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Written mostly during the last five years of his life, Purcell’s Theatre Music is a rich and varied collection of some of the composer’s finest melodic inspirations. They include solemn overtures, cheerful and sad songs, as well as delightful dances, either incorporated into the action of the play or performed as preludes and interludes.
This first volume of the series includes many gems such as the erotic musical diversion in Amphitryon which takes the form of a Pastoral Dialogue betwixt Thyrsis and Iris, the amorous shepherd begging for, and finally being granted, his heart’s desire; and the series of dances in The Gordian Knot Unty’d, the most delightful of which are the Rondeau, Minuett and the final Chacone.
Henry Purcell: Amphitryon, Z. 572, "The 2 Sosias"
Celia, That I Once Was Blest (Soprano)
IV. Scotch Tune
For Iris I Sigh (Soprano)
A Pastoral Dialogue Betwixt Thrsis and Iris (Bass, Soprano)
Henry Purcell: Sir Barnay Whigg, Z. 589: Blow, Boreas, Blow
Sir Barnay Whigg, Z. 589: Blow, Boreas, Blow
Henry Purcell: The Gordion Knot Unty'd, Z. 597
Second Music: Air
Second Music II: Minuet
First Act Tune: Air
Second Act Tune: Rondo Minuet
Third Act Tune: Air
Fourth Act Tune: Jig
Henry Purcell: Circe, Z. 575
We Must Assemble By a Sacrifice (Bass, Chorus)
Their Necessary Aid You Use (Tenor, Bass, Chorus)
Come Every Demon (Tenor, Chorus)
Pluto, Arise! (Bass)
Lovers Who To Their First Embraces Go (Soprano, Alto, Chorus)
“Worthy, professional and instinctively stylish but somewhat under-explored performances.”
“This is an absolutely 'must' for Purcell collectors, and as attractive a distraction for more general listening as it was to 17th-century theatre audiences.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.