Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 03/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A SHORT BUT VALUABLE LIFE AS EVIDENCED BY HIS GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO ENGLISH 17TH CENTURY MUSIC!
Henry Purcell(1659-1695) 'looked like a Florentine prince, was hail-fellow-well-met in tavern and taproom, wrote for the church and also for the stage and salon, was in fact a most likeable young man, as well as a great Master of Musick'.
I found it rather sad that his last anthem 'Thou Knowest Lord', written for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1694, and described by one who was there as "so rapturously fine and solemn and so Heavenly in Operation", was performed just six months later when it was sung for his own burial in Westminster Abbey.
It is absolutely amazing,that apart from the funeral anthem 'Thou knowest Lord', Purcell had composed every piece that is here recorded by the time he had reached his 25th birthday. He was already composing by the age of eight. When he was only 18 he was appointed 'Composer in Ordinary' to the king and by the time he was 23 he was organist of the Chapel Royal.
The Englishness of Purcell's music is represented magnificently in these pieces, and his use of Italianate turns of phrase enliven the 'English' settings. Purcell's interest in foreign styles is best seen in the dozen or so 'orchestral' anthems that he wrote after 1683.
Popular as Purcell's church music evidently was during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, several of his finest anthems do not seem to have been known outside the Chapel Royal. None of his church music was ever printed, and our knowledge of it depends on the fortuitous survival of manuscript copies. How much of it-we may well wonder-has been altogether lost in the sands of time?
The selections on this disc are well-chosen and well-performed, as one would expect from the Choir of Trinity College,Cambridge, under the very capable direction of Richard Marlow. I have many of these pieces on other recordings, and this one fares very well by comparison!"