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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66494
Recording details: March 1991
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: April 1992
Total duration: 10 minutes 22 seconds

'The richness of Purcell's musical invention sweep all before it, and these records demand to be heard above all for "the greatest Genius we ever had"' (The Sunday Times)

'A revelation and a delight. Thoroughly recommended' (Classic CD)

Laudate Ceciliam, Z329
1683; Ode for St Cecilia's Day
author of text

Symphony  [1'50]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Laudate Ceciliam, the second of Purcell’s smaller-scale Odes to celebrate Saint Cecilia’s Day, dates from 1683, the same year as Welcome to all the pleasures. Like Raise, raise the voice the scoring is for just three voices, accompanied by two violins and basso continuo, but this time the text is in Latin: as well as being his shortest Ode, Laudate Ceciliam is Purcell’s only Ode to be set in a language other than English. The vocal writing seems clearly to be for solo voices throughout, and the influence of the verse anthem is apparent.

The Symphony is in the usual two parts, the first stately and dotted, the second a lighter, triple-time movement which leads straight into the first vocal entries. At ‘Modulemini psalmum novum’ (‘O sing a new psalm’) Purcell introduces his own new theme, more serious and recitativo-like in character, which is passed between each of the voices before a short violin ritornello ends the section. The bass briefly introduces new material at ‘Quia preceptum’ but the opening vocal material is reintroduced, followed by a complete repeat of the Symphony. The heart of the Ode is the touching duet for alto and tenor ‘Dicite Virgini’: the phrase ‘O beata Cecilia’ (‘O blessed Cecilia’) is set with especial affection, and ‘respice nos’ (‘look on us’) draws eloquent harmony from the composer. With the return of the trio at ‘Adeste caelites’ the supplicatory mood is displaced before the opening material returns: the singers praise the patron Saint of music ‘with voice and organ’ for the last time and Purcell’s smallest Ode draws to its conclusion.

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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