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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22055
Recording details: March 1995
New Hall, Winchester College, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: October 1995
Total duration: 6 minutes 47 seconds

'Winchester Cathedral Choir is singing wonderfully well these days … one of the richest of all contributions to the excellent English Orpheus Series' (Gramophone)

'Well worth exploring' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Quite apart from the beauties of the music itself, the perfomances are all first rate. The soloists are clearly at home in this idiom, singing it as their native musical language. The sound is warm but clear, with a delicious intimacy that is entirely in character for music written primarily for the Chapel Royal … the choir is excellent, as are the period instrumentalists, and David Hill directs performances that are sensitive, well paced, and coherent. So far, this is still the mother lode among recordings of Blow's church music' (American Record Guide)

'Performances that are not likely to be bettered soon. The sound is marvellous … it is an important and essential addition to any collection of English church music, the 50 percent reduction in price now leaving no further excuse for anyone remotely interested in this field' (Fanfare, USA)

'When it comes to re-releases this is a great buy … this is an excellent vintage recording with Robin Blaze and Stephen Varcoe, just a couple of singers amongst a considerable feast of talent. The sound produced here is fabulous and the singing wonderful with crisp, rhythmic playing from Peter Holman's instrumental group' (Cathedral Music)

'Un pur ravissement' (Le Monde de la Musique, France)

'Un suculento banquete de solemnidad británica' (Ritmo, Spain)

Cry aloud and spare not
1682 or before
author of text
Isaiah 55: 1; 58: 1-3

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In Cry aloud, Blow seems to be trying out alternatives to the formal models found in Humfrey’s anthems. In the symphony, Blow seems to be demonstrating the rival virtues of three national types of contrapuntal writing: traditional English imitation in the first few bars, reminiscent of the full anthem or the viol fantasia, then a burst of brilliant Italianate writing in patterns of semiquavers, and then a triple-time fugal passage in the overture style, the parts entering in order from top to bottom in the French manner. Thereafter, instead of a patchwork of short, contrasted sections, the work is laid out as a single large movement in rondeau form, with the vigorous main passage returning periodically in whole or part, interspersed with episodes of new material. A large unitary structure of this sort, symmetrical in outline but subtly varied in detail, articulated by its themes and harmonies rather than by constant changes of time, was something new in English music, and must have had a profound impact on the young Henry Purcell.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1995

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