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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66412
Recording details: January 1990
Rickmansworth Masonic School Chapel, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: August 1990
Total duration: 32 minutes 42 seconds

'An important milestone towards a new appreciation of Purcell' (Gramophone)

'The performances are matched by the outstanding engineering' (Fanfare, USA)

Celebrate this Festival, Z321
30 April 1693; Ode for Queen Mary's Birthday
author of text

Symphony  [1'37]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
With Celebrate this Festival we come to the fifth of six Odes Purcell wrote to celebrate the birthday of Queen Mary in successive years from 1689. By 1693 the scoring of the orchestra had been increased to include oboes, recorders and a trumpet and, although the basic plan remained the same, the size and scale of the Odes and their dramatic content had increased. The choruses, often developing out of a series of solo sections, had increased in length and, in the interests of keeping pace with the libretto, instrumental ritornelli had all but vanished, with sections running instead straight into a contrasting vocal movement. Purcell worked closely with the famous trumpeter John Shore, and possible now were movements with virtuoso obbligato trumpet parts, of which the suitably military ‘While, for a righteous cause’ is a splendid example. Similarly, the presence of both oboes and recorders in the orchestra (oboists usually doubled on recorders) enabled delicately scored movements such as ‘Return, fond Muse’ (scored for two recorders and viola). The Symphony, much grander in scale than those of ten years before, was on this occasion copied directly from Hail! bright Cecilia, performed just six months previously, and Purcell was obviously blessed with two fine sopranos, whose opening duet sets a suitably stately tone for the Ode. But there is also writing of great beauty too, in particular the quietly ecstatic setting for solo alto, over a ground bass, of ‘Crown the altar’. Effective, too, is the wonderful seven-part vocal texture at ‘Repeat Maria’s name’ which throws the Queen’s name between voices and instruments before a minuet closes the work in elegant vein.

from notes by Robert King © 2010

Other albums featuring this work
'Purcell: The Complete Odes & Welcome Songs' (CDS44031/8)
Purcell: The Complete Odes & Welcome Songs
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £38.50 CDS44031/8  8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
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