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Countertenor Duets by Purcell and Blow
Henry Purcell, John [Organ] Blow, Robert King
Countertenor Duets by Purcell and Blow
Genres: Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Henry Purcell, John [Organ] Blow, Robert King, James Bowman, King's Consort, Michael Chance
Title: Countertenor Duets by Purcell and Blow
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hyperion UK
Release Date: 11/18/1992
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 034571162539, 077774785426

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CD Reviews

One of the best CDs around
Arts&HistoryFan | United States | 01/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Two exceptional countertenors -- Bowman's voice has always been most successful in the higher range and it has a strength that many more fluttery ones don't. Michael Chance is one of the most secure and musical countertenors I've heard.

The John Blow number "Ode to ... Purcell" is, alone, worth the entire LP. A beautifully crafted piece that more people should hear.

Since so much of the other material is also prime, this is a Don't Miss, as far as I'm concerned."
Delightful, a must-have.
Arts&HistoryFan | 06/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With all the hype about the new North American countertenors, fans of that voice shouldn't overlook this now-venerable gem. James Bowman and Michael Chance are in superb voice in this wonderful array of duets, and the sum of their two voices is even greater than the two constituent parts. The choice of music is gorgeous, the tempi are fast and ebullient, and the CD is altogether delightful."
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 01/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)


Henry Purcell became under the influence of John Blow's compositional style while they were both employed at Westminster Abbey. Purcell was an assistant to the royal instrument keeper while Blow was the organist. Later on Purcell became the organist succeeding Blow and in l6 years had established himself as the greatest English composer of the age. At his untimely death Blow returned as the organist at the Abbey.

This CD includes the following songs by Purcell: 1.DUET 'Sound the Trumpet' The text is treated to one of Purcell's most brilliant settings on a ground bass, which modulates through two related keys during the second section. 2.DUET 'In vain the am'rous flute' comes from one of Purcell's largest scale odes, that for St. Cecelia's day. The movement is begun and ended with instrumental writing for two recorders.

3. BOWMAN SOLO 'O solitude' is one of Purcell's finest songs based on a ground which does not vary from its minor key throughout its 27 repetitions. 4.DUET 'Sing sing ye Druids' written a month before his death over a ground bass which is treated to an ingenious array of transpositions and inversions to achieve variety. 5.DUET 'O dive custos Auriacae' shows Purcell's florid and strongly Italianate vocal style.

6.DUET 'No resistance is but vain'. The opening comic style of this is strongly reminiscent of the Coridon and Mopsa duet from 'The Fairy Queen'.7.CHANCE SOLO 'Incassum, Lesbia, rogas' also known as 'The Queen's Epicedium' is set for solo voice, and falls into three sections. In this song Purcell showed his skills at writing instensely chromatic vocal and harmonic lines, and his considerable abilities for graphic pictorialisation.

JOHN BLOW: 1. DUET 'Ah, Heav'n!What is't I hear?' shows an elegant control of vocal line and an effective use of adventurous harmony. 2.DUET 'Ode on the death of Mr. Henry Purcell'. Blow and Purcell were close friends and it must have been with genuine sadness that he set Dryden's poem to music. This is by far Blow's most extended work for solo voices. It has been singled out as one of his greatest achievements because of its rich harmonic structure and melodic language.

Though each singer owns his own unique sound, together they achieve a perfect blend. Moreover,both Bowman and Chance are equally sensitized to the demands of each selection. In the respective solos we are gifted with their individual artistry and skill. This is indeed two great artists performing the music of two great composers.

TWO CRITIQUES OF THIS DISC: 'A sparkling collection which show both the composer and these fine artists in inspirational from. The performance is joyous, witty and ravishing in its Purcellian melancholy.' PENGUIN GUIDE TO COMPACT DISCS.


The accompanying booklet includes pertinent information and a complete text of the songs."