Purcell: Royal Welcome Songs for King James II
Despite being written for the celebration of royal occasions, Purcell’s Royal Welcome Songs were penned during a time of immense disillusionment with the monarchy. Filled with humour as well as an ironic detachment from the politics of the time, Ye tuneful muses and Sound the trumpet fizz with the dramatic energy which characterised his later operas and mark a crucial turning point in Purcell’s career.
This programme showcases the variety and diversity of Purcell’s writing, opening with the Chacony in G minor, which is among the great glories of music for strings, and including When on my sick bed I languish - an amazingly impassioned piece in which he bares his soul...quintessential Purcell!
'Christophers coaxes virtuosic performances from eight of the Sixteen with a fine band of period instrumentalists revelling in the glories of Purcell's unique harmonic palette.' The Observer
'In Ye Tuneful Muses and Sound the Trumpet, the Sixteen's vocal forces are halved permitting immaculately stylish singers to shine as "soloists"...' The Sunday Times
Henry Purcell (1659-95)
1. Chacony in G minor, Z730 (c.1678)
2. When on my sick bed I languish, Z144 (1677–8)
3. True Englishmen drink a good health (Catch No. 45), Z284
Welcome Song - Ye tuneful Muses, raise your heads, Z344 (1686)
5. Ye tuneful Muses, raise your heads!
6. This point of time ends all your grief
7. In his just praise your noblest songs let fall
8. Try, try ev’ry strain
9. From the rattling of drums and the trumpet’s loud sounds
10. With him he brings the partner of his throne
11. Happy in a mutual love
12. Whilst in music and verse our duty we show
13. A New Irish Tune in G (‘Lilliburlero’), Z646
14. God is gone up with a merry noise (Canon a 7), Z107
15. A New Scotch Tune in G, Z655
16. Save me, O God, for thy name’s sake, Z51 (1677)
Welcome Song: Sound the trumpet, beat the drum Z335 (1687)
18. Sound the trumpet, beat the drum
19. Crown the year, and crown the day
20. To Caesar all hail, unequall’d in arms!
21. Let Caesar and Urania live
22. What greater bliss can Fate bestow
23. While Caesar, like the morning star
24. To Urania and Caesar delights without measure
Total Running Time: 64.02