Despite being written for the celebration of royal occasions, Purcell’s Royal Welcome Songs were penned during a time of immense disillusionment with the monarchy. Filled with humour as well as an ironic detachment from the politics of the time, Ye tuneful muses and Sound the trumpet fizz with the dramatic energy which characterized his later operas and mark a crucial turning point in Purcell’s career. This programme showcases the variety and diversity of Purcell’s writing, opening with the Chacony in G minor, which is among the great glories of music for strings, and including When on my sick bed I languish- an amazingly impassioned piece in which he bares his soul… quintessential Purcell! “It’s a delicious 72 minutes of Restoration witRead more and lyrical charm, performed gracefully by Harry Christophers ‘The Sixteen.’” (The Times on Purcell: The Indian Queen) “A performance like this shows dimensions of Purcell’s genius that are all too rarely heard on disc.” (Gramophone on Purcell: The Fairy Queen)
Harry Christophers and the Sixteen bring to life the composer's Welcome Songs, composed, like the birthday odes, for special, mainly royal, occasions. Christophers coaxes virtuosic performances from eight members of the Sixteen, with a fine band of period instrumentalists reveling in the glories of Purcell’s unique harmonic palette. Recommended.