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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66476
Recording details: January 1991
Rickmansworth Masonic School Chapel, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: October 1991
Total duration: 27 minutes 7 seconds

'Great wads of magnificent music that is far too rarely heard … King and his musicians have absolutely hit their rhythm in this series. Everything is excellently judged and sounds right' (Gramophone)

'No one need ever record these works again: here is excellent singing, sensitive accompaniment, and care and attention lavished on every detail of phrasing and tempi' (The Oxford Times)

Welcome, welcome, glorious morn, Z338
30 April 1691; Ode for the birthday of Queen Mary
author of text

Symphony  [2'24]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Purcell and the majority of the British public were genuinely fond of Queen Mary, who with William replaced King James on the throne when he fled to the continent. London musicians breathed a collective sigh of relief at the Glorious Revolution and Purcell composed six of his finest Odes to honour his new Queen’s birthday.

For his 1691 offering to the Queen Purcell was on sparkling form, with recent successes on the stage leading to a more expansive style of composition. Besides the usual strings, Welcome, welcome, glorious morn also required pairs of oboes and trumpets whose presence is felt right from the extrovert start of the Symphony, where the trumpets’ theme is thrown between the pairs of instruments before all join together, first in busy semiquavers, and then in the rich cadential figuration. The imitative section that follows continues in the same vein, with trumpets, oboes and strings answering each other. In the later Odes there is a more integrated style of composition, with sections flowing into each other with more freedom, and the opening demonstrates this as the tenor soloist, oboes and finally the chorus combine together. The duet ‘At thy return the joyful Earth’ leads into a glorious instrumental ritornello before the chorus returns, this time with the addition of two small duets. For the duet ‘Welcome as when three happy Kingdoms strove’ the mood changes to a more intimate style, but Purcell engineers an effective build-up to ‘the loudest song of Fame’. The tenor solo ‘The mighty goddess’ is an extraordinary piece of writing, with the soloist’s florid line contrasting with the insistent chordal string accompaniment. In the next section ‘Full of Wonder and Delight’ Purcell combines three elements, with a trio, a joyful chorus and finally the full instrumental ensemble joining in praise at the infant Queen Mary’s birth. ‘And lo! a sacred Fury’ is a compositional tour de force, with a dramatic recitative-style opening leading into the extended section ‘To lofty strains’, set over a remarkable dotted six-bar ground bass. The soloist’s line is finally taken up by the full vocal ensemble. Another short passage of semi-recitative, ‘My Pray’rs are heard’, this time for soprano, leads into a ground bass (treated freely in view of its brevity) and finally a chorus. The short bass duet ‘He to the Field by Honour call’d shall go’ and elegant tenor solo ‘Whilst undisturb’d his happy Consort reigns’ take us into the final solo and chorus. First a solo tenor and the two trumpets announce the theme, and then in augmented counterpoint the entire ensemble ends the work in triumphant 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)  
'Essential Purcell' (KING2)
Essential Purcell
Buy by post £4.50 This album is not yet available for download KING2  Super-budget price sampler  
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