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Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 1 - Royal and Ceremonial Odes (1988)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 1 - Royal and Ceremonial Odes (1988)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 1 - Royal and Ceremonial Odes (1988)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 263 Mb | Total time: 60:18 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDA66314 | Recorded: 1988

Arise, my muse dates from 1690, the second of six years in which Purcell was commissioned to write an Ode for the birthday of Queen Mary. That year saw a change in the orchestral scoring of Purcell’s Odes, with the addition of wind and brass instruments (other than the pair of recorders that had featured on various previous occasions) to the established string texture. For this work, with an unusually inspired libretto, Purcell added pairs of oboes, recorders and trumpets, and also a second viola to the string section, making possible sounds of great richness.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 8 - Come ye sons of Art (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 8 - Come ye sons of Art (1992)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 8 - Come ye sons of Art (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 307 Mb | Total time: 67:47 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDA66598 | Recorded: 1992

For his 1694 offering to the Queen, Come ye sons of Art, away, Purcell was on sparkling form, and produced an Ode markedly different to the majority of the twenty-two works which had preceded it. The forces utilized were greater than normal, with an orchestra replacing the more usual single strings, and there was a clearly defined role for the chorus. Recent successes on the stage had led to this more expansive style of composition, and the inspired text (probably by Nahum Tate), full of references to music and musical instruments, was one which gave Purcell’s fertile imagination plenty of source material.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 7 - Yorkshire Feast Song (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 7 - Yorkshire Feast Song (1992)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 7 - Yorkshire Feast Song (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 291 Mb | Total time: 66:06 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDA66587 | Recorded: 1991

With William and Mary duly crowned there was more topical material available than usual, and the Stewards commissioned the best available author and composer to celebrate in ‘a very splendid Entertainment of all sorts of Vocal and Instrumental Musick’. Thomas D’Urfey included the libretto in his Pills to Purge Melancholy, describing it as ‘An Ode on the Assembly of the Nobility and Gentry of the City and County of York, at the Anniversary Feast, March the 27th, 1690. Set to Musick by Mr. Henry Purcell. One of the finest Compositions he ever made, and cost £100 the performing’. Of old, when heroes thought it base was ostensibly a history of York from Roman times onwards, but it also contained allegories of the Glorious Revolution. Despite D’Urfey’s sometimes contrived text, Purcell responds with music of high quality.

Paul Goodwin, Robert King, The King's Consort - Albinoni, Vivaldi: Oboe Concertos (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Paul Goodwin, Robert King, The King's Consort - Albinoni, Vivaldi: Oboe Concertos (2010)

Paul Goodwin, Robert King, The King's Consort - Albinoni, Vivaldi: Oboe Concertos (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Track (Cue & Log) ~ 333 Mb | Total time: 69:33 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Helios | CDH 55349 | Recorded: 1990

Of the program’s seven concertos, only two—one by each composer—are conventional solo concertos. Albinoni, who is credited with inventing the genre, actually wrote as many double concertos as solo concertos; two of them are included on the disc, along with a concerto grosso scored for an unlikely combination of five winds and continuo. Vivaldi, who refined Albinoni’s concept, is represented by a brace of concertos for pairs of oboes and clarinets. Therein lies the fun of this marvelous and unexpected release.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 6 - Love's goddess sure (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 6 - Love's goddess sure (1992)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 6 - Love's goddess sure (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 308 Mb | Total time: 68:10 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDA66494 | Recorded: 1991

Purcell’s fourth birthday Ode for the Queen, Love’s goddess sure was blind, was the most intimate of the six, scored for just strings and a pair of recorders. The two-section Symphony is one of Purcell’s finest, especially richly scored. The noble, yet wistful, first part is dominated by a six-note falling scale and a ravishing melody (which comes only once in the violins, but three times in the viola), all wrapped in glorious harmony. The triple-time second section at first glance appears lighter in character, but (as with so much of Purcell’s music, which needs to be played to discover its true riches) in practice still has an underlying current of melancholy, heightened at the end as the opening mood returns.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 5 - Welcome glorious morn (1991)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 5 - Welcome glorious morn (1991)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 5 - Welcome glorious morn (1991)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 320 Mb | Total time: 70:02 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDA66476 | Recorded: 1991

