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The last, and greatest, of Purcell’s four Odes to St Cecilia, Hail! bright Cecilia was composed to a text by Nicholas Brady in 1692 in honour of the feast day of Saint Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. It is a celebratory work comprising of masterful instrumental sections, majestic choruses, and varied solos, duets and trios. Written in 1695, Who can from joy refrain? was composed as an ode celebrating the Duke of Gloucester’s sixth birthday. Both these works reveal the unparalleled richness of the composer’s musical invention and explain why, more than three hundred years later, Henry Purcell is still regarded as one of Britain’s finest composers.
The King’s Consort and a distinguished line-up of soloists perform this glorious music, originally issued as Volume 2 in The Complete Odes & Welcome Songs series, with a high measure of perfection and flawless technique.
“Purcell at his most theatrical and most domestic in two celebratory odes. New College Choir's sound is the main draw in a recital that never quite breaks sweat.”
“For those to whom Purcell’s unfailing sensitivity and inventiveness in the setting of English texts is a constant miracle, the problem with this series is knowing where to start”
“Highly desirable additions to any Purcell collection”
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