Christopher Purves

Baritone

Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.

Handel: Saul

Handel: Saul

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, October 2015.


Christopher Purves (Saul), Iestyn Davies (David), Lucy Crowe (Merab), Sophie Bevan (Michal), Paul Appleby (Jonathan), Benjamin Hulett (High Priest) & John Graham-Hall (Witch of Endor)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ivor Bolton (conductor) & Barrie Kosky (director)

Read our exclusive interview with Christopher Purves here.

Glyndebourne’s Saul stole the summer and had critics raving. The Guardian (****) applauded ‘virtuoso stagecraft’ from director Barrie Kosky in his debut production there, calling the show ‘a theatrical and musical feast of energetic choruses, surreal choreography and gorgeous singing’. For The Independent, which ranked it amongst five top classical and opera performances of 2015, there was ‘no praise too high’ for the cast. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Ivor Bolton sparkles from the pit with period panache, and designer Katrin Lea Tag’s ‘exuberant costumes’ (The Times ****) set the Old Testament story in Handel’s time, with a witty twinge of the contemporary.

Running time: 185 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Extra Features: A Descent Into Madness and a Cast Gallery.

“Pivotal is Christopher Purves’s Saul – surely the father-in-law from hell should the Goliath-slaying David choose his daughter Michal (or son Jonathan – tenderly sung by Paul Appleby). Purves has always done rage and menace to the manner born, but his slide into ever-deepening madness is terrifying…his is a tour de force to rival the diametrically opposed inscrutable calm that is Iestyn Davies’s David…taut musical direction from Ivor Bolton consolidates a Glyndebourne bullseye” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ****

“energetic, highly coloured entertainment” Financial Times, June 2016

“Christopher Purves is utterly consumed by his role as Saul...Iestyn Davies is vocally outstanding as David, with his customary melting melismas.” Opera, January 2017

“A recording that picks up just about as much glamour and nuance as is it is possible to convey using the comparatively limited focus of cameras.” MusicWeb International, 4th January 2017

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA1216D

(DVD Video)

Normally: $28.25

Special: $22.60

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Saul

Handel: Saul

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, October 2015.


Christopher Purves (Saul), Iestyn Davies (David), Lucy Crowe (Merab), Sophie Bevan (Michal), Paul Appleby (Jonathan), Benjamin Hulett (High Priest) & John Graham-Hall (Witch of Endor)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ivor Bolton (conductor) & Barrie Kosky (director)

Read our exclusive interview with Christopher Purves here.

Glyndebourne’s Saul stole the summer and had critics raving. The Guardian (****) applauded ‘virtuoso stagecraft’ from director Barrie Kosky in his debut production there, calling the show ‘a theatrical and musical feast of energetic choruses, surreal choreography and gorgeous singing’. For The Independent, which ranked it amongst five top classical and opera performances of 2015, there was ‘no praise too high’ for the cast. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Ivor Bolton sparkles from the pit with period panache, and designer Katrin Lea Tag’s ‘exuberant costumes’ (The Times ****) set the Old Testament story in Handel’s time, with a witty twinge of the contemporary.

Running time: 185 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Extra Features: A Descent Into Madness, Colour and Texture - An Musical Insight and a Cast Gallery.

“Pivotal is Christopher Purves’s Saul – surely the father-in-law from hell should the Goliath-slaying David choose his daughter Michal (or son Jonathan – tenderly sung by Paul Appleby). Purves has always done rage and menace to the manner born, but his slide into ever-deepening madness is terrifying…his is a tour de force to rival the diametrically opposed inscrutable calm that is Iestyn Davies’s David…taut musical direction from Ivor Bolton consolidates a Glyndebourne bullseye” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ****

“energetic, highly coloured entertainment” Financial Times, June 2016

“Christopher Purves is utterly consumed by his role as Saul...Iestyn Davies is vocally outstanding as David, with his customary melting melismas.” Opera, January 2017

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7205D

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $33.75

Special: $27.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Messiah

Handel: Messiah


Lucy Crowe (soprano), Tim Mead (counter-tenor), Andrew Staples (tenor), Christopher Purves (baritone)

Le Concert d’Astrée Orchestre et Chœur, Emmanuelle Haïm

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Emmanuelle Haïm has established herself as one of the world’s leading performers, conductors and interpreters of Baroque repertoire, not only with Le Concert d’Astrée, the ensemble she founded in 2000, but with several of the world’s greatest orchestras. Known for her fresh and expressive approach to Baroque music, she has appeared as a guest conductor with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Berliner Philharmoniker. With her own ensemble she has garnered critical acclaim and several international awards, including Victoires de la Musique Classique, ECHOs, Gramophone Awards, and Grammy nominations.

