Maurice Greene: 25 Sonnet Settings Taken From Spenser’s Amoretti

Naxos: 8572891

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Maurice Greene: 25 Sonnet Settings Taken From Spenser’s Amoretti

Label:

Naxos

Catalogue No:

8572891
(8.572891)

Discs:

1

Release date:

3rd Dec 2012

Barcode:

0747313289172

Length:

66 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Maurice Greene: 25 Sonnet Settings Taken From Spenser’s Amoretti


Greene, M:

After so long a race

Happy ye leaves

Faire Eyes

Ye tradefull merchants

The rolling wheele

The merry Cuckow

How long shall this like dying life endure

The Laurell leafe

Like as a ship

What guile is this

Arion

Sweet smile

Marke when the smiles

The Love which me so cruelly tormenteth

Trust not the treason of those smiling lookes

Fayre cruell

Faire ye be sure

Thrise happy she

After long stormes

Like as a huntsman

Fresh Spring

One day I wrote her name upon the strand

Lacking my love

Since I did leave the presence of my love

Like as the Culver


Benjamin Hulett (tenor), Luke Green (harpsichord) & Giangiacomo Pinardi (theorbo)

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The distinguished English composer Maurice Greene was appointed Master of the King’s Music in 1735. He soon composed a series of 25 sonnet settings taken from the collection of 89 Amoretti (‘little loves’) written by Edmund Spenser, one of the greatest poets of the Shakespearean age. These settings show Greene to have been a master of word-painting technique, and a subtle colourist with a sensitive ear for Spenser’s verse. This jewel of a collection is also historically important, as it can be considered one of the earliest song cycles in the history of English music.

Maurice Greene: Spenser's Amoretti

No. 1. After so long a race

No. 2. Happy ye leaves

No. 3. Faire Eyes

No. 4. Ye tradefull merchants

No. 5. The rolling wheele

No. 6. The merry Cuckow

No. 7. How long shall this like dying life endure

No. 8. The Laurell leafe

No. 9. Like as a ship

No. 10. What guile is this

No. 11. Arion

No. 12. Sweet smile

No. 13. Marke when the smiles

No. 14. The Love which me so cruelly tormenteth

No. 15. Trust not the treason of those smiling lookes

No. 16. Fayre cruell

No. 17. Faire yee be sure

No. 18. Thrise happy she

No. 19. After long stormes

No. 20. Like as a huntsman

No. 21. Fresh Spring

No. 22. One day I wrote her name upon the strand

No. 23. Lacking my love

No. 24. Since I did leave the presence of my love

No. 25. Like as the Culver

Gramophone Magazine

February 2013

“In the Amoretti [Greene] respnods strongly to Spenser's imagery and there are numerous sensitive and subtle mood-shifts, but Greene can also see beyond the words occasionally...Hulett gives a good and committed account of them, though gets a word wrong here and there. His voice is essentially a pleasant one...and he is firmly backed by a continuo team who vary the textures intelligently. An interesting find, this”

International Record Review

February 2013

“[Hulett's] light, perfectly tuned tone (occasionally reminding me of a young Martyn Hill) seems absolutely right for this repertory. His diction is impeccable, as is his effortless communication of the shape and phraseology of Spencer's [sic] verse...It's a telling addition to the early history of English song, very beautifully recorded.”

MusicWeb International

January 2013

“Benjamin Hulett sings these songs with an engagement that certainly adds value to the literary subtlety of the text...Amoretti can be regarded as being the first English song-cycle. As such, it sets an impressive benchmark that subsequent composers have often failed to better.”

The Times

5th January 2013

****

“The young English tenor Hulett has the ideal fresh voice to champion these neglected gems...The music is elegantly crafted rather than profound, but Greene’s melodic facility and response to the texts — whether joyous, wistful, hopeful or pensive — constantly delight”

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