John Blow, Henry Purcell: Odes & Songs

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Give credit to countertenors Carlos Mena from Spain and Damien Guillon from France: it's very hard to tell here that you're listening to anything other than native English speakers, and even the booklet, with full texts in English, French, and German, is not really necessary to understand the original words. The music by Blow mentioned on the cover consists only of the "Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell," used here as a sort of introduction. These are fine performances of Purcell, with a program nicely divided up into songs mostly excerpts from operas or mixed-genre semi-operas, odes honorific pieces, and instrumental pieces, many of them excerpts from longer works. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Give credit to countertenors Carlos Mena from Spain and Damien Guillon from France: it's very hard to tell here that you're listening to anything other than native English speakers, and even the booklet, with full texts in English, French, and German, is not really necessary to understand the original words. The music by Blow mentioned on the cover consists only of the "Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell," used here as a sort of introduction. These are fine performances of Purcell, with a program nicely divided up into songs mostly excerpts from operas or mixed-genre semi-operas, odes honorific pieces, and instrumental pieces, many of them excerpts from longer works. This gives a sense of why some of Purcell's melodies are so insanely catchy: within their tuneful frameworks they cross genres. The more ceremonial odes are built up out of successions of dramatic gestures, while the songs often have intricate details that belie their simple overall forms. Mena's rich, rounded tone is a pleasure in itself, and his duet work with Guillon is fresh and cleanly executed. The paired flutes of Belgium's Ricercar Ensemble contribute readings that hold together well with the vocal music. Sample one of the countertenor duets, such as "No, resistance is but vain" track 10, to hear the fine duet work and the expert avoidance of the cuteness factor that can ruin a Purcell recording. Over-resonant sound from a French Protestant church, the Temple de Lourmarin, detracts from the overall atmosphere.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/14/2010
  • Label: Mirare France
  • EAN: 3760127221098
  • Catalog Number: 109
  • Sales rank: 347,670

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell, for 2 male altos, 2 recorders, viol & continuo - John Blow & John Dryden (22:02)
  2. 2 If ever I more riches did desire, song for 2 sopranos, tenor, bass, 2 violins & continuo, Z. 544: Here Let My Life - Henry Purcell & Abraham Cowley (2:48)
  3. 3 Arise, my muse (Ode for Queen Mary's Birthday), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 320: But Ah, I See Eusebia Drown'd in Tears - Thomas D'Urfey & Henry Purcell (3:00)
  4. 4 Prophetess, or The History of Dioclesian, semi-opera, Z. 627: Symphony for the Flutes - Henry Purcell & Philippe Pierlot (1:51)
  5. 5 Come ye sons of art away (Birthday ode for Queen Mary), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 323: Strike the Viol - Henry Purcell & Carlos Mena (2:03)
  6. 6 Celestial music did the gods inspire (Ode for Mr. Maidwell's School), ode for soloists, 2 recorders & continuo, Z. 322: Her Charming Strains - Henry Purcell & Philippe Pierlot (3:04)
  7. 7 Chaconne (Two in One Upon a Ground), for 2 flutes & continuo (from "Prophetess"), Z. 627/16 - Henry Purcell & Philippe Pierlot (7:37)
  8. 8 Prophetess, or The History of Dioclesian, semi-opera, Z. 627: A Song in the Prophetess - Henry Purcell & Carlos Mena (4:03)
  9. 9 Prophetess, or The History of Dioclesian, semi-opera, Z. 627: Symphony for the Flutes - Henry Purcell & Philippe Pierlot (1:42)
  10. 10 No, resistance is but vain (from "Maid's Last Prayer"), song, Z. 601/2 - Henry Purcell & Carlos Mena (4:24)
  11. 11 I lov'd fair Celia, song, Z. 381 - Henry Purcell & Carlos Mena (1:52)
  12. 12 Love's goddess sure was blind (Birthday Ode for Queen Mary), for soloists, chorus, 2 recorders & continuo, Z. 331: Sweetness of Nature - Henry Purcell & Carlos Mena (2:54)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Damien Guillon Primary Artist
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