For this English-language recording of Handel’s masterwork Messiah, Haïm is joined by the orchestra and chorus of Le Concert d’Astrée, as well as four outstanding English singers – Lucy Crowe, Tim Mead, Andrew Staples and Christopher Purves.

“The choir and orchestra of Le Concert d’Astrée trot along with the trim rhythms now customary in “authentic” performances of Handel. Occasionally they slice their notes too abruptly for comfort...Among the soloists, Lucy Crowe and Christopher Purves are the most consistently pleasurable.” The Times, 28th November 2014 ***

“The soloists rise to Haïm’s challenge in fine style; all show great flexibility in adapting their voices to expressing a far wider range of emotions than Messiah is normally thought to involve...This is definitely a Messiah worth listening to; lively and varied, it really is a new injection of life into an old favourite work and a recording that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the existing benchmarks.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 8th December 2014

“The delivery of the choruses is crisply focused and shaped impressively, Haïm sensibly opts to hire top-notch English freelancers...There are a small number of occasions when Haïm could have let the music speak more naturally for itself...Nevertheless, the fusion of dramatic mood, orchestral texture and an inspired soloist often pays off handsomely.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2014

“the vocal ornamentation, as sung by the outstanding solo quartet...sounds entirely stylish and idiomatic...Haïm’s choir for this work, too, comprises mainly native English-speakers, and it shows in their trenchant diction. Their Hallelujah is magnificent...One of the most dramatic and exciting Messiahs in recent memory.” Sunday Times, 14th December 2014

“Haïm directs the music with the same sort of Gallic lightness and grace that she absorbed during her early years with the French group Les Arts Florissants...The result is not as exhilarating as some, and sometimes a touch fussy, but Haïm finds expression wherever she looks and Le Concert d’Astrée respond keenly.” Financial Times, 20th December 2014 ***

“Haïm herself proves broadly sensitive to tempo...and balance has been excellently managed in what is a resonant acoustic. Le Concert d’Astrée's chorus numbers 20...they also keep light on their collective feet. The 26-strong orchestra, too, supplies vitality as well as solemnity and flexibility.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2015 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

8th December 2014

Erato - 2564624055

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.75

(also available to download from $12.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Finest Arias for Base Voice

Handel: Finest Arias for Base Voice


Handel:

Sibilar gl'angui d'Aletto (from Rinaldo)

Fra l’ombre e gl’orrori (from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo)

I rage, I melt, I burn…O ruddier than the cherry (from Acis and Galatea)

L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: If I give thee honour due

L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: Mirth, admit me of thy crew

La Resurrezione: Qual'insolita luce

La Resurrezione: Caddi, è ver

Deborah: Tears, such as tender fathers shed

Belshazzar: To pow'r immortal my first thanks are due

Impari ognun da Orlando (from Orlando)

Sorge infausta una procella (from Orlando)

Theodora, HWV 68: Racks, gibbets, sword and fire

Muzio Scevola, HWV13: Volate più dei venti

Vieni, o cara (from Agrippina)

Nel mondo e nell'abisso (from Riccardo Primo)

Mie piante, correte from Apollo e Dafne, HWV 122

Apollo e Dafne: Cara pianta

Alexander's Feast: Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries

Semele: Leave me, loathsome light


‘With his acting chops and weighty bass-baritone, Purves in full cry is a splendid and fearful spectacle’ (The Times)

The magnificent Christopher Purves performs a recital of Handel’s bass arias. This unique collection demonstrates the range and brilliance of Handel’s writing for this voice, featuring a selection from Italian and English operas, English classical drama, Biblical oratorios, literary odes and a masque. Handel’s endlessly imaginative gift for characterization is fully explored here, with Purves commanding an extraordinary emotional and technical range from the buffo blustering of Polyphemus in Acis and Gatalea to the loving musings of Abinoam in ‘Tears, such as tender fathers shed’ from the oratorio Deborah.

