These two little books, beautifully produced by the Lyre-Bird Press, offer brief selections of the works of two 17th century composers, who both had an influence on Henry Purcell. Imogen Holst, in her foreword to Pelham Humphrey's songs, notes that many of the composer's works remain(ed) in manuscript at the time of publication (1938). The somewhat longer foreword concerning Matthew Locke gives some insight into the composer's attitude and aims in respect of his art.
Imogen Clare Holst CBE (1907–1984) was an English composer, arranger, conductor, teacher and festival administrator.Sir Anthony Carey Lewis KBE (1915–1983), also known as Sir Carey Lewis, was an English conductor, composer, editor, and music educator.
The books are in excellent condition for their age, in buff-coloured boards with a portrait of Matthew Locke on one, and an engraving of four trumpeters on the Pelham Humphrey volume. Title and other details are in white lettering on the front covers. Externally there are few signs of wear or use, apart from a tiny nick to the spine of the Humphrey volume, and matching indentations to the long edges of both books - maybe from a string or elastic band. Inside, there are lovely lyre-bird tail designs on the endpapers, the bindings are firm, and there is only slight browning to page edges. A pair of charming and informative little books, of interest to any musician with a love of 17th century English music.