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James Bowman

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Handel: Ottone, Re di Germania

Handel: Ottone, Re di Germania


James Bowman (Ottone), Claron Mcfadden (Teofane), Jennifer Smith (Gismonda), Dominique Visse (Adelberto), Michael George (Emireno) & Catherine Denley (Matilda)

The King’s Consort, Robert King

Handel’s Ottone was one of the most popular operas of the composer’s career, with 34 known performances during his lifetime, beaten only by the 53 performances of Rinaldo. The premiere run in 1723 featured superstar Italian soloists including Senesino and Cuzzoni, and coincided with (and was perhaps the cause of) the height of London’s opera madness, with tickets changing hands for increasingly high prices on the black market. This recording of the 1723 version (Handel adapted the opera in later years for different singers) features James Bowman at the peak of his powers in the title role.

“Ottone is, even for Handel, unusually rich in lovely, heartrending arias” The Times

“Everywhere, the dexterity and resource of Robert King’s Consort lend enchantment” The Independent

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Hyperion - CDS44511/3

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Britten - Purcell Realizations

Britten - Purcell Realizations


Britten:

The knotting song

from Orpheus Britannicus

Seven songs

from Orpheus Britannicus

Six songs

from Orpheus Britannicus

O solitude

from Orpheus Britannicus

Five songs

from Orpheus Britannicus

Celemene

from Orpheus Britannicus

Six duets

from Orpheus Britannicus

The Queen's Epicediumcus

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Saul and the witch at Endor

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Three divine hymns

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Job's curse

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Two divine hymns and Alleluia

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Dulcibella

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

When Myra sings

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Let the dreadful engines of eternal will

from Harmonia Sacraumcus


2 discs for the price of one

“Two irresistible discs—typically painstakingly produced and documented—and would deserve four stars if only they were there to give” The Times

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Hyperion Dyads - CDD22058

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Purcell - Complete Secular Solo Songs

Purcell - Complete Secular Solo Songs


Purcell:

Draw near, you lovers Z462

While Thirsis, wrapp'd in downy sleep, Z437

Love, thou canst hear, tho' thou art blind, Z396

I loved fair Celia, Z381

What hope for us remains now he is gone? Z472

Pastora's beauties when unblown Z407

Abdelazer or The Moor's Revenge: incidental music, Z570

Urge me no more, Z426

Farewell, all joys Z368

If music be the food of love Z379A (first version)

