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Purcell: The Fairy Queen


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - PreludeEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - HornpipeEnglish Baroque Soloists0:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - AirEnglish Baroque Soloists0:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - RondeauEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - OvertureEnglish Baroque Soloists 2:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - Song In Two Parts: "Come, come, come, let us leave"English Baroque Soloists 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - Scene Of The Drunken Poet: "Fill up the Bowl"English Baroque Soloists 6:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 1 - First Act Tune: JigEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - Prelude...Come, All Ye Songsters Of The SkyEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Purcell: The Fairy Queen, Z.629 / Act 2 - PreludeEnglish Baroque Soloists0:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - Trio: "May the God of Wit inspire"English Baroque Soloists 1:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - EchoEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - Chorus: "Now Joyn your Warbling Voices all"English Baroque Soloists0:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - A Dance Of FairiesEnglish Baroque Soloists0:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - Song And Chorus: "Sing while we trip it on the Green"English Baroque Soloists 1:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - No.14 "See, even Night herself is here"Jennifer Smith 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - No.15 "I am come to lock all fast"English Baroque Soloists 1:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Purcell: The Fairy Queen, Z.629 / Act 2 - No.16 "One charming night"English Baroque Soloists 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - No.17 "Hush, no more"English Baroque Soloists 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - No.18 Dance For The Followers Of NightEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 2 - Second Act Tune: AirEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - A Song In Two Parts And Chorus: "If Love's a Sweet Passion"Jennifer Smith 8:02Album Only
listen23. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Overture: Symphony While The Swans Come ForwardEnglish Baroque Soloists 2:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Dance For The FairiesEnglish Baroque Soloists0:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Dance For The Green MenEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Song: "Ye Gentle Spirits of the Air, appear"English Baroque Soloists 5:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Dialog: "Now the Maids and the Men"English Baroque Soloists 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Song: "When I have often heard"Jennifer Smith 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - A Dance Of HaymakersEnglish Baroque Soloists0:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Song And Chorus: "A Thousand Thousand ways we'll find"English Baroque Soloists 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 3 - Third Act Tune: HornpipeEnglish Baroque Soloists0:58$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - SymphonyEnglish Baroque Soloists 6:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - No.31 Solo & Chorus "Now the night"English Baroque Soloists 2:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Duet: "Let the fifes, and the Clarions"English Baroque Soloists 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Entry Of PhoebusEnglish Baroque Soloists0:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Song: "When a cruel long Winter"- Chorus: "Hail! Great Parent of us all"English Baroque Soloists 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Song: "Thus the ever Grateful Spring"Jennifer Smith 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Song: "Here's the Summer, Sprightly, Gay"English Baroque Soloists 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Song: "See my many Colour'd Fields"English Baroque Soloists 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Song And Chorus: "Now Winter comes Slowly"English Baroque Soloists 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 4 - Fourth Act Tune: AirEnglish Baroque Soloists0:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - PreludeEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Epithalamium - Thrice Happy LoversEnglish Baroque Soloists 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - The PlaintJennifer Smith 7:42Album Only
listen14. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Entry DanceEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - SymphonyEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Thus The Gloomy WorldEnglish Baroque Soloists 5:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Thus Happy And FreeEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Song: "Yes, Daphne, in your Looks I find"English Baroque Soloists 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Monkey's DanceEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Hark! How All ThingsJennifer Smith 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Hark! The Ech'ing AirEnglish Baroque Soloists 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Sure The Dull GodJennifer Smith 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - PreludeEnglish Baroque Soloists0:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Solo: "See, see, I obey"English Baroque Soloists 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Duet: "Turn then thine Eyes"Jennifer Smith 1:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Solo: "My Torch, indeed"English Baroque Soloists0:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Trio: "They shall be as happy"Jennifer Smith 1:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - AirEnglish Baroque Soloists 1:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Chorus: "They shall be as happy"English Baroque Soloists 1:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Act 5 - Chaconne: Dance For Chinese Man And WomanEnglish Baroque Soloists 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Details

  • Performer: John Eliot Gardiner, Eiddwen Harrhy, Elisabeth Priday, English Baroque Soloists, Judith Nelson, et al.
  • Composer: Henry Purcell
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • ASIN: B0000057CU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,723 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This 1981 recording was the first period-instrument version of Purcell's most famous "semi-opera." This Restoration-era hybrid was a play with a complete (spoken) script plus numerous musical numbers for soloists, chorus, and pit orchestra. The Fairy Queen is based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, although you'd never know it from the music, which has (typically for the genre) no real connection to the plot. (Most of the songs and dances are masques performed for the entertainment of Titania, Oberon, or Hippolytus.) The advantage to this is that Purcell's score can be performed fairly well on its own. The Fairy Queen includes some of Purcell's best-loved comic scenes ("The Drunken Poet" and "Coridon and Mopsa") and songs ("Hark the echoing Air," "Ye gentle spirits," and "Hark how all things in one sound rejoice"--the last sung here by Jennifer Smith, sounding more beautiful than on any recording she's made since). Other highlights include the "Masque of the Four Seasons" and an allegory wherein Night, Mystery, Secrecy, and Sleep appear to sing Titania to her rest. Standouts from a solid cast include sweet-voiced, nimble soprano Judith Nelson and baritone Stephen Varcoe, whose solos as Winter and as Night are breathtaking. --Matthew Westphal

