Composer, organist, bass and countertenor singer. He was one of the greatest composers of the baroque period and one of the greatest of all English composers. Rreference to Purcell by James II's Attorney-General, Roger North, succintly sums up his stature: 'the Orpheus Britannicus . . . a greater musical genius England never had'. He excelled in every branch of music to which he turned his hand. Purcell showed exceptional skill in the flexible setting of the English language, and some of his solo song-scenas (like Mad Bess and The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation) are remarkable example of dramatised declamation.