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Purcell: Chamber Music / London Baroque


Release Date: 03/10/2009 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord Catalog #: 1951327   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is classy playing. Ingrid Seifert and Ursula Weiss not only manage to make their violins breathe as one but play with effortless grace combined with a truly buoyant rhythmic style that brings the best out of Purcell's early music. Charles Medlam and Lars Ulrik Mortensen form a superbly unified continuo group; Richard Gwilt matches them well in the pieces that need three violins; and Nicholas Logie seems a judicious viola player (which I put in that cautious way because the balance tends to hide him).

And the music in not easy to play consistently well, because it is mainly Purcell's earliest instrumental works (excluding the viol fantasias). They include pavanes that seem to look right back to the early seventeenth
Read more century, albeit as heard through the cars of a young man who also knew the work of William Lawes and Locke. They in elude overtures that perhaps demand a slightly larger ensemble (in which case the speeds could sometimes be a little more majestic). There are three trio sonatas, perhaps among his earliest, played with a clarity that firmly contradicts Roger North's complaint that they were "clog'd with somewhat of an English vein". And there is the glassily virtuosic Fantasia upon a Ground, more often heard on recorders but sounding wonderfully idiomatic on violins.

The influences crowding in on Purcell at this time—English, French and Italian—make fascinating listening. They also raise all but insoluble questions of stylistic interpretation; and it would be easy to opine that the playing is a little too French here, too hesitant in its embellishment there, too literal elsewhere. Perhaps there could have been room for a rather fuller discussion of the problems in Clifford Bartlett's otherwise instructive note. But the record gives a splendidly balanced panorama of a young genius finding his feet.

-- Gramophone [10/1990]
reviewing the original release of this title
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasia upon a Ground in D major, Z 731 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
2.
Sonatas (10) in 4 parts: no 6 in G minor, Z 807 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
3.
Pavan for 3 Violins and Basso Continuo in G minor, Z 752 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
4.
Chacony for Strings in G minor, Z 730 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
5.
Pavan for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo no 3 in B flat major, Z 750 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
6.
Pavan for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo no 4 in G minor, Z 751 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
7.
Pavan for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo no 2 in A minor, Z 749 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
8.
Pavan for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo no 1 in A major, Z 748 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
9.
Trio Sonatas (12) for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo: no 7 in E minor, Z 796 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
10.
Trio Sonatas (12) for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo: no 12 in D major, Z 801 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
11.
Overture for Strings in D minor, Z 771 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
12.
Swifter, Isis, swifter flow, Z 336: Overture by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1681; England 
13.
Overture for Strings in G minor, Z 772 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
14.
Suite for Strings in G major, Z 770: no 1, Overture by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Charles Medlam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1681; England 

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