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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22058
Recording details: January 1995
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: September 1995
Total duration: 4 minutes 22 seconds

'The performances (and the music) are lovely, with a first-class lineup of British singers specialising in Britten's msuic. This one is difficult to pass up' (American Record Guide)

'Two irresistible discs—typically painstakingly produced and documented—and would deserve four stars if only they were there to give' (The Times)

'A feast' (The Sunday Times)

'Altogether a marvellous treat—Another Hyperion triumph' (Classic CD)

'It is more or less axiomatic now that anything Graham Johnson turns his hand to will be perfectly realised, and here it proves once again to be the case. That he is accompanying eight of the finest voices in the young and middle generations of British singers can only have helped. Hyperion supplies full texts and a recorded sound of complete fidelity. These are, moreover, well filled discs. It is plain that nothing short of a strong recommendation will do' (Fanfare, USA)

In the black dismal dungeon of despair, Z190
composer
1688
composer
1960; realization of piano part
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Roger Vignoles (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the black dismal dungeon of despair and Evening hymn (‘Now that the sun hath veiled his light’) both appear in Book 1 of Harmonia Sacra: or, Divine Hymns and Dialogues, first published in 1688. The words of both are by Dr William Fuller (‘late Lord Bishop of Lincoln’) and are devotional pieces, the first being a plea for mercy and redemption, and the second, ostensibly a prayer on going to bed, has allegorical implications of the feeling of resignation in the face of death, so that the ‘evening’ referred to could well be the twilight of life itself. Purcell sets these subtle words to an expressive melody over a five-bar ground bass, with slowly-changing harmonies, sensitively realized by Britten in his piano interpretation.

from notes by Michael Short © 1992


Other albums featuring this work
'Britten: The Five Canticles' (CDH55244)
Britten: The Five Canticles
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55244  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  

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