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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: 18 minutes 12 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)

The summer's absence unconcerned we bear, Z337
21 October 1682; Welcome Song for Charles II
author of text

Symphony  [2'27]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The return of Charles II and the Duke of York from their usual Autumn visit to Newmarket was celebrated on 21 October 1682, but the diarist Luttrell indicated that the event was rather more muted than on previous occasions (probably due to the royal finances being in dire straits). Earlier in the year Purcell had been appointed one of the three organists at the Chapel Royal, an appointment which enabled him and his wife to move into grander quarters in Great St Ann’s Lane, and the commission to set The summer’s absence unconcerned we bear to music was another mark of official favour.

Although the Ode was only the fourth that Purcell had composed, the opening two-section Symphony is, beneath its veneer of joyfulness, one of his most wistful, leading directly into a virtuoso bass solo which again covers a range of over two octaves. A short trio leads into a chorus and the first of the string ritornelli which are such a strong feature of the early Odes. A four-note ground bass forms the basis for the alto solo ‘And when late from your throne’ which leads into its melancholy ritornello via a brief chorus. After a series of shorter movements comes another of Purcell’s gems, the alto solo ‘These had by their ill usage drove’, set over a four-bar modulating ground bass, and leading into the last (and finest) ritornello of the work. A solo tenor opens the final chorus, whose reflective ending proved to be prophetic: though the text wishes the monarch a long life, the hope was to prove vain less than three years later when King Charles’s reign came to a sudden end. Though he had nearly bankrupted the country, he had done much for music and musicians.

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)  
'The King's Consort Baroque Collection' (KING4)
The King's Consort Baroque Collection
MP3 £4.50FLAC £4.50ALAC £4.50 KING4  Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
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