Hyperion Records

Celestial music did the gods inspire, Z322
composer
5 August 1689; Ode for a performance at Mr Maidwell's School
author of text

Recordings
'Purcell: Odes, Vol. 4 – Ye tuneful Muses' (CDA66456)
Purcell: Odes, Vol. 4 – Ye tuneful Muses
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66456  Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8   Download currently discounted
'Purcell: The Complete Odes & Welcome Songs' (CDS44031/8)
Purcell: The Complete Odes & Welcome Songs
Buy by post £38.50 CDS44031/8  8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Movement 1: Symphony
Track 10 on CDA66456 [3'10] Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
Track 10 on CDS44031/8 CD4 [3'10] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2: Celestial music did the gods inspire
Track 11 on CDA66456 [2'09] Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
Track 11 on CDS44031/8 CD4 [2'09] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3: Her charming strains expel tormenting Care
Track 12 on CDA66456 [3'05] Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
Track 12 on CDS44031/8 CD4 [3'05] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 4: Thus Virgil's Genius lov'd the country best
Track 13 on CDA66456 [2'13] Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
Track 13 on CDS44031/8 CD4 [2'13] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 5: Whilst music did improve Amphion's song
Track 14 on CDA66456 [2'11] Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
Track 14 on CDS44031/8 CD4 [2'11] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 6: When Orpheus sang all Nature did rejoice
Track 15 on CDA66456 [2'06] Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
Track 15 on CDS44031/8 CD4 [2'06] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 7: Let Phyllis by her voice but charm the Air
Track 16 on CDA66456 [2'25] Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
Track 16 on CDS44031/8 CD4 [2'25] 8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Celestial music did the gods inspire, Z322
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1689 Purcell was commissioned to write works by two London schools. The more famous of these commissions resulted in Dido and Aeneas, first performed at Josias Priest’s School for Young Ladies in Chelsea, but at around the same time (perhaps keeping up with his competitors) the schoolteacher Mr Maidwell commissioned the music to the Ode Celestial music did the gods inspire, which was performed at his school on 5 August. The librettist is unknown, simply credited in the score with ‘the words by one of his scholars’, but certainly appears to have had a firm grounding in Greek and Roman mythology—and produced verse that was better than some written by more distinguished names of the time.

Purcell took the Symphony for the Ode directly from his 1685 coronation anthem My heart is inditing: such re-use of material was comparatively rare with Purcell and suggests that there may have been some haste in the composition. The solo bass at ‘Celestial music’ is accompanied by imitative strings who lead into a chorus which blossoms wonderfully at ‘Whom sacred music calls her Deity’. ‘Her charming strains’ is evocatively scored over a four-bar ground bass for the other-worldly combination of countertenor and two recorders and the instruments are provided with an elegant playout. ‘Thus Virgil’s Genius’ is also set on a ground and is given to a soprano soloist, followed by the duet ‘Whilst music did improve Amphion’s song’ and a string ritornello, both based on the rhythmic motif of a Scotch snap. ‘When Orpheus sang’ is a minature masterpiece in which, once again, the theme of music inspires Purcell to produce a movement of startling originality: the countertenor weaves a florid line over a hypnotic chordal accompaniment illustrating Orpheus and his lyre subduing nature and even cruel Pluto. Closing the work is a trio (with suitably rich harmony for the word ‘ravish’d’) which is then taken up by the chorus and enlarged with virtuoso breaks for the first violin.

from notes by Robert King © 2010

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Details for CDS44031/8 disc 4 track 16
Let Phyllis by her voice but charm the Air
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-91-45616
Duration
2'25
Recording date
5 September 1990
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Purcell: Odes, Vol. 4 – Ye tuneful Muses (CDA66456)
    Disc 1 Track 16
    Release date: May 1991
    Deletion date: November 2005
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44031/8
  2. Purcell: The Complete Odes & Welcome Songs (CDS44031/8)
    Disc 4 Track 16
    Release date: November 1992
    8CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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