Friday, October 30, 2009

Pete Townshend On Purcell

Fascinating radio interview here with The Who's Pete Townshend in which he discusses the influence that 17th century composer Henry Purcell had on his musical career. Townshend discusses the evolution of his music beginning with the band's first album all the way to his present day work and how Purcell's compositions impacted Townshend's work. The interview took place on a show called "Baroque and Roll," a radio program on BBC Radio 4.

Here's what wrote about the interview:

Why should it seem surprising that Pete Townshend of rock group The Who should name the 17th-century British composer Henry Purcell as one of his greatest musical inspirations? Snobbery, perhaps. But just listen to the organ intro to "Won't Get Fooled Again" or "I Can See for Miles" and you can hear Purcell's harmonies transmuted into the pop sounds of the 20th century. And it's not simply the music that Townshend is responding to, but also the "tragedy of mortality" that Purcell evokes in such sublime works as "When I Am Laid in Earth" or "The Gordian Knot Unty'd." In this miniature autobiography, Townshend tells us not only the who, but also the how and the when of his musical development, and why he identifies strongly with a long-dead composer whose feelings about the things that really matter so clearly echo his own.

Radio Times reviewer - Laurence Joyce

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