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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67586
Recording details: February 2006
Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2006
Total duration: 6 minutes 31 seconds

'Anglican music can be heard at its best from Westminster Abbey … a varied programme stylishly performed' (Choir & Organ)

'Early notice is served of how well the Abbey's choristers are currently singing … an admirably varied programme, with excellent Hyperion recording' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Exhilarating performances' (The Daily Telegraph)

'As with the previous releases in this series, the choir (and organist Robert Quinney, who here ends the disc in spectacular fashion with Jeanne Demessieux's Te Deum), under the fluent direction of James O'Donnell, is above reproach' (International Record Review)

'After eight years James O'Donnell has brought a new sound to the choir of Westminster Abbey. The boys show the greater improvement, a firmer, more solid tone, but the men also now sound like the best adult choirs … the acoustics of the Gothic building are superb, and the organ makes magnificent sounds' (Fanfare, USA)

'The range of musical styles is as varied as could be … the standard of singing and recording is fully equal to such demanding music, but it is equally satisfying to hear psalms and familiar canticles, Stanford in C (Morning) and Purcell in G minor (Evening) performed with such loving care. An excellent disc, highly recommended' (Cathedral Music)

Evening Service in G minor, Z231
author of text
Magnificat: Luke 1: 46-55; Nunc dimittis: Luke 2: 29-32

Other recordings available for download
Eamonn O'Dwyer (treble), Mark Kennedy (treble), Mark Milhofer (tenor), James Bowman (countertenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Michael George (bass), King's Consort Choir, The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
For an evening service which has long been a regular stalwart on the service papers of churches and cathedrals, it is worth noting that no contemporary manuscript of Purcell’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G minor survives. The edition most widely used today is one made by Vincent Novello, said to have been based on a manuscript in York Minster which was destroyed in a fire in 1829. This was probably similar to an early eighteenth-century manuscript in York Minster Library which does still exist. A corroborative bass partbook dating from 1711-1718 containing the service is found in Durham Cathedral library.

‘Purcell in G minor’ is a delightful setting which mixes, as does the more weighty B flat Service, four-part choruses and six-part verses, these latter sections always alternating the upper three voices with the lower adult trio. At the end of the Nunc Dimittis Purcell clearly intended the Gloria to the Magnificat to be repeated, as had been the custom in ‘everyday’ settings of the canticles for a hundred years. However, generations of church musicians have sung a splendidly extended (but hopelessly anachronistic) Gloria which the York manuscript states was written by Thomas Roseingrave (1688-1766), more than doubling the length of Purcell’s Nunc Dimittis. We ignore Roseingrave and follow the composer’s intentions by repeating his simple, nineteen-bar Gloria.

from notes by Robert King ©

Other albums featuring this work
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 8' (CDA66686)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 8
MP3 £4.00FLAC £4.00ALAC £4.00Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66686  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51   Download currently discounted
'Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44141/51)
Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £40.00 CDS44141/51  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  

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