Nameless trumpet sonata credited to Purcell after years of debate
Henry Purcell by John Closterman
Henry Purcell, the most prominent English figure of the Baroque era, covered a wide field of genres, producing music for the church, stage, court, as well as private entertainment.
Purcell's individual English inventiveness, combined with the prevalent Italian style, made him the most original national composer of the time.
This originality was the key to solving the question of the authorship of a mysterious manuscript. The document contained no signature or identifying marks, save for the title: Sonata For Trumpet and Strings.
For many years, the scholars debated whether the piece—unusually short for this music form at the time, coming to around only 4 minutes—could belong to Purcell, eventually agreeing on the legitimacy of his authorship. Their certainty was based on careful analysis of the Sonata's harmonic content, highly suggestive of Purcell's style in his later works.
It is believed that the piece was written around 1694 for either John Shore or his uncle William Shore, both extremely renowned trumpet players in England at the time.
Sonata For Trumpet and Strings performed by the German conductor Gunter Kehr with the Rhenish Chamber Orchestra, with Roger Delmotte as solo trumpet: