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Henry & William Lawes - Songs

Henry & William Lawes - Songs


Hely, C:

Fantasia

Saraband

Lawes, H:

A Tale out of Anacreon

Oh, that joy so soon should waste

Sweet, stay awhile; why do you rise?

From the heav’ns now I fly

Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph that liv’st unseen

Oh sweet woods, the delight of solitariness

Tavola: In quel gelato core una voce

Loves Sweet Repose: Amidst the myrtles as I walk

No Reprieve: Now, now Lucasia, now make haste

The Angler’s Song: Man’s life is but vain, for ’tis subject to pain

A Pastoral Elegie: Cease you jolly shepherds

Amarillis, by a spring

Slide soft, you silver floods

When shall I see my captive heart?

Lawes, W:

When man for sin thy judgment feels

Corant for two lutes

A Dreame: I laid me down upon a pillow soft

Alman for two lutes

Country Dance

Corant from The Royall Consort

Oh, my Clarissa, thou cruel fair

Oh, let me still and silent lie

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

Saman:

Monsieur Saman his Coranto


Robin Blaze (countertenor), Elizabeth Kenny (lute, theorbo), Rebecca Outram (soprano), Robert Macdonald (bass), William Carter (lute, guitar, theorbo) & Frances Kelly (double harp)

'On this engaging tour of the melancholy but colourful world of the Lawes brothers we are conducted by alto Robin Blaze and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, both at the height of their powers. Blaze soars with ease throughout the alto range while Kenny's sympathetic accompanimnet is a model of its kind' (Early Music Forum of Scotland News)

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Hyperion - CDA67589

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John Blow - Anthems

John Blow - Anthems


Blow:

God spake sometime in visions

How doth the city sit solitary

The Lord is my shepherd

God is our hope and strength

I beheld, and lo! a great multitude

Turn thee unto me, O Lord

Blessed is the man that hath not walked

Lift up your heads, O ye gates

O Lord, I have sinned

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious

O Lord, thou hast searched me out and known me

Cry aloud and spare not

Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle?

I said in the cutting off of my days


Richard Collins, Christopher Hill, Julian Kaye, Nathaniel Lippiett, Gavin Mccormick, Robin Blaze, Richard Childress, Joseph Cornwell, William Kendall, Peter Butterfield, Stephen Varcoe, Stephen Alder & Donald Sweeney

Winchester Cathedral Choir & The Parley Of Instruments, David Hill

2 discs for the price of one

‘Well worth exploring’ (BBC Music Magazine)

“Though overshadowed by his pupil Purcell, John Blow's church music is highly distinguished. Here are 14 of his richly scored anthems in skilful and idiomatic performances.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2006 ****

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Hyperion Dyads - CDD22055

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Salve Regina

Salve Regina

Sacred music by Monteverdi and his Venetian followers


Castello, D:

Exultate Deo

Grandi:

Amo Christum

Ave maris stella

Legrenzi:

Sonata in G major 'La Pezzoli'

O mirandum mysterium

Marini, B:

Sonata 'per sonar con due corde'

Jesu dulcis memoria

Monteverdi:

Pianto della Madonna 'Iam moriar, mi fili' (sopra il Lamento dell'Arianna), SV 288

Rigatti:

Cum invocarem

Nunc dimittis

Rosenmüller:

Ascendit Christus in altum

Rovetta:

Salve Regina


'Robin Blaze’s clear, pure countertenor is the ideal voice for these pieces, and he sings them with impressive authority. Pick of the month' (BBC Music Magazine)

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Hyperion Early Vocal Music - CDA67225

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Thomas Campion - Move now with measured sound

Thomas Campion - Move now with measured sound

Songs


Campion:

It fell on a summer's day

I care not for these ladies

My sweetest Lesbia

Leave prolonging thy distress

Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!

Mistress, since you so much desire

Now hath Flora robbed her bowers

Mr Confess's Coranto

Move now with measured sound

Lord Hay's Masque

The cypress curtain of the night

All looks be pale

So parted you

Break now, my heart, and die

Woo her, and win her

Faine would I wed

Beauty, since you so much desire

Second Dance of the Lords' Masque

Blame not my cheeks

Tune thy music to thy heart

Author of Light

Never weather-beaten sail

Rosseter:

Fantasia


Robin Blaze (countertenor), Elizabeth Kenny (lute), David Miller (theorbo, lute), Joanna Levine (consort bass viol), Mark Levy (lyra viol)

‘Robin Blaze’s countertenor is ideal for these songs’ (The Daily Telegraph)

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Hyperion - CDA67268

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Byrd: Consort Songs

Byrd: Consort Songs


Byrd:

Rejoice unto the Lord

Ah silly Soul

An aged dame

O dear life, when may it be

Come to me, grief, for ever

Who likes to love

O that most rare breast

All as a sea

Ye sacred muses - an elegy for Thomas Tallis

Constant Penelope

O God that guides the cheerful sun

Lullaby, my sweet little baby

How vain the toils


Robin Blaze (countertenor)

Concordia

Here is a fine recording to draw the listener into the richly layered world of Queen Elizabeth I. William Byrd’s ‘consort songs’ tell of courtly love; Sir Philip Sidney’s demise in battle becomes an eloquent lament; an old woman tumbling down amid a flurry of human skulls represents contemporary desires for freedom of speech; moral temptations are likened to a storm-tossed ship; and a hymn to the Muses is inspired by the death of Thomas Tallis.

The longest single piece here is Byrd’s famous Lullaby ‘My sweet little baby’, one of the most popular of his works during the composer’s lifetime, and one which has been a deserving favourite ever since. Despite Byrd’s domestic-musician-flattering preface in which he claimed these works were designed to persuade ‘everyone to learn how to sing’, this music makes the highest vocal demands: demands far exceeded in the glorious singing of Robin Blaze.

“Blaze continues to chart new territories of vocal expression. Blending purity with confidence, he draws on his vocal strengths—effortlessly sustained legato, delicate pianissimos, crisp declamation—to starkly varied effect, depending on the context of each song … in this marriage of technical mastery and instinctive understanding, Byrd’s complex psychology stands revealed” BBC Music Magazine

“Exquisite singing from Robin Blaze reveals the sophistication of Byrd’s way with words and music, backed by Concordia’s irresistibly stylish playing” Classic FM Magazine

“Blaze is on superb form in this recording, his clear, unpretentious sound an ideal partner for Concordia … very satisfying it is too. Any chance of mo e of the same, Hyperion?” International Record Review

“The touching lament Ye sacred muses links Byrd and Tallis closely, being written by the former as an elegy on the death of the latter and ending with the thought that 'Tallis is dead, and music dies'. Robin Blaze's effortless countertenor singing is perfectly suited to these works.” David Smith, Presto Classical, October 2014

“Blessed with a most alluring countertenor—creamy in tone, naturally expressive, exquisitely controlled—Blaze is the perfect singer for Byrd’s consort songs … Blaze delivers with a refinement any great lieder singer would be hard pushed to exceed” Sunday Times

“These songs are pure heaven: melancholic and moody, sweet and sad, Blaze—supported by the excellent viol consort Concordia (with Elizabeth Ken providing lute accompaniment)—captures their heart with deceptive ease. A lovely release” The Independent

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Helios - CDH55429

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Zelenka: Sacred Music

Zelenka: Sacred Music


Zelenka:

Litaniae de Venerabili Sacramento Z147

Regina coeli laetare Z134

Salve Regina, mater misericordiae Z135

Officium Defunctorum Z47: Lectiones & Invitatorium


Carolyn Sampson, Rebecca Outram (soprano), Robin Blaze (countertenor), James Gilchrist (tenor) & Michael George, Peter Harvey (bass)

