Notes and Editorial Reviews
In 1692 the 'musical society', a group of musicians and amateur including the publisher John Playford, initiated a specifically British annual celebration to celebrate St Cecilia's Day on 22 November. The festivities were to include singers from Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and the Chapel Royal, along with musicians from the King's band and from the London theatres.
Purcell's composed two Odes for these occasions -- the first 'Welcome All the Pleasures' was completed in 1683, and the second, 'Hail Bright Cecilia', in 1692. It is laid out for a large group of instrumentalists and singers, and runs to 40 minutes. The opulent style of writing, and the sheer inventiveness and freedom of Purcell's inspiration laid the
foundations for Handel's oratorios 25 years later. It is the grandest and most brilliant vocal work to be composed in England prior to the advent of Handel.
- Booklet notes and sung texts
- 'This performance is exceptionally receptive to the brilliance of the score. The trumpets are bold and brassy (only occasionally overblown) and the ensemble as a whole moves effortlessly from discretion and intimacy to the imposing timbral homogeneity of McCreesh's most extrovert Venetian exploits. His tempos - especially in the grand opening instrumental sinfonia - are irrepressible and invigorating.' Gramophone 1995
Works on This Recording
Hail, bright Cecilia, Z 328 "Ode on St Cecilia's Day" by Henry Purcell
Written: 1692; England
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