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Track(s) taken from CDA66658

Sonata in A major

? circa 1680; Bodleian Library, MSS Mus.Sch.D.251, E.400-4; British Library, R.M.20.h.9; British Library, Add.MS33236

The Parley of Instruments
Recording details: April 1993
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: September 1993
Total duration: 5 minutes 57 seconds

Cover artwork: A young man singing to a violin by Jacob Ochtervelt (1634-1682)
Glasgow Museums: Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove

Other recordings available for download

Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (conductor)


'Delightful' (Gramophone)

'Red Byrd's recordings have been consistently superb … and this recording is no exception' (Fanfare, USA)

'Another revelatory disc in Hyperion's wonderful 'English Orpheus' series … Treasures to savour from a fine composer' (British Music Society Journal)

'First rate. Add to the excellent performances a clear, balanced recorded sound, and you have a highly recommended disc' (In Tune, Japan)
Blow composed only a solitary trio sonata (unless we count the G minor Ground). In the Sonata in A major, perhaps surprisingly, he eschewed the dazzling contrapuntal fireworks of examples by Purcell—nearly two dozen masterpieces all told—in favour of a more relaxed and, in places, markedly lyrical style. The main theme of the triple-time central movement, for instance, bears a striking resemblance to the wonderful melody that occurs at the corresponding point in the opening symphony of Blow’s symphony anthem The Lord is my shepherd, composed by 1677. But the trio sonata probably dates from two or three years later, when Purcell (emulating, as he put it, ‘the most fam’d Italian masters’) began exploring the enormous potential of this genre—the quintessence of instrumental chamber music in the period, much as was the string quartet a century later.

from notes by Bruce Wood © 2017

Other albums featuring this work

An excess of pleasure
BKD010Download only
Blow: An Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell & other works
Studio Master: CDA68149Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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