If Music be the Food of Love, Z.379 (Purcell, Henry)
Arrangements and Transcriptions
For Voice and Piano (Arkwright)
Godfrey Edward Pellew Arkwright (1864–1944)
Twenty Four Songs by English Composers of the 17th & 18th Centuries
London: Parker & Son, 1908.
Transcription of first version, dating from June 1692 (Z. 379 a).
|Work Title||If music be the food of love|
|Opus/Catalogue Number||Z. 379 (two versions)|
|Movements/Sections||1 or 2 verses|
|Year/Date of Composition||1690s|
|Librettist||Colonel Henry Heveningham (1651–1700)|
The song If music be the food of love is thought by some to be a setting of a Shakespearean text, however the only direct quotation is the first line, which matches the opening seven words heard in Twelfth Night. Purcell set this text, by one Colonel Henry Heveningham, twice in the 1690s, and made two slightly different versions of the first setting. The first version of the earlier setting includes only the first verse of poetry; the alternate version, published in the Gentleman’s Journal of June 1692 (Z. 379 a), sets both verses. This song was made famous in modern times by the countertenor Alfred Deller in the version arranged by Sir Michael Tippett and Walter Bergmann.