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Music at the Coronation of James II 1685

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, March 27, 2007
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 27, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Signum
  • ASIN: B000M5B3VI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,475 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
The occasion of James II's coronation in 1685 gave rise to some superb music from the likes of Henry Purcell, John Blow and Henry Lawes, as well as lesser lights such as William Child and William Turner. This programme represents a reconstruction of the music for that Westminster Abbey service based on a detailed written description by one of those present, but with a few necessary musical and interpretative choices made as well as a couple of imaginative alterations and additions.

The opening piece, the short anthem "O Lord, grant the king a long life", is an initially solemn piece ending in a lively Alleluia; conductor Andrew Gant enhances it by opening with an instrumental version of the jaunty Alleluia theme, beautifully played with fine cornetto embellishments by the period wind instruments of his ensemble. This works superbly, and it's then followed by the first of three verse anthems which provide the most substantial music in the programme. Purcell's "I was glad" (track 2), the symphony-anthem setting interspersed with string passages, is a splendid work benefiting here from the beautifully pointed and alert playing of the ad hoc "Musicians Extra-Ordinary" instrumental ensemble.

With a number of fairly short full (i.e. exclusively choral) anthems added to the mixture, we also get a plainchant Litany by Tallis and, finest of all in my view, two more splendid verse anthems: Blow's "God spake sometime in visions" (10) and finally Purcell's "My Heart is inditing" (11). It's all marvellous music, and it's further enhanced by the spirited and stylish work of the boys' choir of the Chapel Royal, singing throughout with a lovely tone and excellent diction, together with the appropriate adult voices.
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Music at the Coronation of James II 1685
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