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Purcell: The Complete Secular Songs Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, January 13, 2004
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Purcell: The Complete Secular Songs + Theatre Music + Complete Chamber Music
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Product Details

  • Performer: Michael George, James Bowman, Barbara Bonney, Susan Gritton, Charles Daniels
  • Orchestra: King's Consort
  • Conductor: Robert King
  • Composer: Henry Purcell
  • Audio CD (January 13, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B0000DJENT
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,843 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Draw near, you lovers, song for soprano & bass, Z. 462
2. While Thirsis, wrapt in downy sleep, song, Z. 437
3. Love, thou canst hear, tho' thou art blind, song, Z. 396
4. I lov'd fair Celia, song, Z. 381
5. What hope for us remains now he is gone? (On the death of Matthew Locke), song for soprano, chorus & continuo, Z. 472
6. Pastora's beauties when unblown, song, Z. 407
See all 28 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I love and I must, song, Z. 382
2. When her languishing eyes said 'love', song, Z. 432
3. Not all my torments can your pity move, song, Z. 400
4. Ah! cruel nymph! you give despair for soprano & continuo, Z. 352
5. Sylvia, now your scorn give over, song, Z. 420
6. Since one poor view has drawn my heart, song, Z. 416
See all 30 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. She loves and she confesses too, song, Z. 413
2. Amintas, to my grief I see, for soprano & continuo, Z. 356
3. Corinna is divinely fair, song, Z. 365
4. Amintor, heedless of his flocks, for soprano & continuo, Z. 357
5. He himself courts his own ruin, song, Z. 372
6. No, to what purpose should I speak, song, Z. 468
See all 29 tracks on this disc

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Steven Guy on January 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I am surprised that this superb product, released in 2004, hasn't attracted any reviews yet. So I will offer a brief one.
This CD contains all of Henry Purcell's secular solo songs, although it does include some works for more than one voice. The CD contains highly informative notes on each the songs and the texts of all 87 songs. The songs are spread amongst the six singers - Barbara Bonney and Susan Gritton, sopranos; James Bowman, alto; Rogers Covey-Crump and Charles Daniels, tenors; Michael George, bass. The accompaniment, from Robert King's The King's Consort, consists of Mark Caudle and Susanna Pell on bass viols, David Miller playing the theorbo and archlute and maestro Robert King on the chamber organ and harpsichord.

The sound of the recording is very fresh, clear and vivid, as they say. It is exemplary of Hyperion's very high standards in that department. The presentation of the CD is very beautiful and tasteful. All in all, a great achievement and a very fine collection.

Purcell's songs range from the introspective ("Music for a while"), to the melancholy ("O Solitude, my sweetest choice!"), to the hedonistic ("Ah, how pleasant 'tis to love"), to the frankly bawdy ("Since the pox, or the plague") and comical ("Love is now become a trade"), to straight out love songs ("Oh, fair Cedaria, hide those eyes"). Purcell was the master of setting the English language to music and I'd say that his only serious rivals are John Dowland and Benjamin Britten.

This recording is one I treasure and it is one of the best Purcell recordings available. I bought it a couple of years after buying Purcell's complete Welcome Songs & Odes by Robert King and The King's Consort, also on Hyperion. Any serious lover of Purcell's music should have both.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Eastham on May 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So I got this today, and I was astounded.

King's Consort produces another brilliant interpretation and performance of works by Henry Purcell. This collection of Purcell's solo secular songs (though some, as the previous review mentions, have short duets within them) is superbly sung all around. A note on the vocals, they aren't the most "early music" vocals you'll find. The singers all certainly demand attention, but for me, I think that's perfectly fine. The very subdued singing that some take to Baroque music seems to detract from the emotion of these pieces--emotion that is clearly intended from the text painting. However, they also aren't sung in an unnecessarily grandiose way or with too much drive. Frankly, it's just right.

If you enjoy Purcell's music, this collection is absolutely necessary.
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