Amidst the shades and cool refreshing streams Z355

They say you're angry Z422

Let each gallant heart Z390

This poet sings the Trojan wars ('Anacreon's Defeat') Z423

Ah, how pleasant 'tis to love, Z353

My heart, wherever you appear Z399

On the brow of Richmond Hill Z405

Rashly I swore I would disown Z411

Since the pox or the plague Z471

Beneath a dark and melancholy grove, Z461

Musing on cares of human fate Z467

Whilst Cynthia sung, all angry winds lay still Z438

How I sigh when I think of the charms of my swain Z374

Ye happy swains, whose nymphs are kind Z443

Beware, poor shepherds Z361

See how the fading glories of the year Z470

Cease, anxious world, your fruitless pain Z362

O! fair Cedaria, hide those eyes Z402

I love and I must ('Bell Barr'), Z382

When her languishing eyes said 'Love!', Z432

Not all my torments can your pity move, Z400

Ah! cruel nymph, you give despair, Z352

Sylvia, now your scorn give over, Z420

Since one poor view has drawn my heart, Z416

I resolve against cringing and whining, Z386

Gentle shepherds, you that know the charms, Z464

If grief has any pow'r to kill, Z378

She that would gain a faithful lover, Z414

Fly swift ye hours, Z369

Hears not my Phillis how the birds ('The Knotting Song'), Z371

Phillis, talk no more of passion, Z409

Celia's fond, too long I've lov'd her, Z364

In vain we dissemble, Z385

When my Aemelia smiles, Z434

Farewell, ye rocks, ye seas and sands, Z463

What a sad fate is mine, Z428A

I take no pleasure in the sun's bright beams, Z388

Love's pow'r in my heart shall find no compliance, Z395

How delightful's the life of an innocent swain, Z373

She, who my poor heart possesses, Z415

Love arms himself in Celia's eyes, Z392

When first my shepherdess and I, Z431

Through mournful shades and solitary groves, Z424

If music be the food of love (second version), Z379B

Scarce had the rising sun appear'd, Z469

Who but a slave can well express, Z440

High on a throne of glitt'ring ore, Z465

Incassum Lesbia, incassum rogas ('The Queen's Epicedium'), Z383

She loves and she confesses too, Z413

Amintas, to my grief I see, Z356

Corinna is divinely fair, Z365

Amintor, heedless of his flocks, Z357

He himself courts his own ruin, Z372

No, to what purpose should I speak?, Z468

Sylvia, 'tis true you're fair, Z512

Lovely Albina's come ashore, Z394

Spite of the godhead, pow'rful love, Z417

If music be the food of love, third version, Z379C

Phyllis, I can ne'er forgive it, Z408

Bacchus is a pow'r divine, Z360

From silent shades ('Bess of Bedlam') Z370

Let formal lovers still pursue, Z391

I came, I saw, and was undone, Z375

Who can behold Florella's charms?, Z441

Cupid, the slyest rogue alive, Z367

If pray'rs and tears, Z380

In Cloris all soft charms agree, Z384

Let us, kind Lesbia, give away, Z466

Love is now become a trade, Z393

Ask me to love no more, Z358

O solitude, my sweetest choice, Z406

Olinda in the shades unseen, Z404

Pious Celinda goes to prayers, Z410

When Strephon found his passion vain, Z435

The fatal hour comes on apace, Z421

Sawney is a bonny lad, Z412

Young Thirsis' fate, Z473


Barbara Bonney (soprano), Susan Gritton (soprano), James Bowman (counter-tenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Michael George (bass)

The King's Consort, Robert King (chamber organ, harpsichord)

Building a Library

Large Box Set Recommendation - February 2014

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Hyperion - Purcell Complete Edition - CDS44161/3

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Purcell - The Complete Sacred Music (The Complete Anthems and Services)

Purcell - The Complete Sacred Music (The Complete Anthems and Services)


Purcell:

Hear me, O Lord, the great support, Z133

Thou wakeful shepherd that dost Israel keep (A Morning Hymn), Z198

Who hath believed our report?, Z64

I will love thee, O Lord, ZN67

Great God and just, Z186

Plung'd in the confines of despair, Z142

O praise the Lord, all ye heathen, Z43

My heart is fixed, O God, Z29

I was glad when they said unto me (1685, previously attributed wrongly to John Blow)

O consider my adversity, Z32

Beati omnes qui timent Dominum, Z131

I was glad when they said unto me, Z19

In the black dismal dungeon of despair, Z190

Save me, O God, Z51

Thy way, O God, is holy, Z60

Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, 1695

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust, Z16

Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, Z9

Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei, Z135

Full of wrath, his threatening breath, Z185

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, Z11

Magnificat & Nunc Dimitus in G minor, Z231

Be merciful unto me, Z4

They that go down to the sea in ships, Z57

The Lord is my light, Z55

The Lord is King, the earth may be glad thereof, Z54

Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven, Z8

O Lord God of hosts, Z37

Let God arise, Z23

Blessed be the Lord my strength, Z6

O Lord our Governor, Z141

In guilty night (Saul and the Witch of Endor), Z134

I will give thanks unto the Lord, Z21

O sing unto the Lord, Z44

O praise God in his holiness, Z42

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem, Z46

It is a good thing to give thanks, Z18

O give thanks unto the Lord, Z33

Let mine eyes run down with tears, Z24

My beloved spake, Z28

Blessed are they that fear the Lord, Z5

Behold now, praise the Lord, Z3

I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Z20

My song shall be always, Z31

Te Deum & Jubilate Deo in D, Z232

Blow up the trumpet in Sion, Z10

The Lord is king, be the people never so impatient, Z53

Begin the song, and strike the living lyre, Z183

Thy word is a lantern unto my feet, Z61

Tell me, some pitying angel (The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation), Z196

