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Old Scores and New Readings

Discussions on Music & Certain Musicians

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Author: James Runciman
Language: English
Wordcount: 54,501 / 161 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 53
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 653
Added to site: 2005.03.16
mnybks.net#: 10027
Genres: Music, Essays, Biography
Excerpt

lovable personality, a born king of men, ambitious of greatness, determined, as Tudway says, to exceed every one of his time, less majestic than Handel, perhaps, but full of vigour and unshakable faith in his genius. His was an age when genius inspired confidence both in others and in its possessor, not, as now, suspicion in both; and Purcell was believed in from the first by many, and later, by all--even by Dryden, who began by flattering Monsieur Grabut, and ended, as was his wont, by crossing to the winning side. And Purcell is no more to be pitied for his sad life than to be praised as a conventionally idealised Mendelssohn. His life was brief, but not tragic. He never lacked his bread as Mozart lacked his; he was not, like Beethoven, tormented by deafness and tremblings for the immediate future; he had no powerful foes to fight, for he did not bid for a great position in the world like Handel. Nor was he a romantic consumptive like Chopin, with a bad cough, a fastidious regard for beauty, and a flow of

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