The rare and beautiful Gostling Manuscript is a primary source for the anthems of Henry Purcell and other major composers of the English Restoration period. Listed as missing since its sale to an anonymous buyer in 1935, the manuscript was eventually discovered in the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. This facsimile edition of the Gostling Manuscript (sometimes referred to by scholars as the "W. Kennedy Gostling Manuscript") made the document available to a wide audience for the first time in its history.
The anthems in this volume were assembled by the Reverend John Gostling, a celebrated bass soloist and an assiduous collector of the contemporary music of his day. His musical taste and editorial judgment, not to mention his skill as a copyist, were excellent. The Gostling Manuscript, completed around 1706, is considered essential for collating and editing some of the best anthems of the period. These sixty-four pieces, fair-copied in full score, include seventeen by Purcell; twenty-four by John Blow; four each by William Turner, Pelham Humfrey, and Jeremiah Clark; three each by Matthew Locke and Thomas Tudway; one by both William Child and Francis Pigott; and three arrangements by Henry Aldrich of anthems by Carissimi, Byrd, and Wise.
Gostling appended inscriptions to many of the pieces, giving the date and circumstances of composition, notes of considerable value to the musical historian. This folio-size facsimile edition will serve not only as an invaluable anthology but also as a unique and singularly helpful source of information about English musical life in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
The foreword by Franklin B. Zimmerman provides a brief history of the Gostling Manuscript.