Purcell and the majority of the British public were genuinely fond of Queen Mary, who with William replaced King James on the throne when he fled to the continent. London musicians breathed a collective sigh of relief at the Glorious Revolution and Purcell composed six of his finest Odes to honour his new Queen’s birthday.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 4 - Ye tuneful Muses (1991)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 4 - Ye tuneful Muses (1991)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 4 - Ye tuneful Muses (1991)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 263 Mb | Total time: 59:39 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDA 56456 | Recorded: 1990

Ye tuneful Muses was written in 1686, most probably to celebrate the return of the Court from Windsor to Whitehall on 1 October. As the birthday of King James II fell on 14 October some scholars have suggested it is possible that the celebrations were combined, for the diarist Luttrell recorded that the birthday was ‘observed with great solemnity … the day concluded with ringing of bells, bonefires and a ball at Court’, but there is little in the text to suggest this was so. That anonymous author did however provide Purcell with a good libretto, full of variety and vivid material for compositional inspiration, especially in its references to music and musical instruments and, as ever, Purcell did not fail.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 3 - Fly, bold rebellion (1990)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 3 - Fly, bold rebellion (1990)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 3 - Fly, bold rebellion (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 301 Mb | Total time: 76:04 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDA55412 | Recorded: 1989

Fly, bold rebellion was one of Purcell’s early Welcome Songs, composed for Charles II in 1683. The manuscript gives no indication of the date of the first performance, but it seems evident from the anonymous author of the words that it was written shortly after the discovery of the Rye House Plot, which took place in June 1683. The Ode thus would seem likely to have been performed to celebrate Charles’s return from Windsor to Whitehall at the end of June, or perhaps later in the year on his return to London from Winchester (25 September) or Newmarket (20 October). After the splendid two-part Symphony, the Ode contains the already established selection of choruses, trios and solos, interspersed with Purcell’s deliciously scored string ritornelli.

Robert King, The King’s Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 2 - Hail! bright Cecilia (1990)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King’s Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 2 - Hail! bright Cecilia (1990)

Robert King, The King’s Consort - Purcell: Odes & Welcome Songs, Vol. 2 - Hail! bright Cecilia (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 324 Mb | Total time: 76:56 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | CDH55327 | Recorded: 1989

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.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Lo Sposalizio: The wedding of Venice to the sea (1998)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Lo Sposalizio: The wedding of Venice to the sea (1998)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Lo Sposalizio: The wedding of Venice to the sea: Giovanni & Andrea Gabrieli, Gussago, Guami, Viadana, Massaino, Kapsberger, Monteverdi (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 371 Mb | Total time: 88:59 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67048 | Recorded: 1998

From the eleventh century, Venetian mariners gathered together once each year to offer prayers to San Nicolò, the patron saint of sailors, asking for his continued protection. Initially the service was a simple benediction in which the Adriatic Sea was blessed with holy water. By the late-sixteenth century the ceremony had evolved into one of the most lavish and important dates in the Venetian calendar. Ascension Day now launched a large spring festival which was headed by the symbolic wedding of Venice to the Adriatic—the Sposalizio.

Carolyn Sampson, Robert King, The King's Consort - Handel: Neun Deutsche Arien (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Carolyn Sampson, Robert King, The King's Consort - Handel: Neun Deutsche Arien (2007)

Carolyn Sampson, Robert King, The King's Consort - Handel: Neun Deutsche Arien (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 362 Mb | Total time: 70:33 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67627 | Recorded: 2006

Handel's "nine German arias" (he wrote other arias in German, but this is a discrete group) were written in the mid-1720s, long after the composer left his native Germany for Italy and then booming Great Britain. It is not known why he should have written music in German at that late date, and the pieces have a quietly contented tone that sets them somewhat apart from almost everything else in Handel's oeuvre. The texts are by Hamburg poet Barthold Heinrich Brockes, whose so-called Brockes-Passion had already been set by Handel a decade earlier. They are religious but not exactly sacred – spiritual in a personal way, perhaps, with a good deal of nature imagery that is only lightly reflected in the music. Instead Handel sticks to the da capo aria pattern, forging a gentle language for the soprano soloist that evokes the outlines of the Italian operatic aria but tones the whole thing down to chamber dimensions.

