Getting names right
Years ago it seemed that the correct pronunciation of Henry Purcell’s name was with a heavy emphasis on the second syllable. I was gently corrected in the 1990s: PUR-cell. More recent research suggests that the vowel sounds might be slightly different to that, although the emphasis is clearly on the first syllable. How would Henry have pronounced it?
In these forums we’ve had some discussion on the music of Michel Richard Delalande [de Lalande, de la Lande]. Recent recordings seem to be favouring the spelling de Lalande, but from what I’ve read the family themselves used Delalande, so I’ll stick with that until new research indicates otherwise.
Until a week ago, I’d have been referring to a section of Pictures at an Exhibition as Great Gate of Kiev. I’m ashamed to say that it was only this week I became fully aware that Kiev is the Russian transliteration and pronounciation; Ukrainians call their capital Kyiv, with the emphasis on the first syllable. At this moment in world history it feels a tiny, but crucial, act to call the Ukrainian capital by the name Ukrainians use.