This sculpture depicts composer Henry Purcell's face surrounded by a cubist conglomeration of musical instrument and flourishes which no doubt represent the panoply of his musical ideas.
The plaque accompanying the work reads:
"City of Westminster
The Flowering of the English Baroque
a memorial to Henry Purcell
by the sculptor
HRH The Princess Margaret
Countess of Snowden
on the tercentenary of the death of the Composer
22 November 1995"
Wikipedia (visit link
) further informs us:
"Henry Purcell (...10 September 1659 (?)– 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar...
Purcell is among the Baroque composers who has had a direct influence on modern rock and roll; according to Pete Townshend of The Who, Purcell was among his influences, particularly evident in the opening bars of The Who's "Pinball Wizard". The processional section from Purcell's "Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary," was also adapted for the synthesiser by Wendy Carlos to serve as the theme music for the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, the music is also featured in the final scene of the 1995 film The Young Poisoner's Handbook. Noted cult New Wave artist Klaus Nomi regularly performed "The Cold Song" from King Arthur during his career, including a version on his debut self-titled album, Klaus Nomi, from 1981; his last public performance before his untimely death was an interpretation of the piece done with a full orchestra in December 1982 in Munich. Purcell wrote the song for a bass, but numerous countertenors have performed the piece in homage to Nomi.
In the 1995 film England, My England, the life of Purcell (played by Michael Ball) was depicted as seen through the eyes of a playwright in the 1960s who is trying to write a play about him.
In the 21st century, the soundtrack of the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice features a dance titled "A Postcard to Henry Purcell." This is a version by composer Dario Marianelli of Purcell's Abdelazar theme. In the German-language 2004 movie, Der Untergang ([the] Downfall (film), the music of Dido's Lament is used repeatedly as the end of the Third Reich culminates."
As for the asteroid, Wikipedia (visit link
) indicates that it was named after this composer and has this one sentence entry:
"4040 Purcell (1987 SN1) is a main-belt asteroid discovered on September 21, 1987 by E. Bowell at Flagstaff (AM)."
and the Wikipedia margin adds:
"Discovery and designation
Discovered by E. Bowell
Discovery site Flagstaff (AM)
Discovery date September 21, 1987
MPC designation 4040
Named after Henry Purcell
Alternate name(s) 1987 SN1
Epoch May 14, 2008
Orbital period 1595.6811648
Mean anomaly 291.21155
Longitude of ascending node 55.86969
Argument of peri 270.69751
Absolute magnitude (H) 12.8"