“Possessing in effect two voices in one - a ringing, incisive high baritone with a sonorous bass extension...Purves's flair for specific characterisation enlivens every number on the disc...A counter...to the cliched notion that [Handel's] bass arias are all undifferentiated bluster.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2013

“Purves is a fine vocal actor, and we're continuously aware of the variety of Handel's style and the sharpness of his characterisation. The great moments are those in which the singing reveals the depths of Handel's psychological insight, above all in a scene from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, in which the monster Polifemo is suddenly shown to have immense nobility of soul.” The Guardian, 10th January 2013 ****

“Purves’ voice has a noble timbre and is informed by the keenest intelligence” Financial Times, 19th January 2013

“one to treasure both for the sensitive and well-sustained singing of Christopher Purves and for the wonderfully wide expressive range of Handel's music...Purves has an acute ear, serving well his intonation and lively feeling for characterisation...The pleasure of single-voice recitals can sometimes be tempered by repetitive mannerisms or exaggerated gestures. Purves avoids both, ensuring enjoyment” BBC Music Magazine, February 2013 *****

“He relishes verbal dexterity, and the sound of his rolling consonants in Racks, gibbets, sword and fire from Theodora is not easily forgotten, He shakes the word ‘racks’ around his mouth like a dog savaging a toy doll...This outstandingly good disc offers a wide range of music, feeling, texture and mood. Singer and accompanying group are perfectly matched in a sympathetic church acoustic.” MusicWeb International, January 2013

“Purves not only gives a masterclass in characterisation in this collection of opera and oratorio arias, but also showcases a formidable range of nearly three octaves in the fiendishly difficult scene from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. Equally characterful support from young ensemble Arcangelo under Jonathan Cohen.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, August 2014

“Christopher Purves gives us masterful, dazzling and powerful performances of scenes from 15 of the composer’s dramatic works, lithely and splendidly supported by up-and-coming ensemble Arcangelo and conductor Jonathan Cohen. In short, this is the most outstanding album of its kind I’ve ever heard from any singer.” Early Music Today ****

GGramophone Awards 2013

Finalist - Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2013

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - February 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Vocal Finalist

Hyperion - CDA67842

(CD)

$14.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Lamenti

Lamenti


Carissimi:

Lamento della Maria Stuarda

Patrizia Ciofi (soprano)

Cavalli:

Hipparco, e di Climene, Lamento d’Egisto

Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Acate, Ilioneo, Lamento di Enea

Topi Lehtipuu (tenor)

Alle ruine del mio regno, Lamento d’Ecuba e Cassandra

Marie-Nicole Lemieux (alto) & Patrizia Ciofi (soprano)

Cesti:

Dure noie, Lamento d’Atamante

Laurent Naouri (bass-baritone)

Landi, S:

Superbe colli

Christopher Purves (baritone)

Monteverdi:

Lamento della Ninfa (Book 8)

Natalie Dessay (soprano), Simon Wall (tenor), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor) & Christopher Purves (baritone)

Lamento d'Arianna 'Lasciatemi morire'

Véronique Gens (soprano)

Addio Roma! (from L'incoronazione di Poppea)

Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)

Tu se’ morta mia vita, Lamento d’Orfeo

Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Strozzi:

L'Eraclito amoroso 'Udite amanti'

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor)


Le Concert Astrée, Emmanuelle Haim

Emmanuelle Haim follows her 2006 recording of Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with an unusual and inventive programme on the theme of the Lamento, the literary and dramatic form that found its seventeenth-century musical archetype in Monteverdi’s celebrated Lamento d’Arianna.