Choir of the King's Consort & Kings Consort, Robert King

Czech-born Jan Dismas Zelenka was by all accounts one of Baroque music’s trickier customers—fervently religious but completely lacking in courtly graces. Combine this with a tendency to throw out the rulebook when it came to harmonic convention and it’s hardly surprising that he was underappreciated in his lifetime. Yet here is some of the most pungently exciting writing of the Baroque, as individual as that of his near-contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach. The very opening of Zelenka’s Litaniae sets out his stall and Robert King and his eponymous Consort make the most of its startling qualities. But he is a composer to tug at the heartstrings too, nowhere more so than in the Salve regina, ravishingly sung by a young Carolyn Sampson.

“Performances are sensitive and stylish in ways that we have come to expect from this group” BBC Music Magazine

“Robert King and his period forces give performances it would be hard to beat” Daily Telegraph

“The performance is outstanding, capturing the startlingly original nature of the piece with singing and playing of such vitality and commitment” Fanfare

“Constantly fascinating to listen to. Especially when performed as beautifully and with such evident care and affection as it is on Robert King’s new CD … Zelenka’s curious music could scarcely have better advocacy” Gramophone Magazine

“A really first-rate release” International Record Review

“Robert King with his King’s Consort and Choir directs performances both moving and exhilarating” The Guardian

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Helios - CDH55424

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Kuhnau: Sacred Music

Kuhnau: Sacred Music


Kuhnau:

Ihr Himmel jubilirt von oben

Weicht ihr Sorgen aus dem Hertzen

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern

Gott, sei mir gnädig nach deiner Güte

Tristis est anima mea

O heilige Zeit


Deborah York, Marianne Hellgren (soprano), James Bowman, Robin Blaze (countertenor), Charles Daniels, James Gilchrist (tenor) & Peter Harvey (bass)

The King’s Consort, Robert King

Johann Kuhnau was one of life’s polymaths—as well as being a composer he trained as a lawyer, spoke several languages, helped found Leipzig’s opera house, theorized about music and even found time to write a novel sending up the shortcomings of the contemporary music scene. Musically he’s the link between Schütz and Bach, but he was alive to many different stylistic traits as this selection of sacred music demonstrates. From the brilliantly brassy opening of Ihr Himmel jubilirt to the restrained intensity of Tristis est anima mea, it’s music invigorated at every turn by The King’s Consort.

“This is an important recording of a woefully neglected figure whose music has real stature. Buy it!” Gramophone Magazine

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Helios - CDH55394

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Johann Schelle: Sacred Music

Johann Schelle: Sacred Music


Schelle, J:

Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele

Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet

Aus der Tiefen

Herr, lehre uns bedenken

Gott, sende dein Licht

Komm, Jesu, komm

Christus, der ist mein Leben

Christus ist des Gesetzes Ende

Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar


Carolyn Sampson, Rebecca Outram, Lisa Beckley, Julia Cooper (soprano), James Bowman, Robin Blaze (countertenor), Charles Daniels, James Gilchrist, Angus Smith, Matthew Vine (tenor) & Peter Harvey, Charles Pott (bass)

The King’s Consort, Robert King

Continuing the series ‘Bach’s Contemporaries’, this volume concentrates on the wonderful music of Johann Schelle—a cousin of Kuhnau (another composer featured in this series).

This immensely striking sacred music by Schelle (one of Bach’s predecessors in the post of Kantor in Leipzig’s famous Thomas Church) brings together a top-flight group of soloists and a large and colourful assembly of instrumentalists, and presents remarkable and splendidly varied music which not only stands up proudly in its own musical right, but also greatly enhances our understanding of Bach’s own sacred writing.

