1 CD - VC 7 59243-2 - (p) 1992


Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Now does the glorious day appear, Z. 332
20' 34"

- No. 1 - Sinfonia 3' 35"

- No. 2 - Chorus: "Now does the glorious day appear" 1' 17"

- No. 3 - Duet: "Not any one such joy could bring"
1' 27"

- No. 4 - Aria: "This does our fertile isle with glory"
2' 10"

- No. 5 - Chorus: "Now does the glorious day appear" 1' 19"

- No. 6 - Recitative: "It was a work of full as great a weight" 1' 51"

- No. 7 - Aria: "By beauteous softness" 2' 24"

- No. 8 - Duet: "Her hero to whose conduct and whose arms"
1' 27"

- No. 9 - Trio: "Our dear religion, with our lav's defence" 1' 31"

- No. 10 - Aria: "No more shall we the great Eliza Boast" 1' 16"

- No. 11 - Chorus: "Now, now, with one united voice" 2' 07"

Loves' goddess sure was blind, Z. 331
21' 15"

- No. 1 - Sinfonia 4' 00"

- No. 2 - Aria: "Love's goddess sure was blind this day" 3' 06"

- No. 3 - Recitative: "Those eyes, that form" 1' 19"

- No. 4 - Duet: "Sweetness of nature and true wit" 3' 03"

- No. 5 - Aria: "Long may she reign over this isle" 2' 12"

- No. 6 - Aria: "May her blest example chase" 1' 21"

- No. 7 - Duet: "Many such days may she behold" 3' 05"

- No. 8 - Chorus: "May she to heaven late return" 1' 23"

- No. 9 - Verse with Chorus: "As much as we below shall mourn" 1' 45"

Come ye sons of art, Z. 323
23' 25"

- No. 1 - Sinfonia 3' 29"

- No. 2 - Aria and Chorus: "Come ye sons of art away" 1' 45"

- No. 3 - Duet: "Sound the trumpet" 2' 27"

- No. 4 - Chorus: "Come ye sons of art away" 1' 14"

- No. 5 - Ritornello: "Strike the viol" 4' 25"

- No. 6 - Aria and Chorus: "The day that such a blessing gave" 2' 41"

- No. 7 - Aria: "Bid the virtues" 2' 41"

- No. 8 - Aria: "These are the sacred charms" 1' 33"

- No. 9 - Duet and Chorus: "See nature rejoicing" 2' 48"

Julia Gooding, soprano (9,16-17,27,29)
James Bowman, countertenor I (7,9,13,15,18,22,23,25)
Christopher Robson, countertenor II (15,18,23)
Howard Crook, tenor (3,4,9,10)
David Wilson-Johnson, bass I (8,14,26,28,29)
Michael George, bass II (3,6,8)

Gustav LEONHARDT, conductor


Luogo e data di registrazione
Bishopgate Institute, London (England) - Settembre 1991

Registrazione: live / studio

Nicholas Parker

Balance engineer

Mike Clements (Floating Earth Ltd)

Executive producer

Edward Kershaw

Prima Edizione LP

Prima Edizione CD
Virgin Classics | LC 7873 | VC 7 59243-2 | 1 CD - durata 65' 15" | (p) 1992 | DDD

Cover Art

Mary II, by an unknown artist after William Wissing (detail).


Born in London in 1659 into a family of musicians, Henry Purcell died in the same city on 21 November 1695 at the age of thirty-six. With him, English music attained its apogee and when he passed away prematurely, as with Pergolesi, Mozart and Schubert, he was in complete command of his powers. He was solemnly entombed in Westminster Abbey, where he had been organist since 1679, having inherited the position vacated by John Blow. This exceptional genius counts among the great composers both of his century and of the entire baroque era. Despite his short life, Purcell was an extremely prolific composer who tried his hand at every musical form, and the profundity of his inspiration was equalled only by its infinite variety. He served in an official capacity at court in the reigns of three successive kings, Charles II, James II and William III. Responsible principally for the maintenance of the royal instruments, director of the Twenty-four Violins, an ensemble created by Charles II, and organist of the Chapel Royal, Purcell was confronted, during this particularly rich era for English music, by the waning of the tradition of the Elizabethan composers and the pressures of the new style imported from the continent, particularly from Italy and from France, where sway was held by Jean-Baptiste Lully, whose influence was decisive in England.
The Stuart King Charles II was a lover of music, dancing and the theatre, and as a great admirer of Louis XIV he had founded the ensemble of the Twenty-four Violins of the King after the style of the orchestra which Lully directed at Versailles; this did not always pass without arousing jealous comment on the part of those who found the French style ‘light and extravagant’. With the Restoration and the accession of this sovereign in 1660, there developed the tradition of musical odes intended to celebrate great events in the kingdom. Made up in general of instrumental ritornelli between vocal episodes, the six Odes for Queen Mary were composed by Purcell between 1689 and 1694, and intended each year for the birthdays of the Stuart Queen Mary II, who died in London in 1694. She was daughter of James II (Charles II’s brother and successor) and co-regnant spouse of William III.
The Ode Now does the glorious day appear, written in 1689 to a text by Thomas Shadwell, uses a relatively restricted instrumental ensemble of three stringed instruments. Contrary to the French Overture tradition, the work is introduced by a Symphony closely resembling an Italian sonata-movement, and alternates three choruses with solo episodes, including a bass air ‘It was a work of full as great a weight’, treated in recitative style.
Performed for Queen Mary's thirtieth birthday on 30 April 1692, the ode Love's goddess sure was blind, to a text by Sir Charles Sedley, likewise demands a reduced, intimate instrumental group. In the bass line to the soprano air ‘May her blest example chase’ is to be found an opportune quotation of a Scots ballad which was said to be a particular favourite of the Queen at the time.
The last ode for Queen Mary, Come, ye sons of art, away, dates from the year of her death in 1694, a year before Purcell. The most famous of the six, the authorship of its text is uncertain, though it is sometimes attributed to Nahum Tate. The work requires unusual resources for its time, voices contrasted with instruments, solo pieces with choruses. The instrumental complement, much more sumptuous than in the preceding odes, demands, in addition to the strings, two oboes, two trumpets, and drums. Purcell reused the opening Symphony in his semiopera The Indian Queen, given in London in 1695: this overture falls into three parts, the last having a rather nostalgic atmosphere, partly owing to the eschewal in this movement of winds and drums. The Italian influence makes itself felt in certain parts of the score and Purcell, who generally remains faithful to the sense of the text, portrays the braying of trumpets in the duet ‘Sound the trumpet’ by means of some joyfully omate writing over a basso ostinato, repeating this procedure in the spirited bass air ‘These are the sacred charms’.
Adélaïde de Place
Translation: Hugh Graham