Emmanuelle Haim has taken great care in choosing 9 soloists to perform these demanding works amongst which Véronique Gens sings the Lamento d’Arianna, the tantalising fragment from Monteverdi’s lost opera of 1608; Natalie Dessay is the abandoned nymph in the very different Lamento della ninfa from the Eighth Book of Madrigals. Alongside these familiar works by Monteverdi the programme includes Philippe Jaroussky in Barbara Strozzi’s dramatic monologue L’Eraclito amoroso, probably written for Strozzi herself, Carissimi’s Lamento di Maria Stuarda (with Patrizia Ciofi) and Strozzi’s teacher Cavalli’s Lamento d’Egisto (with Rolando Villazón, who also sings Orfeo’s Lamento). Joyce DiDonato, recently signed to EMI/Virgin Classics as an exclusive artist, adds Ottavia’s heartrending farewell to Rome from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.

“Haim is pure dynamite” The Telegraph

“Haim’s meteoric rise has been well charted by the press. It’s easy to understand the excitement - her enthusiasm is infectious, her conducting demeanour distinctive, and her knowledge intense.” Gramophone Magazine

“Waif-like, driven, messianic or explosive, non-conformist, unruly, either way, the conductor Emmanuelle Haim has enough charisma to draw crowds in her wake. Haim is the most dynamic force to have hit the period movement since the 1970s. She’s a born leader” Financial Times

“This all-star cast includes the ravishing Natalie Dessay as Monteverdi's forsaken nymph, Véronique Gens, a proud, desolate Ariadne, and Joyce DiDonato, who sings Octavia's farewell with extraordinary dramatic passion. Much of the interest of this disc lies in its subtleties, Emmanuelle Haïm highlighting telling details...” BBC Music Magazine, November 2008 *****

“A starry host of singers bring their talents to bear on Haïm's programme” Gramophone Magazine, January 2009

Erato - 5190442

(CD)

$8.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Esther

Handel: Esther


A world premiere recording of Handel’s Oratorio “Esther” to be released in the 1732 revised version

“The all-round excellence of this live concert performance from Handel's parish church, St George's, Hanover Square, makes it an essential treat for Handelians.” Gramophone Magazine, Janurary 2008

“Lawrence Cummings emphasises the music's dramatic quality and generally paces it well… Rosemary Joshua in the title role sings the text as vividly as she does the notes. Christopher Purves is striking as the genocidal Haman.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2008 ***

“Handelians will be flocking to this one, but so should everybody. The first of two Rosemary Joshua Handel outings this month (see Semele, below) is also a world premiere. A remarkable job of musical excavation has given us Handel’s second version of Esther, the oratorio that made his name in London. An exciting, important and touching recording.” Gramophone Magazine

“This is a particularly welcome and important world-premiere recording. Handel composed Esther in about 1718-20 for James Brydges, the Earl of Carnarvon (and later Duke of Chandos), using a libretto that was anonymously adapted from Thomas Brereton's English translation of a play by Racine. This slender work, containing only six scenes, lays a strong claim to being the first English oratorio, but Handel seems not to have considered performing it for a public audience until 1732, when the entrepreneurial composer thoroughly revised the score to fit his company of Italian opera singers (including Senesino, Strada and Montagnana, who all sang in English), and enlisted the aid of the writer Samuel Humphreys to expand the drama with additional scenes. This is the historic version of Esther that launched Handel's oratorio career in London, but it has remained inexplicably neglected in modern times.
Laurence Cummings is one of our finest and most natural Handelian conductors. The Israelite Woman's sensuous opening number 'Breathe soft, ye gales' (featuring recorders, oboes, bassoons, harp, theorbo, five-part strings and organ) is neatly judged by the impressive London Handel Orchestra. The superb choir is enthusiastic and masterful, and the two inserted Coronation Anthems My heart is inditing and Zadok the Priest (the latter given a parody text) are both performed magnificently. James Bowman sounds a little fragile in the most extensive coloratura passages written for Senesino in 'Endless fame', and the part of Mordecai seems uncomfortably low for Susan Bickley (which is not helped by the dragging speed of 'Dread not, righteous Queen, the danger'), but in general the soloists form a consistently solid team.
Christopher Purves is marvellous as the scheming and bullying evil minister Haman, and is equally good at singing the pitiful and lyrical 'Turn not, O Queen, thy face away' when the villain fears his deserved doom.
The all-round excellence of this live concert performance from Handel's parish church, St George's, Hanover Square, makes it an essential treat for Handelians.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2008

Somm - SOMM238/9

(CD - 2 discs)

$18.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Messiah (highlights)

Handel: Messiah (highlights)


Collegium - CSCD519

(CD)

$9.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Walton: Belshazzar's Feast, etc.

