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Purcell: Theatre Music Vol. 1


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Audio CD, March 25, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Written mostly during the last five years of his life, Purcell' Theatre Music is a rich and varied collection of some of the composer' finest melodic inspirations. They include solemn overtures, cheerful and sad songs, as well as delightful dances, either

1. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Overture
2. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Saraband
3. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Hornpipe
4. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Celia, that I once was blest
5. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Scotch Tune
6. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: For Iris I sigh
7. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Air
8. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Minuet
9. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: A Pastoral Dialogue betwixt Thyrsis and Iris
10. Amphitryon, or, the Two Sosias, incidental music, Z. 572: Hornpipe
11. Sir Barnaby Whigg, or, No Wit Like a Woman's, incidental music, Z. 589: Blow, Boreas, blow
12. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: Overture
13. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: Second Music: Aire
14. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: Second Music: Minuet
15. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: First Act Tune: Arie
16. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: Second Act Tune: Rondeau
17. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: Third Act Tune: Aire
18. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: Fourth Act Tune: Jigg
19. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597: Chacone
20. Circe, incidental music, Z. 575: We must assemble by a Sacrifice
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Aradia Ensemble
  • Conductor: Kevin Mallon
  • Composer: H. Purcell
  • Audio CD (March 25, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0013JZ4D0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Doug - Haydn Fan VINE VOICE on October 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Kevin Mallon, a fine conductor well versed in Baroque performance practice here leads selections from the theater music of Henry Purcell. Fans of the composer will be delighted with the excellent playing of this potpourri, while anyone less familiar with this composer's music should be well pleased with Purcell's mature writing - he is unquestionably one of the greatest song writers in history, and unlike so much of Baroque music, his music is forever distinctive and filled to bursting with individuality.

The selections here consist of quite a variety, with orchestra music for small groups intermixing with solo and duet vocal selections. The opening piece, Amphitryon, is incidental music to a play by Dryden. There is a classic Purcell overture, dances of every variety, including a hornpipe, and airs for a soprano - women being allowed back in the English theater after the restoration of Charles II. The piece closes with a very long, heavenly duet between a begging Thyrsis and his coy Iris.

Following a short selection used for a comedy, Mallon leads his Canadian ensemble in the famous music to the Gordian Knot Unty'd. This contains Purcell famous Chaconne, along with a number of instrumental airs and dances incorporated into a suite.

The CD closes with music from a tragedy, Circe, and we hear six numbers Purcell wrote, for instrument, soloists and choir.

Throughout these selections Mallon keeps up a brisk pace, and his soloists are generally quite good with a couple of exceptions. The sound favors the orchestra, but not too much so.

One of the supreme composers of Western Music, Purcell's melodic gifts and sense of life are infectious and endearing. Few composers better reward listening.
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Purcell: Theatre Music Vol. 1
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