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
One can only imagine that he was able to visit other realms himself, to have created this music.
Belinda Dawson
John Eliot Gardiner's recording of Henry Purcell's "The Fairy Queen" is one of the better recordings I've heard of this wonderful masterpiece.
Obi
It is no longer the pure song of the beauty of love, but the clear hymn of the beauty of marriage.
Jacques COULARDEAU

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Well, a few years ago I heard some excerpts from Purcell's Fairy Queen and instantly fell in love. This is one of the most underrated masterpieces of all time. Gardiner's direction is good, and the soloists are all great. However, I do have a small reservation about this recording. Although Gardiner is known for conducting at fast tempos, a couple of the arias from this recording struck me as not being fast enough. In any case, you won't be disappointed though, with Jennifer Smith's gorgeous coloratura and Archiv's digital sound, I could listen to "Thus the ever grateful spring" and "Hark how all things" all day. And, of course, Eiddwen Harrhy gives us an extremely beautiful (but somewhat lacking in dramatic effect) "Hark now the echoing air."
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By George Peabody VINE VOICE on July 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE POT!!
'The Fairy Queen', an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' with "Singing, Dancing and Machines interwoven, after the manner of an opera" was first performed on May 2, 1692 at the Queen's Theatre, Dorset Garden, London, possibly as a birthday tribute to Queen Mary.

This score, which is only partially in Purcell's autograph, has served as the basis of the edition specially prepared by Peter Holman and John Eliot Gardiner for performance at the 1981 Gottingen Handel Festival and this subsequent recording. The surviving music that Purcell composed for the 1693 revival is here recorded complete for the first time.

This recording is a huge disppointment for me because after hearing tne 1994 Nikolaus Harnoncourt disc with his line-up of very excellent soloists (7 in all) and the skilled Arnold Schoenburg Choir, I really thought that Gardiner's recording would at least be at that level, but I had to remind myself that this was early in Gardiner's wonderful sojourn, and I do think that if he did this today he would have improved on the following faults: he used 10 soloists, all of which were capable, but dramatically failures; the 3 that I thought did skilled characterizations were: Jeniifer Smith (soprano), Martyn Hill(tenor) and Stephen Varcoe (bass). The worst performers over all were Wynford Evans (very odd tonality) and the two countertenors were really lackluster and conveyed no personality whatsoever. The comic scene that is so great in this semi-opera between the two 'gay' men was so excellent in Harnoncourt's version (it was performed in that by Michael Chance and Robert Hole absolutely superbly). Timothy Penrose and David Thomas performed it like an academic exercise.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on August 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
In this semi-opera, Henry Purcell brings the new English era after the Puritan Commonwealth to an ever more complete fullness. He goes back to Shakespeare to get his story and transforms it into a prodigy of beauty. He sure changes a few things. It is no longer the pure song of the beauty of love, but the clear hymn of the beauty of marriage. Hymen comes on to celebrate the victory of constant and faithful matrimony, based on love for sure, but not governed by it. The fairies and their queen are no longer pure sprites springing out from the woods and forests, but they lead us to a new garden of Eden, represented by the richness of a Chinese garden, the three weddings and the six spouses being represented by six vases containing six orangetrees, a full promise of fruitful unions. Shakespeare has been christianised and all the fairy tale has become civilised. We may consider that Shakespeare is more often looking for entertainment than for moral advancement. Here we definitely are looking for the latter. We are politically and culturally digesting the puritan revolution. The second achievement of Purcell is the density of the music in the « corrected » play. We don't know who corrected it, but the songs and the music are definitely essential for the message to go through, for the show to be entertaining, for the medium to become fascinating. We are reaching here a new phase in the dramatic development of the English stage. John Eliot Gardiner who conducts this music gives it such a high level of lightness, clearness, dramatic expressivity, richness that the music transcends any distance through many centuries to reach us and sound as modern as it can, to speak to us as if we were inside the score, on the stage, taking part in the various dances and songs. He literally absorbs us into the performance.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Obi on August 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
John Eliot Gardiner's recording of Henry Purcell's "The Fairy Queen" is one of the better recordings I've heard of this wonderful masterpiece. Among the soloists, I particularly enjoyed Harrhy and Smith and I really enjoyed the precision of the instrumentalists.

Purcell is an interesting composer, who was very good at his profession, but not well known outside of England. Some would argue that his influence on English music had some influence on Handel when he moved there a generation later, but Purcell's music really stands on its own, with its unique and unmistakable style of rythms and harmonic progressions. The more I listen to Purcell, the more I appreciate his artistic inventions and what a powerful snapshot his music gives us of England during the latter half of the 17th century.

The Fairy Queen, being one of Purcell's most impressive works, is an essential component of your music collection if you like music history and baroque music. I highly recommend this recording.
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