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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66585
Recording details: November 1991
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: March 1992
Total duration: 11 minutes 23 seconds

'If later volumes are as deftly and feelingly accomplished as this one, then King's grand Purcellian tour ought to be a landmark in English music discography' (The Independent)

'Purcell has seldom been this lucky' (CDReview)

My beloved spake, Z28
before 1678
author of text
Song of Solomon 2: 10-13, 16

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The expressive, graphic, text from The Song of Solomon, My beloved spake has been set with great originality by several British composers over the centuries (including a wonderful setting by another under-rated Englishmen, the twentieth-century composer Patrick Hadley) but no setting has been more original than that of Henry Purcell. Dating from before 1678, My beloved spake is one of Purcell’s earliest surviving compositions: it is hard to believe that this skilfully-crafted anthem could be the work of a teenager. With a text full of references to spring, it is remarkable in almost every aspect: for its freshness, its glorious string writing, its extraordinary word-painting and its novel harmonic language.

The single-section Symphony contains music of enormous originality and leads straight into the opening quartet where the coming of spring is treated with ecstatic lyricism, and the word ‘rise’ is thrown between the voices. The passing of winter and the ritornello that takes over from the voices produces more delicious discords before the arrival of the spring flowers is celebrated with a move back to the major key, a joyful quartet and a chorus at ‘the singing of birds is come’. But the most astonishing harmony is reserved for ‘And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land’ where Purcell creates one of the most extraordinary tonal shifts of the era.

The opening Symphony is repeated before the tenor, accompanied by a winding solo violin imitates the fig tree tortuously growing her green figs and the vines slowly putting forth their produce. The ecstasy of the opening returns at ‘Rise, my love, my fair one’, followed by a joyful Alleluia and the final chorus.

from notes by Robert King ©

Other albums featuring this work
'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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