"Hark! the Echoing Air a Triumph Sings" (Z. 629/48) for Harp & Strings

Uploaded on Sep 21, 2017

Henry Purcell (1659 - 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.

"Hark! hark! the Echoing Air a Triumph Sings is an aria from Act V (No. 48) of the Opera "The Fairy Queen" which is based on "A Midsummer Night's Dream". It was the most lavish of Purcell's semi-operas. It consisted of four masques associated with the fairy kingdom. Each masque is self-contained and captures the atmosphere of Shakespeare's original play in unique and associative ways, although Shakespeare's text is not used in any of the sections.

This piece belongs to the elaborate Epithalamium that ends the work. It is an outstanding example of the fresh energetic quality that characterizes Purcell's melodies. The voice is combined with Purcell's English adaptation of the Italian trumpet aria style in the accompaniment. Purcell's text illustration is also present in the melody and rhythm ("clap their wings"). The vocal line is florid, with sequences of motives and phrase fragments that alternate with melisma's on selected words.

Although this Air was originally written for Opera & Orchestra, I created this arrangement for Concert (Pedal) Harp & Strings (2 Violins & Viola).


Pages 4
Duration 04:16
Measures 45
Key signature natural
Parts 4
Part names Violin(2), Viola, Harp
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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