. John Eccles and His Contemporaries: Theatre & Music in London, circa 1700 (Florida State University, Tallahasse), February 2005.
As well as being one of the composers to enter the Prize Musick competition to find the best setting of The Judgment of Paris, Daniel Purcell was Eccles’ main theatre rival from the death of Henry Purcell in 1695 to the fizzling out of musical competition in the early years of the eighteenth century. Daniel Purcell (c.1663-1717) was a musician, composer, socialite and punster. He was a child in the choir of the Chapel Royal, organist at Magdalen College Oxford, St Dunstan’s in the East and St Andrew’s, Holborn, and composer-in-residence at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. His output was prolific, consisting of music for some fifty plays, as well as many anthems, cantatas, songs, odes, and instrumental sonatas. Of these, it is probably the theatre music which is most of interest, ranging from single songs for sometimes ill-fated productions to whole dramatick operas such as The Island Princess (Motteux, 1699), and The Grove, or Love's Paradise (Oldmixon, 1700). His cantatas 'after the Italian Manner' (1713) were some of the first examples of their style in the English language, and, whilst he held no official appointment, his composition of odes for Princess (later Queen) Anne, and various other members of the Royal family, show his close connections with court life.

This paper looks at Daniel’s relationship with Rich’s Drury Lane theatre company, and their competition with Betterton’s troupe at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The sometimes proactive, and sometimes reactive, nature of expensive large-scale spectaculars will be clarified and shown in the context of London theatre politics and financial (mis)management at the end of the seventeenth century.

Daniel Purcell: A Biography and Thematic Catalogue. (D.Phil. diss., University of Oxford, 2005).
Daniel Purcell (c.1670-1717) was a musician, composer, socialite and punster. He was a child in the choir of the Chapel Royal, organist at Magdalen College, Oxford, and composer-in-residence at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. His output was prolific, consisting of music for some fifty plays, as well as many anthems, cantatas, songs, odes, and instrumental sonatas.

Of Daniel’s works, it is probably the theatre music which is most of interest, ranging from single songs for sometimes ill-fated productions to whole ‘Purcellian’ dramatick operas such as The Island Princess (Motteux, 1699), and The Grove, or Love's Paradise (Oldmixon, 1700). His cantatas ‘after the Italian Manner’ (1713) were some of the first examples of their style in the English language, and, whilst he held no official appointment, his composition of odes for Princess (later Queen) Anne, and various other members of the Royal family, show his close connections with court life.

This study is in two parts. First, a thorough biographical study uncovers a number of documents which shed much light on Daniel Purcell’s life, and reopens the debate of the genealogy of the whole Purcell family. The London theatrical scene after the death of Henry Purcell is examined in detail, and Daniel’s compositions are placed in their historical perspective. Second, a comprehensive thematic catalogue of his works includes multi-stave incipits for each movement of each piece which Daniel wrote, listing every printed and manuscript source in which the music is found. This catalogue is intended to be a starting point for scholars wishing to study the music of this period in general, and of Daniel Purcell in particular.