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Purcell Symphony Songs

Catherine Bott with highlights from a concert given by Concordia at London's Wigmore Hall, featuring some of Purcell's rarely performed symphony songs and court odes.

Purcell Weekend

Catherine Bott presents highlights from a concert featuring some of Purcell's rarely performed symphony songs and court odes given at London's Wigmore Hall by the ensemble Concordia, with singers Sophie Daneman, James Gilchrist and Roderick Williams.

The focus of the recital is mainly on vocal music, which for its sheer quantity and quality is significant. Purcell's solo songs, once mainly used as token warm-up numbers in recitals, are now being explored and relished as never before, and his big dramatic works, full of songs and ensemble numbers, are performed everywhere.

But between those two extremes, there is a wealth of duets and trios which are rarely performed today. These ensemble songs by Purcell were once catalogued as chamber cantatas, but in a pleasing symmetry with Purcell's sacred symphony anthems, they are now referred to as symphony songs.

Most of these symphony songs were found in a manuscript in the composer's own hand - likely to have been compiled between 1681 and 1690 - which also contains a number of court odes. It is believed that they were originally performed in the royal apartments at Whitehall Palace - most likely by the King's Private Music - a specially chosen group of favourite singers and instrumentalists.

Purcell: Oh! What a scene does entertain my sight, Z506
James Gilchrist (tenor)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Concordia
Mark Levy (director)
BBC RECORDING

Purcell: Hark how the wild musicians sing, Z542
Sophie Daneman (soprano)
James Gilchrist (tenor)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Concordia
Mark Levy (director)
BBC RECORDING

Purcell: Hark, Damon hark!
Sophie Daneman (soprano)
James Gilchrist (tenor)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Concordia
Mark Levy (director)
BBC RECORDING

Purcell: Sonata No 9 in F in Four Parts, Z810 (Golden Sonata)
Concordia
Mark Levy (director)
BBC RECORDING

Purcell: See where she sits
Sophie Daneman (soprano)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Concordia
Mark Levy (director)
BBC RECORDING

Purcell: If ever I more riches did desire
Sophie Daneman (soprano)
James Gilchrist (tenor)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Concordia
Mark Levy (director)
BBC RECORDING.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 22 Nov 2009 13:00

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