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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.

Matthew Halls, The King’s Consort - Handel: Parnasso in Festa (2008)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Matthew Halls, The King’s Consort - Handel: Parnasso in Festa (2008)

Matthew Halls, The King’s Consort - Handel: Parnasso in Festa (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 656 Mb | Total time: 131:51 | Digital booklet (PDF)
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67701/2 | Recorded: 2008

Hyperion’s Record of the Month sees the long overdue return to the studio of The King’s Consort, under the baton of the group’s newly appointed Artistic Director Matthew Halls. Here the ensemble presents the premiere recording of Handel’s Parnasso in Festa: a unique example in Handel’s enormous creative career of a fully-fledged celebratory serenata (or Festa teatrale). This form was rare in England but had developed in parallel with opera in Italy, where it was popular for commemorating special occasions of international significance. Parnasso in Festa was written for Princess Anne’s marriage to Prince William of Orange.