“The man who is gifting this superlative disc to his friends is doing them the greatest favor imaginable. It contains an absolute treasure trove whose only common denominator is the high quality throughout every one of these nine works … King’s fervent espousal of Schelle’s marvelous music is apparent in every bar of this flawless disc” Fanfare

“Anyone who has yet to investigate King’s indispensable ‘Bach’s Contemporaries’ should rectify the omission without a moment’s further ado. Start with this treasure of a disc, then investigate the Kuhnau, Knüpfer and Zelenka. By that time you’ll be ready to get down onto your knees and pray for further additions to the series” Goldberg

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Helios - CDH55373

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Knüpfer: Sacred Music

Knüpfer: Sacred Music


Knüpfer:

Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her

Was mein Gott will, das gescheh allzeit

Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist

Ach Herr, strafe mich nicht

Quemadmodum desiderat cervus

Super flumina Babylonis

Jesus Christus, unser Heiland

Die Turteltaube lässt sich hören


Carolyn Sampson, Rebecca Outram, Lisa Beckley, Susan Hamilton, Julie Cooper (sopranos), James Bowman, Robin Blaze (countertenors), James Gilchrist, Charles Daniels (tenors) & Peter Harvey, Michael George, Robert Evans (basses)

The King’s Consort, Robert King

Sebastian Knüpfer is yet another Baroque composer whose reputation and popularity have been overshadowed by J S Bach. Little of Knüpfer’s music has previously been transcribed from its many manuscripts, let alone published. However, in his day Knüpfer was a respected and highly soughtafter composer; his compositions were admired by his contemporaries and, according to his obituary, he ‘composed quotations of the Psalms and other Biblical books with such sweetness and skilfulness that he delighted even the saddest hearts, and his name is spoken with admiration not only in Leipzig but also outside’.

As we have come to expect from Robert King and his King’s Consort, the performances are of the highest standard with some of the finest singers on the early music platform today.

“There is no respect in which the vocal and instrumental performances or the recording fail to do justice to a composer whose revival is long overdue. I strongly recommend you to discover this for yourselves. Bravo, Hyperion! … the second release in the Bach Contemporaries series reveals a composer of imagination and flair. The King’s Consort give these rarities outstanding performances” Gramophone Magazine

“Robert King draws fine singing and playing from his ensemble. The soloists are uniformly excellent … Knüpfer is a real discovery—full marks to all concerned … the combination of education and pleasure is irresistible” International Record Review

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Helios - CDH55393

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Music for St Paul's

Music for St Paul's


Blow:

I was glad when they said unto me

Boyce:

Lord, thou hast been our refuge

Handel:

Utrecht Te Deum, HWV278

Utrecht Jubilate, HWV279


Edward Burrowes, Timothy Burtt, Alastair Cook (trebles), Julia Gooding, Sophie Daneman (sopranos), Robin Blaze, Ashley Stafford (countertenors), Rogers Covey-Crump (high tenor), Mark Le Brocq (tenor) & Andrew Dales Forbes (bass)

St Paul's Cathedral Choir & The Parley of Instruments, John Scott

This recording was made to mark the tercentenary of the formal opening in 1697 of St Paul's, rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London. It consists of four notable pieces written for the cathedral between 1697 and 1755.

John Blow wrote a new anthem for the opening ceremony. I was glad when they said unto me is a setting of the text which Bishop Compton took for his sermon during the service. Handel's Te Deum and Jubilate, written for the Peace of Utrecht, was first heard in the Cathedral on 5 March 1713. William Boyce's anthem Lord, thou hast been our refuge was written in 1755 for the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy, the charity that raised (and still raises) funds for needy clergymen and their families. Like all the pieces recorded here, it is music that demands to be heard in the spacious acoustic of the building for which it was written.

“Warmly recommended” BBC Music Magazine

“A very fine demonstration of the English choral tradition at its best” Classic CD

“Invigorating and uplifting, this is a disc to raise the lowest and most jaded of spirits” Fanfare

“A disc well worthy of its subject” Gramophone Magazine

“Highly recommendable for an excellent programme beautifully performed” Organists Review

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Helios - CDH55359

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