A celebration of Henry Purcell

Purcell

Suite in G major – excerpts

Purcell

Hail, Bright Cecelia – ’Tis nature’s voice

Purcell

A New Ground

Purcell

Music for a while

Purcell

Suite in D major – excerpts

Purcell

Sweeter than roses

Blow

Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell

Purcell

Evening Hymn

Iestyn Davies (countertenor)
Simon Wall (tenor)
Members of the Academy of Ancient Music
Richard Egarr (harpsichord/director)


The centrepiece of this concert – introduced by Suzy Klein and originally presented to celebrate the 350th anniversary year of Purcell’s birth in 2009 – is an affecting tribute to the composer by his teacher and predecessor as organist of Westminster Abbey, John Blow. It sets Dryden’s poem of the same name, which describes how ‘the lark and linnet sing’ but then fall silent at the appearance of ‘the matchless man, our Orpheus’.

A sequence of Purcell’s solo songs and keyboard pieces and the deeply moving Evening Hymn complete this mix of mellifluous music, performed by English singers Iestyn Davies and Simon Wall. The duo are accompanied by members of the Academy of Ancient Music, led from the harpsichord by their Artistic Director Richard Egarr.

Read Past Reviews on the Classical Source

(From the BBC Proms, 7 September 2009)

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