Swifter, Isis, Swifter flow



 Henry Purcell 1659 – 1695

350th anniversary of Henry Purcell’s birth

‘Swifter, Isis, swifter flow, Muster all your streams together, Then in a full body go, And guard Great Britain’s monarch hither. Charles, lord of the exhaustless main, From whose fountain every tide Your dead low waters are supplied, Land him safely on her shore, Who his long absence does deplore…’ 

While working as musician of the Chapel Royal and organist at Westminster Abbey, Henry Purcell was comissioned to composed annual odes for the return Charles II from his summer travels, back to London for the autumn and winter.  

‘Swifter, Isis, Swifter flow’  was the second such ‘welcome back’ odes which Purcell composed in 1681 – and as well as composing serveral operas, keyboard music, sonatas, and anthems Purcell also found time to write birthday odes to other monarchs in his lifetime, such as the king’s brother James II, after his accession to the throne, and later for William and Mary [see also links to the funeral march of 1694 below].

You can find out more about the impact of Purcell’s music through the Library resources, both paper and online.

Loughborough University Library subscribes to over 80 online journals on music and music history, such as Musical Quarterly which are available via MetaLib.

There are also books available on the composer’s life and work, available on Level 2,  shelved at 780.92 PUR and 780.84/PUR.

For more information on the life and music of Purcell, please see the links below…

 Henry Purcell – Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary

Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell 1659-1695, the glory of the temple and the stage

Henry Purcell timeline

The restoration anthems of Henry Purcell and their political implications during the reign of Charles II by Linda Carol Chelf

The masque in Timon of Athens

Henry Purcell 1659-1695 Essays On His Music

BBC Composer of the Year


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