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CLASSICAL  March 2001

CLASSICAL March 2001

Subject:

Re: Purcell - Greatest English Artist

From:

Galina Kolomietz <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 3 Mar 2001 21:13:07 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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David Harbin asked:

>>Can any Purcellians recommend any favourite recordings of his works?<<

Richard Pennycuick responded:

>Purcell is not a major interest, but I very much like a CD called Ayres
>for the Theatre by Tafelmusik on Sony Vivarte SK66169 (71:10), containing
>suites from Dioclesian, King Arthur, The Fairy Queen, and The Indian
>Queen.
>
>A dedicated Purcellian would, of course, own the complete works.

Yup.  Here's a dedicated Purcellian for you (I'm a baroque music fan
stranded on this list, lol).  I would recommend these recordings of Purcell
(this is a very short list, of course):

1) King Arthur/Les Arts Florissants, dir.  William Christie, Erato
4509-98535-2 (winner Gramophone award 1995)

2) Dido & Aeneas/Les Arts Florissants, dir.  Christie, Erato 4509-98477-2
(this is the most lavishly decorated version of this opera in the catalog
- arguably, the improvizations are historically accurate (or at least
defensible) and so, to me, this recording trumps the others)

3) Odes for St Cecilia Day & Music for Queen Mary/Taverner Consort, dir.
Andrew Parrott, Virgin Veritas 5 61582 2 (2CD's, cheap - buy buy buy)

4) Hail!  Bright Cecilia, dir.  Philippe Herreweghe, Harmonia Mundi HMC
901643 (some of the best solo singing you'll ever here in baroque.  Two
pieces overlap with the Parrott CD listed above.  If you care, both Parrott
and Herreweghe employ high tenors in many countertenor parts which is
thought to be historically accurate)

5) The Fairy Queen/Les Arts Florissants, dir.  William Christie, Harmonia
Mundi HMC 1308.09 or a version directed by Roger Norrington, EMI Classics
5 55234 2.  Great cast in both cases and the quality and the approach are
quire comparable (except that the Christie has no separate "chorus" - the
soloists combine in chorus parts).  The main difference might be the price.
I got the Norrington at www.broinc.com very cheap.  The Christie was full
price.

6) The Complete Anthems & Services/The King's Consort, dir.  Robert Kind.
I would recommend the following three volumes, all on Hyperion: vol.  2
(CDA 66693 - contains Te Deum & Jubilate Deo - ever heard "Vouchsafe o
Lord?" Give it a listen), vol.  3 (CDA 66623 - contains The Blessed
Virgin's Expostulation, Hear my prayer & Hosanna to the highest), and vol.
9 (CDA 66693 - contains Saul & the Witch of Endor)

7) The Complete Odes & Welcome Songs/The King's Consort, dir.  King.  I
would recommend vol.  8 (Hyperion CDA 66598 - contains Come ye sons of Art
away & Why are all the muses mute (which ends with an amusing panegyric to
England - sort of like some of the stuff you get in King Arthur).  Btw,
this was also at www.broinc.com, for next to nothing.  If you get this,
plus the Parrott & the Herreweghe mentioned earlier you'll pretty much have
the most important Purcell odes on your shelf.

Regards,
Iphise (aka Galina Kolomietz)

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