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Henry Lawes

English composer Henry Lawes (1596-1662). Lawes's name has become known beyond musical circles because of his friendship with John Milton, for whose masque, Comus, he supplied the incidental music for the first performance in 1634. The poet in return immortalized his friend in a famous sonnet in which Milton, with a musical perception not common amongst poets, describes the great merit of Lawes. His careful attention to the words of the poet, the manner in which his music seems to grow from those words, the perfect coincidence of the musical with the metrical accent, cause Lawes's songs to be regarded by some as on a level with those of Robert Schumann or Franz Liszt. At the same time he is not lacking in genuine melodic invention, and his concerted music shows skilled use of counterpoint.

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