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NA 4262
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NA 4262

PURCELL: Tempest (The)

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2008

Originally recorded in 2008

Artists:

Kevin Mallon



Brett Polegato

baritone

Paul Grindlay

bass-baritone

Gillian Keith

soprano

Emily Hall

soprano

Nils Brown

tenor

Michael Colvin

tenor

Norman Engel

trumpet

Record Label
Naxos

Genre:

Classical




Total Time - 76:24
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PURCELL

Select Complete Single Disc for
     
1 

Overture in G minor, Z. 772

3:26
 
     
 

The Tempest, Z. 631, "The Enchanted Island"

 
2 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 2 (Trio and Chorus) 2:13
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
3 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 3 (Trio and Chorus) 1:45
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
4 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 4 (Air) 3:09
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
5 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 5 (Dance of the Winds) 1:16
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
6 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 6 (Song and Chorus) 3:57
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
7 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 7 (Air) 5:34
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
8 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 8 (Air) 0:58
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
9 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 9 (Dance of Spirits) 0:38
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
10 Masque of Spirits, Act II, No. 10 (Air) 1:58
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
11 Neptune' Masque, Act V, No. 11 (Recitative and Air Amphitrite) 4:05
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
12 Neptune' Masque, Act V, No. 12 (Recitative and Air) 3:09
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
13 Neptune' Masque, Act V, No. 13 (Recitative and Air) 4:24
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
14 Neptune' Masque, Act V, No. 14 (Air) 7:27
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
15 Neptune' Masque, Act V, No. 15 (Air) 5:01
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
16 Neptune' Masque, Act V, No. 16 (Duet and Chorus) 3:16
 Nils Brown tenor
 Michael Colvin tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
 Brett Polegato baritone
     
17 

Chacony in G minor, Z. 730

4:32
 
     
18 

If ever I more riches did desire, Z. 544

11:42
 Nils Brown tenor
 Paul Grindlay bass-baritone
 Emily Hall soprano
 Gillian Keith soprano
     
19 

The Indian Queen, Z. 630

3:23
 Norman Engel trumpet
     
 

Trumpet Sonata in D major, Z. 850

 
20 I. Allegro 1:25
 Norman Engel trumpet
21 II. Adagio 1:17
 Norman Engel trumpet
22 III. Allegro 1:49
 Norman Engel trumpet
 Kevin Mallon


 Henry Purcell (1659-1695)   - The Tempest; If ever I more riches did desire; Trumpet Pieces

The English composer Henry Purcell died at a tragically young age, a victim of a cold he caught, having been locked out by his wife because he had come home too late, according to one account of the matter. Yet, for his thirty-six years, he wrote an extraordinary amount of music, both religious and secular. By the age of eighteen he had spent eight years in the service of the Chapel Royal, until 1673 as a chorister and thereafter as an assistant to the Keeper of the King’s Instruments. By 1677, when he was appointed by King Charles II to the post of Composer in Ordinary for the Violins, on the death of his friend and mentor, Matthew Locke, he had already been composing for ten years.
 With the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, King Charles II, who had spent part of his exile in France, was quick to bring back music again to the court and theatre. He restored the practices of the Church of England which had prevailed before the ten years of Puritan dictatorship and established a Band of Twenty-Four Violins on the model of the Vingt-Quatre Violons of Louis XIV. This is the model used for the present recording.
 The setting of Abraham Cowley’s If ever I more riches did desire, Z. 544, a poem based on Seneca, was written in the 1680s, presumably for performance at court. It is a type of miniature cantata on the theme of the transitoriness of life. Central is the ground for tenor, Here let my life with as much silence slide, in which the descending figure in the bass symbolizes the inexorable passing of time. This sets up a poignant mood of yearning with the violin and voice. The work prefigures the dramatic music of the 1690s.
 The return of King Charles II had a huge impact on the theatre. After years of disuse under the rule of Cromwell, the theatres were reopened and there was a new explosion of creativity. Old plays were rewritten or adapted in various ways, with the ever-present example of French opera and ballet. The result was an increase in the amount of music and dance in the plays, but, while the French and Italians had developed the form of opera, a continuous flow of dramatic music, composers in England at this time favoured masques, additional elements usually between acts of a play and not central to the dramatic theme. With Purcell’s hand the music came to rival the spoken text resulting in what Roger North called a semi-opera. Dioclesian, The Fairy Queen, King Arthur and The Indian Queen stand on their own, even without the spoken text.
 The music for The Tempest is a characteristic example of theatre-music of the time. The first Restoration revival of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest was in 1667 in an adaptation by John Dryden. This was revised in 1674 by Thomas Shadwell with a version that seems to have been used until the 1690s, when the adaptation presented here, and long attributed to Purcell, became popular. Nevertheless only Dorinda’s song, Dear pretty youth ([10]) is definitely by Purcell. For this reason this beautiful music has enjoyed less favour. Even in his later works Purcell never wrote Italianate da capo arias, as heard here, and this has added further doubt to its authenticity.
 The version of The Tempest presented on this recording is from an early eighteenth century copy (attributed to Purcell) in the library of the University of Toronto. It differs from other versions in depicting the characters of the second act as Spirits and not Devils and in the omission of the chorus Nereids and Tritons from the fifth act. The Dance of the Winds ([5]), Come unto these yellow sands ([6]) and Dance of the Spirits ([9]), exist in two-part versions and so were reconstructed by the conductor. We have added the Overture (Z. 770), which is a French- style overture to an unknown Purcell work and ended with the Chacony (Z. 730), a well-known example of Purcell’s inventive imagination, a movement on a ground-bass with some eighteen repetitions of the same bass-line in four minutes of music.
 The two trumpet works by Purcell included confirm the view that the most interesting trumpet writing in the seventeenth century was his. It has been suggested that the Sonata in D, Z. 850, may be the overture to a lost Purcell ode, Light of the World.
 Other matters worthy of note in this recording are the use of the wind-machine ([5]), reconstructed after seventeenth-century models. As was usual at the time, particularly in France, and following the practices of both the Band of Twenty-Four Violins and the French court Vingt-Quatre Violons, oboes, recorders and bassoons are added to the score.
 
