VIVAT121

Purcell: Royal Odes

Purcell: Royal Odes

Worldwide release 26 February 2021
Pre-orders from 1 February 2021
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An outstanding new recording from The King’s Consort brings together a world-class vocal and instrumental ensemble in a glorious programme of three of Purcell’s finest Royal Odes.

For more than three decades The King’s Consort has been renowned across the globe for its performances of the music of Henry Purcell. In 1988, Robert King’s ensemble recorded its first disc of Purcell’s odes: that ground-breaking series of the complete odes (most of them at that time largely unknown) was followed by similar series of the sacred music and the secular songs, and changed the musical world’s perception of Purcell. Since then there has been hardly a year in which the odes haven’t appeared in TKC’s concert programmes: this is music which runs through the ensemble’s veins.

Spanning almost the whole of his period as an established composer, Purcell’s odes show him at his finest. A glorious succession of overtures, choruses, arias and delicious ritornelli display astonishing imagination and ingenuity: yet never far beneath the surface lies the sense of melancholy, of fading glory, that is the hallmark of Purcell’s greatest music.

During the pandemic lockdown of Autumn 2020, thirty-two years after their first Purcell recording, TKC returned to the studio to record three substantial odes: two written for Queen Mary, and one for King James II. An outstanding team of soloists (led by Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Charles Daniels and Matthew Brook) included one member of the ensemble who took part in that first recording, alongside others who have been performing these works with TKC for twenty years. On the other hand, three of 2020’s singers were not even born when TKC recorded that first disc. A superlative instrumental ensemble provides equally outstanding contributions.

The recording was made in the spacious surroundings of the recently restored Fairfield Halls, Croydon, whose warm, clear acoustic is perfect for this music. Extensive presentation includes a 48 page booklet with substantial liner notes in three languages, together with full texts and session photos.

Track Composer Title Duration Play
1 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
Opening solo and chorus
1’31  
2 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
Symphony
3’30  
3 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
When should each soul exalted be
2’19  
4 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
Britain, thou now art great
4’08  
5 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
Look up, and to our Isle returning see
1’59  
6 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
Accurs’d rebellion reared his head
1’56  
7 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
So Jove, scarce settled in his sky
1’05  
8 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
Minuet – Caesar, for milder virtues
2’55  
9 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
The many headed beast is quelled
2’09  
10 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
In the equal balance laid
1’21  
11 Purcell Why are all the Muses mute :
O, how blest is the isle
6’09  
12 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
Symphony
3’23  
13 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
Opening chorus
1’14  
14 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
Not any one such joy could bring
1’57  
15 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
This does our fertile isle
3’22  
16 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
Opening chorus (reprise)
1’13  
17 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
It was a work of full as great a weight
2’17  
18 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
By beauteous softness mix’d with majesty
3’59  
19 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
Her hero to whose conduct
1’36  
20 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
Our dear religion
1’59  
21 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
No more shall we the great Eliza boast
1’14  
22 Purcell Now does the glorious day appear :
Now, now with one united voice
2’36  
23 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
Symphony
2’22  
24 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
Opening solo and chorus
1’36  
25 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
At thy return the joyful earth
3’58  
26 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
Welcome as when three happy kingdoms strove
2’52  
27 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
The mighty goddess of this wealthy isle
1’32  
28 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
Full of wonder and delight
1’52  
29 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
And lo, a sacred fury – To lofty strains
3’05  
30 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
My prayers are heard – I see the round years
3’53  
31 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
He to the field by Honour call’d shall go
1’41  
32 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
Whilst undisturb’d his happy Consort reigns
2’05  
33 Purcell Welcome, glorious morn :
Sound all ye spheres
2’08  
    Total 81’12  
Download CD booklet (PDF)

VIVAT 121
Purcell: Royal Odes

Carolyn Sampson soprano
Emily Owen soprano
Iestyn Davies countertenor
Hugh Cutting countertenor
Charles Daniels tenor
David de Winter tenor
Matthew Brook bass
Edward Grint bass
The King’s Consort
Robert King conductor