Hear my prayer, O Lord, Z15

Lord, I can suffer thy rebukes, Z136

O Lord our Governor, Z141

Remember not, O Lord, our offences, Z50

Hosanna to the highest, Z187

O God, thou hast cast us out, Z36

Behold, I bring you glad tidings, Z2

Since God, so tender a regard, Z143

Early, O Lord, my fainting soul, Z132

Sleep, Adam, and take thy rest, Z195

Awake, ye dead, Z182

The earth trembled, Z197

The way of God is an undefiled way, Z56

Lord, not to us, but to thy name, Z137

Lord, what is man?, Z192

Sing unto God, O ye kingdoms of the earth, Z52

O, all ye people, clap your hands, Z138

My heart is inditing, Z30

O Lord, rebuke me not, Z40

With sick and famish'd eyes, Z200

How long, great God?, Z189

Awake, and with attention hear, Z181

O God, thou art my god, Z35

We sing to him, whose wisdom form'd the ear, Z199

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, Z47

O, I'm sick of life, Z140

O God, the king of glory, Z34

Let the night perish (Job's Curse), Z191

When on my sick bed I languish, Z144

Rejoice in the Lord alway ('The Bell Anthem'), Z49

Why do the heathen so furiously rage together?, Z65

Lord, who can tell how oft he offendeth?, Z26

O Lord, grant the King a long life, Z38

I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live, Z22

How have I stray'd, Z188

Mass in B flat, Z230

Hear my prayer, O God, Z14

Out of the deep have I called, Z45

Blessed is he that considereth the poor, Z7

The Lord is king, and hath put on glorious apparel, Z69

Unto thee will I cry, Z63

Praise the Lord, O my soul, O Lord my God, Z48

Close thine eyes and sleep secure, Z184

Lord, how long wilt thou be angry?, Z25

Hear me, O Lord, and that soon, Z13a/Z13b

Turn thou us, O good Lord, Z62

O Lord, thou art my God Z41

An Evening Hymn 'Now that the sun hath veiled his light', Z193

Awake, awake, put on thy strength, Z1


Lynne Dawson, Susan Gritton (sopranos), James Bowman, Nigel Short (countertenors), Paul Agnew, Rogers Covey-Crump, Charles Daniels, Mark Milhofer, Mark Padmore (tenors), Colin Campbell, Robert Evans, Micahel George, Stephen Varcoe (basses)

Choir of New College Oxford, King's Consort Choir, King's Consort, Robert King

“This CD is made up predominantly of anthems, devotional songs and a morning service (a functional, though not perfunctory, setting of the TeDeum and Jubilate) most of which disclose the range and quality of the composer's sacred oeuvre near its best. Of the two settings of I was glad, the first was, until not long ago, thought to be the work of John Blow. This full anthem more than whets our appetite with its agreeable tonal and melodic twists; when the Gloria arrives, we're assured that this is vintage Purcell by the sensitive pacing as much as an exquisite contrapuntal denouement. The earlier setting is more poignant. Opening with a string symphony in the spirit of a Locke consort, the music blossoms into a deliciously Elysian melodic fabric. Good sense is made of the overall shape and the soloists are, as ever, excellent. Beati omnes is a positive gem; this may well have been written for the composer's wedding. Of the small-scale pieces, In the black dismal dungeon is the real masterpiece; it's delivered astutely by the secure and musicianly voice of Susan Gritton.
Finally to the funeral pieces. Here we have an ominous procession from the Guild of Ancient Fifes and Drums and the first appearance of four 'flatt' trumpets – as opposed to two plus two sackbuts; the effect of this subtle timbral change makes extraordinary sense of the music, engendering a new grandeur and uncompromising clarity as would have befitted such an occasion. The vocal performances are earthy and impassioned.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“An outstanding series, full of treasures, with King varying the scale of forces he uses for each item. Often he uses one voice per part, but he regularly expands the ensemble with the King's Consort Choir or turns to the full New College Choir, which includes trebles. The individual discs are no longer available separately, but all 11 CDs come neatly packaged in cardboard sleeves.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Building a Library