Kevin Mallon
"There is some doubt as to whether Purcell himself composed this "semi-opera" derived from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. But, whoever wrote it, the music is amazingly accomplished, brim full of character and well worth having in such a lively performance as this one.The period instruments of the Toronto-based Aradia Baroque Ensemble provide spry, vibrant accompaniment, including a reconstruction of a 17th-century wind machine for the tempest itself. The voices sing with relish, fluency and refined inflection of the words, and Kevin Mallon directs with a good rhythmic bounce and an acute ear for apt phrasing. He undisputed Purcell works elsewhere on the disc include the well-known Chacony, the overture to The Indian Queen, the Trumpet Sonata and the beautiful song for two sopranos, tenor, bass and chorus If ever I more riches did desire. Sensitivity and freshness are ideally blended."
 
Geoffrey Norris - The Daily Telegraph (Australia) - October 2000

 "The Toronto-based Aradia Baroque Ensemble specializes in music of 17th Century France and England. Kevin Mallon, their director, is a violinist, singer, and conductor who studied with John Eliot Gardiner and has played with such notable early-music ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, Le Concert Spirituel, and Tafelmusik. The Aradia Ensemble seems to consist mainly of younger artists whose careers will bear watching. The vocal soloists are highly talented early-music singers whose clarity and flexibility are equal to the sometimes athletic demands of this score. The bass voice must have been cultivated to an exceptional extent in Restoration England. The writing for the First and Second Devils (called Spirits in the Toronto manuscript) is daunting, and brought off with great aplomb by Brett Polegato and Paul Grindlay. Polegato also takes the higher-pitched role of Neptune in Act v, displaying a strong but never harsh baritone register. Mezzo-soprano Rosemarie van der Hooft is a creamy-toned Ariel, while sopranos Gillian Keith and Meredith Hall produce a brighter sound as Dorinda and Amphitrite. Tenor Michael Colvin is a strong Aeolus, but it sounds to me as if he is recorded a bit too close: the tone is overwhelming, verging on brashness."

 
William Gatens - American Record Guide - April 2001

"It might seem odd that the main work on a disc featuring works of Purcell probably was not even written by the great 17th-century English master. The music for Thomas Shadwell’s 1674 adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest has enjoyed years of mistaken attribution, but that doesn’t mean its songs, airs, choruses, and instrumental sections aren’t well worth hearing. One of the songs, ’Dear pretty youth’, is in fact by Purcell, and its performance by soprano Gillian Keith is one of the highlights of this recording. Another, ’Come unto these yellow sands’, is a recital favorite, and again we are treated to a fine rendition, this time by mezzo-soprano Rosemarie van der Hooft... The orchestra, a Toronto-based period instrument group, was configured for this recording after Louis XIV’s Band of 24 Violins, with the addition of a small group of winds. It’s a polished and responsive ensemble that effectively uses its forces to make the most of the score’s variety of colors and textures.The rest of the program is all Purcell, from the famous Chacony for strings and two works featuring trumpet, to the little "cantata", If ever I more riches did desire, for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra. This last is a relatively compact example of Purcell’s genius for melody and for dramatic text setting. Much of the solo singing is first rate--the above-mentioned women, as well as tenor Michael Colvin and baritone Brett Polegato, who does an especially nice job with Neptune’s aria ’Aeolus, you must appear’. The chorus is quite good.... And by the way, if you’re interested in Purcell’s trumpet music, there’s not very much of it here--only seven-plus minutes, and of that, the solo part is pretty small and not all that interesting. Nevertheless, trumpet soloist Norman Engel delivers clear, flawless, bright tone and pleasingly unmannered performances. Naxos continues to mine some of Canada’s relatively untapped musical riches with this almost entirely Canadian cast, and from a performance perspective, it makes a happy listening experience."
 
David Vernier - ClassicsToday.com - September 2000
 



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