Sunday, 2 January 2011

Queen Mary II

By this time of the year some 316 years ago, Queen Mary II of England was terribly ill because of smallpox. She died January 8, 1695 [New Style] (December 28, 1694 [Old Style]) aged only 32. Her husband, William III of Orange said he was "now going to be the miserablest creature on earth".

For her funeral on March 5, 1695, Henry Purcell wrote the very moving and impressive Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary. The first part, staring with a march and ending with a canzona, is here

The second part, with the beautiful Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, followed by a march:

It is by the Choir of Clare College. Simply close the door, turn up the volume, close your eyes, and drift back in memories. To yesterday, last year, or even the cold winter of 1694/95.

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