Walton:

Belshazzar's Feast

Crown Imperial

Orb and Sceptre


Naxos - 8555869

(CD)

$7.00

(also available to download from $7.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Glass, P: The Perfect American

Glass, P: The Perfect American

recorded live at Teatro Real Madrid, February 2013


Christopher Purves (Walt Disney), David Pittsinger (Roy Disney), Donald Kaasch (Dantine) & Janis Kelly (Hazel Disney)

Teatro Real Madrid, Dennis Russell Davies

Orange Mountain Music presents the premiere recording of Philip Glass's 2013 opera The Perfect American about the death of Walt Disney performed by an esteemed roster of soloists including Christopher Purves as Walt Disney and performed by the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Real Madrid under the direction of Dennis Russell Davies. This 2CD set of The Perfect American is a fictionalized biography of Disney's final months. We discover Disney's delusions of immortality via cryogenic preservation, his tirades alongside his Abraham Lincoln talking robot, his utopian visions and his backyard labyrinth of toy trains.

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Orange Mountain - OMM0102

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $16.25

Special: $12.51

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626

Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626


Sandrine Piau (soprano), Sara Mingardo (contralto), Werner Gura (tenor), Christopher Purves (bass-baritone)

Accentus Chamber Choir, Insula Orchestra, Laurence Equilbey

This is a new performance of one of the most emblematic music works ever created - composed in Mozart's final year and unfinished, the work is still today shrouded in mystery. It is the debut recording of Insula Orchestra, a new formation (on period instruments) co-founded in 2012 by Laurence Equilbey. Along with an impressive range of soloists and Accentus, one of the leading European choirs, also founded by Laurence Equilbey 20 years ago, they offer an intense and stylish interpretation of Mozart's Requiem, recorded in the Chapelle Royale of Château de Versailles.

Laurence Equilbey, the conductor and music director of Insula orchestra and Accentus, is today highly regarded for her artistic rigour and open-minded approach. With Accentus, Laurence Equilbey continues to explore the large repertory of vocal music and to support contemporary creation. Their numerous recordings on Naive have received widespread critical acclaim. She is also artistic and pedagogical director of the training department for young singers at the CRR in Paris.

In 2012, with the support of the Conseil Général des Hauts-de-Seine, she founded Insula orchestra, a period-instrument group dedicated to the Classical and pre-Romantic repertoire. The 2014/15 season will see the orchestra’s first concert outside France, at the Mozartwoche in Salzburg, and the release of its first disc, the present recording of the Mozart Requiem.

“There is a superb high-level quartet of soloists, with Werner Güra’s ringing tenor prominent and Sandrine Piau’s plainsong icy sharp. The wiry Insula Orchestra is softened by basset horns and bassoons, while the Accentus choir has a light European texture, robust where needed, but in the female voices of Voca me cum benedictis echoing ethereally into eternity.” The Observer, 28th September 2014 ****

“Balance generally...is superbly managed by the experienced conductor, Laurence Equilbey...Her soloists, too, match well as a quartet...for all Equilbey's avoidance of theatricality it's the sense of detail, care and attention she imparts as well as fluency that makes her interpretation memorable.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 *****

“a very fine and very satisfying performance indeed.” International Record Review, January 2015

“It’s rare to hear a Requiem so bracingly and affirmatively sung.” Choir & Organ, January/February 2015

“Equilbey’s tempi have an un-indulgent discipline that maintains the velocity of the faster movements to exciting effect. The chamber choir Accentus should be better known outside of France: their sound is vibrant and fresh. The recording’s team of soloists is very well balanced, underpinned ably by Christopher Purves’ velvety bass-baritone.” Early Music Today, March/May 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice

Naive - V5370

(CD)

$13.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Page: 

1 2 3 4 5 6

 Next >>

Copyright © 2002-17 Presto Classical Limited, all rights reserved.