The distinguished English composer Maurice Greene was appointed Master of the King’s Music in 1735. He soon composed a series of 25 sonnet settings taken from the collection of 89 Amoretti (‘little loves’) written by Edmund Spenser, one of the greatest poets of the Shakespearean age. These settings show Greene to have been a master of word-painting technique, and a subtle colourist with a sensitive ear for Spenser’s verse. This jewel of a collection is also historically important, as it can be considered one of the earliest song cycles in the history of English music.
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