Large Box Set Recommendation - February 2014

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Hyperion - Purcell Complete Edition - CDS44141/51

(CD - 11 discs)

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Handel: Joseph and his Brethren

Handel: Joseph and his Brethren

A Sacred Drama


Yvonne Kenny (soprano), James Bowman (countertenor), Catherine Denley (contralto), Michael George (bass), Connor Burrowes (treble), John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

The King's Consort, Choir of The King's Consort, New College Choir, Oxford, Robert King

“There's never been a complete, professional recording of Joseph and his Brethren, a neglect out of proportion to the merits of its music.
It's full of good and characteristic things, and there are several scenes, including the extended denouement in the last act, that are very moving.
The work begins splendidly, with an unusual overture heralding a deeply felt opening scene for Joseph, languishing in an Egyptian prison. The setting of his prophecy is effective, with seven bars of darting arpeggios for the years of plenty and seven of sparse harmonic writing, adagio, for the famine years.
The rest of Act 1 celebrates Joseph's foresight, preferment and marriage to Asenath, Pharaoh's daughter. The highlights of Act 2 include a prison scene for Simeon, an agonised G minor accompanied recitative and aria, a beautiful, nostalgic idyll for Joseph, and scenes for Joseph with his brothers which incorporate a splendid outburst from Simeon, an aria from Benjamin and a moving chorus from the brothers, a sustained prayer and a richly worked fugue.
The soloists dispatch all this music with spirit and accuracy. James Bowman is in excellent voice in the title-role, full, rich and duly agile in the rapid music. Joseph is well suited to Robert King's way of conducting Handel. This isn't a specially dramatic performance, but carefully moulded and intelligently paced. The choir produces a sound that's bright and firm and the singing is resolute. King is particularly good at shaping the dynamics in a natural and unanimous way.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“I have no reservations about encouraging anyone interested in Handel to buy this set and to acquaint themselves with the many delights of this grossly neglected work” Gramophone Magazine

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Hyperion - CDA67171/3

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Handel: Joshua, HWV 64

Handel: Joshua, HWV 64


“With first-rate casts and careful attention to Handel's original texts, King has blown the dust off some magnificent music” CD Review

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

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Hyperion - CDA66461/2

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Vivaldi - Sacred Music 2

Vivaldi - Sacred Music 2


Vivaldi:

In furore iustissimae irae, RV626

Longe mala, umbrae, terrores, RV629

Clarae stellae, scintillate, RV625

Canta in prato, ride in monte, RV623

Introduzione al miserere, RV 638 'Filiae maestae Jerusalem'

Nulla in mundo pax sincera, motet for soprano, strings & continuo, RV 630


Deborah York (soprano), Catherine Denley (mezzo soprano), James Bowman (countertenor)

King's Consort, Robert King

Gramophone Critic's Choice

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Hyperion - Vivaldi Sacred Music - CDA66779

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Handel: Deborah

Handel: Deborah


Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Susan Gritton (soprano), Catherine Denley (mezzo soprano), James Bowman (countertenor), Michael George (bass)

The King's Consort, New College Choir, Oxford , Choristers Of Salisbury Cathedral, Robert King

“Superb ... The recording is another of these inspired ventures by Hyperion into music we ought to know better” CD Review

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Hyperion - CDA66841/2

(CD - 2 discs)

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Purcell - Complete Secular Solo Songs Volume 2

Purcell - Complete Secular Solo Songs Volume 2


Purcell:

I love and I must ('Bell Barr'), Z382

When her languishing eyes said 'Love!', Z432

Not all my torments can your pity move, Z400

Ah! cruel nymph, you give despair, Z352

Sylvia, now your scorn give over, Z420

Since one poor view has drawn my heart, Z416

I resolve against cringing and whining, Z386

Gentle shepherds, you that know the charms, Z464

If grief has any pow'r to kill, Z378

She that would gain a faithful lover, Z414

Fly swift ye hours, Z369

Hears not my Phillis how the birds ('The Knotting Song'), Z371

Phillis, talk no more of passion, Z409

Celia's fond, too long I've lov'd her, Z364

In vain we dissemble, Z385

When my Aemelia smiles, Z434

Farewell, ye rocks, ye seas and sands, Z463

What a sad fate is mine, Z428A

I take no pleasure in the sun's bright beams, Z388

Love's pow'r in my heart shall find no compliance, Z395

How delightful's the life of an innocent swain, Z373

She, who my poor heart possesses, Z415

Love arms himself in Celia's eyes, Z392

When first my shepherdess and I, Z431

Through mournful shades and solitary groves, Z424

If music be the food of love (second version), Z379B

Scarce had the rising sun appear'd, Z469

Who but a slave can well express, Z440

High on a throne of glitt'ring ore, Z465

Incassum Lesbia, incassum rogas ('The Queen's Epicedium'), Z383


Barbara Bonney (soprano), Susan Gritton (soprano), James Bowman (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Michael George (bass), Mark Caudle (bass viol), Susanna Pell (bass viol), David Miller (theorbo, archlute), Robert King (chamber organ, harpsichord)

The King's Consort

'A treasury of good performances. It could hardly be otherwise with this composer and this roster of singers' (Fanfare)

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Hyperion - Purcell Complete Edition - CDA66720

(CD)

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Purcell - Complete Secular Solo Songs Volume 3

Purcell - Complete Secular Solo Songs Volume 3


Purcell:

She loves and she confesses too, Z413

Amintas, to my grief I see, Z356

Corinna is divinely fair, Z365

Amintor, heedless of his flocks, Z357

He himself courts his own ruin, Z372

No, to what purpose should I speak?, Z468

Sylvia, 'tis true you're fair, Z512

Lovely Albina's come ashore, Z394

Spite of the godhead, pow'rful love, Z417

If Music be the Food of Love, Z. 379C

Phyllis, I can ne'er forgive it, Z408

Bacchus is a pow'r divine, Z360

From silent shades ('Bess of Bedlam') Z370

Let formal lovers still pursue, Z391

I came, I saw, and was undone, Z375

Who can behold Florella's charms?, Z441

Cupid, the slyest rogue alive, Z367

If pray'rs and tears, Z380

In Cloris all soft charms agree, Z384

Let us, kind Lesbia, give away, Z466

Love is now become a trade, Z393

Ask me to love no more, Z358

O solitude, my sweetest choice, Z406

Olinda in the shades unseen, Z404

Pious Celinda goes to prayers, Z410

When Strephon found his passion vain, Z435

The fatal hour comes on apace, Z421

Sawney is a bonny lad, Z412

Young Thirsis' fate, Z473


Barbara Bonney (soprano), Susan Gritton (soprano), James Bowman (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Michael George (bass), Mark Caudle (bass viol), Susanna Pell (bass viol), David Miller (theorbo, archlute), Robert King (chamber organ, harpsichord)

The King's Consort

'Those who need all of Purcell's songs at their fingertips should invest in Hyperion's three-disk survey of secular songs, with outstanding performances by Barbara Bonney, Rogers Covey-Crump and James Bowman' (The New York Times)

“This third and last volume of Purcell's non- theatrical secular songs consummates a most rewarding survey of 87 songs with more of the same: a vocal palette of six singers who are by now so steeped in the nuances of Purcell's strains that even the slightest offering sparkles with something memorable. The treasure is shared between Barbara Bonney and Susan Gritton who complement each other superbly.
Gritton, becoming more refined in characterisation and tonal colour by the day, is allotted the free-style and dramatic pieces while to Bonney's fluid and sensual melisma is designated the more strophic or cantabile settings. Lovely Albina's comeashore is one of the composer's most mature creations, tantalisingly hinting at a new, tautly designed and classically balanced type of song.
This work, If music be the food of love (the best of the three versions) and I came, I saw are striking examples of how exceptionally Bonney negotiates Purcell's skipping and curling contours and makes these songs sound even finer creations than we previously thought. From silent shades ('Bess of Bedlam') is Purcell's quintessential mad-song and Gritton has the measure of it all the way; packed full of incident, imagery and musical detail, her narration is clear and finely judged, reporting the tale with irony and change of colour. The CD is beautifully documented.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion - Purcell Complete Edition - CDA66730

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