Purcell: Hail! bright Cecilia & Who can from joy refrain?
Helios (Hyperion's budget label)CDH55327
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 1
HYP12 Super-budget price sampler — Deleted
Movement 1: Overture
Movement 2: Who can from joy refrain?
James Bowman (countertenor), Gillian Fisher (soprano), Tessa Bonner (soprano), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Michael George (bass), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Movement 3: A Prince of glorious race descended
Movement 4: The Father brave as e'er was Dane
Movement 5: The Graces in his Mother shine
Movement 6: Sound the Trumpet and beat the warlike Drum
John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Crispian Steele-Perkins (trumpet), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Movement 7: If now he burns with noble flame
‘The Duke of Gloucester’s Birthday Ode’ shows so much that is wonderful in Purcell’s writing: the Overture contains a marvellously rich slow section before the canzona returns, and the solo movements all feature music of the highest order. ‘A Prince of glorious race descended’ in particular demonstrates one of Purcell’s familiar techniques, and one that he used to great effect in so many of his Odes. The movement begins with a ground bass and solo voice, and then, at the mid-point, is transformed into a ravishing four-part string ritornello. The last movement too is a compositional tour de force: Purcell’s extraordinary Chaconne alternates and mixes voices and instruments in a wonderful variety of textures and rhythms.
from notes by Robert King © 2010