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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67450
Recording details: October 2003
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: April 2004
Total duration: 2 minutes 5 seconds

'The Parley of Instruments, Rachel Brown, director Peter Holman and the Hyperion recording team all deserve applause' (Gramophone)

'With the programme arranged by play rather than chronology, creating an alluring stylistic variety within its 100-or-so-year span, and excellent sound, music for Shakespeare doesn't come much better than this' (BBC Music Magazine)

'I'm sure that if it wasn't for the pioneering series of recordings named The English Orpheus we would find ourselves less the richer for the discoveries this series has brought to our notions of English musical heritage' (The Organ)

'Programmed with Peter Holman's usual ingenuity and originality' (Goldberg)

Can life be a blessing?
composer
Troilus and Cressida; A Collection of Songs for One, Two and Three Voices, London, 1704
author of text

Introduction
At this period the rival theatre company was run by Thomas Betterton at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, with music mainly supplied by John Eccles. Eccles’s simple but effective song ‘Can life be a blessing?’ seems to have been written for an unrecorded production of Dryden’s adaptation of Troilus and Cressida around 1695, when the play was republished.

from notes by Peter Holman 2004

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