Robert King, The King’s Consort - Handel: An Ode for St Cecilia's Day (2004)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King’s Consort - Handel: An Ode for St Cecilia's Day (2004)

Robert King, The King’s Consort - Handel: An Ode for St Cecilia's Day (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 371 Mb | Total time: 77:53 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67463 | Recorded: 2003

Even if you think the big "Rule, Britannia!" mood is the way to go with Handel, give a chance to Robert King's version of the Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, recorded with the King's Consort and its choir on the Hyperion label. Handel in this much-loved work set a poem in praise of music by John Dryden; between opening and closing stanzas that implicate music in the creation and the dissolution of the universe, Dryden penned evocative little portraits of individual instruments ("Sharp violins proclaim/Their jealous pangs and desperation/Fury, frantic indignation/Depth of pains, and height of passion/For the fair disdainful dame."). In a Baroque musical world that associated solo instrumental display primarily with the concerto form, setting this text was a tall order – and one Handel filled magnificently.

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: The Complete Secular Solo Songs (2003)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: The Complete Secular Solo Songs (2003)

Robert King, The King's Consort - Purcell: The Complete Secular Solo Songs (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 892 Mb | Total time: 69:35+76:45+76:28 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDs44161/3 | Recorded: 1993-94

Among all his remarkable and varied compositional talents, Purcell was the supreme craftsman when it came to setting his native language to music. Addison wrote of Purcell’s ‘Tunes so wonderfully adapted to his Words’ and Playford, in his introduction to the first volume of Orpheus Britannicus (1706) commented that ‘The Author’s extraordinary Tallent in all sorts of music, is sufficiently known; but he was particularly admir’d for his Vocal, having a peculiar Genius to express the Energy of English Words, whereby he mov’d the Passions as well as caused Admiration in all his Auditors’. Purcell combined an innate sense of the natural rhythms of speech and a wonderful melodic flair with a richness of harmonic language that few composers have ever matched.

Robert King, King's Consort - Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music (11CDs) [2005]

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King,  King's Consort - Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music  (11CDs) [2005]

Robert King, King's Consort - Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music (11CDs) [2005]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 3.26 Gb | Total time: 12 hrs 53 mins | Digital booklet
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDS 44171/81 | Recorded: 1979

What can anyone add to the praise that has deservedly been heaped on Robert King and the King's Consort's 11 discs of the complete sacred music of Vivaldi? Can one add that every single performance is first class – wonderfully musical, deeply dedicated, and profoundly spiritual? Can one add that every single performer is first class – absolutely in-tune, entirely in-sync, and totally committed? Can one add that every single recording is first class – amazingly clean, astoundingly clear, and astonishingly warm? One can because it's all true and it's all been said before by critics and listeners across the globe. Can one say that every piece is a masterpiece – that every piece is filled with the consummate skill, the irresistible joy, and the radiant spirituality that was Vivaldi's specialty? One can because this, too, is true. From the well-known Gloria, Magnificat, and Stabat Mater to the little known In furore giustissimae irae, O qui coeli terraeque serenitas, and Cur sagittas, cur tela, truly every work is a masterpiece and anyone – from the deeply devout to the deeply doubtful – will love these works, these performances, and these recordings if they love music.
–James Leonard

Robert King, The King's Consort, New College Choir Oxford - Handel: Music for royal occasions (1989)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort, New College Choir Oxford - Handel: Music for royal occasions (1989)

Robert King, The King's Consort, New College Choir Oxford - Handel: Music for royal occasions (1989)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 251 Mb | Total time: 55:00 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA66315 | Recorded: 1988

One might think that with all of the attention that Handel’s music has received over the years and especially since the tercentenary of his birth in 1985, that no stone has been left unturned in the effort to accord the composer his due. Indeed, there have been revelatory and monumental cycles of his operas and oratorios—especially Messiah—as well as numerous releases of Music for the Royal Fireworks, Water Music, the Concerti grossi, ops. 3 and 6—the list goes on and on, almost ad nauseam. As with any composer, though, there are darker recesses in Handel’s œuvre that seemed to have attracted the interest of a multitude of dust bunnies, but few performers. This Hyperion recording, originally recorded in 1988 and released under the title Music for Royal Occasions, holds three such works specifically composed for English courtly festivities of various import between 1713 and 1736.