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My Beloved Spake: Anthems By Henry Purcell & Pelham Humfrey

Purcell / Davies / Choir Of St John's College
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 790   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Henry PurcellPelham Humfrey
Performer:  Neal [Bass-Baritone Vocal] DaviesJames GilchristPeter HicksIestyn Davies,   ... 
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PURCELL Anthems: Remember not, Lord, our offences; Jehova quam multi sunt hostes mei; O sing unto the Lord; Behold, now, praise the Lord; My beloved spake; Hear my prayer, O Lord; Rejoice in the Lord, alway. HUMFREY O Lord my God. Magnificat. Nunc dimittis Andrew Nethsingha, cond; Ch of St. John’s College; St. John’s Sinfonia; Peter Hicks, Alec D’Oyly (trb); Tom Blackie, James Imam, Iestyn Davies (ct); James Gilchrist, Julian Gregory (ten); Read more David Stout (bar);Neal Davies, Huw Leslie (bs) CHANDOS 0790 (69:11)


The Purcell anthems found here have been often recorded, and I can safely recommend the thicker textured recordings led by George Guest, as well as the Robert King and Gustav Leonhardt recordings. Still there is much to recommend in this new recording. Going from the Guest recording of Sing Unto the Lord , one notices immediately the smaller group of strings on this new recording, and also the unique cheerfulness with which bass Neal Davies sings his part: He might as well be one of the sailors in Dido and Aeneas. The recording includes in its vocal ensemble a boy treble, Peter Hicks. The Purcell is always stylish and the music of course wonderful.


I am even more enthusiastic about the Pelham Humfrey. Born in 1647, Humfrey studied in France and Italy. He was a sophisticate. He was also, according to Samuel Pepys, unbearably vain, disparaging of every other musician. Pepys put it succinctly: “His vanity doth offend me.” But how touching, and interesting in unexpected ways, is his setting of the Psalm O Lord my God, why hast thou forsaken me? The Psalm is itself remarkable, with its verse: “I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint: my heart also in the midst of my body is ev’n like melting wax.” The musical rendition is striking: The complaint is physical as well as spiritual, and it is convincing. The recording is spacious and clear; the performances excellent and the music inspiring.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

1.
Remember not, Lord, our offences, Z 50 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680-1682; England 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
2.
Jehova, quam multi sunt, Z 135 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Neal [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Davies (), James Gilchrist ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 6 Minutes 32 Secs. 
3.
O sing unto the Lord, Z 44 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Peter Hicks (Treble), Neal [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Davies (), Iestyn Davies (),
James Gilchrist ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1688; England 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 13 Minutes 8 Secs. 
4.
O Lord My God for 4 voices, strings & organ by Pelham Humfrey
Performer:  James Gilchrist (), Neal [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Davies (), Iestyn Davies ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 12 Minutes 28 Secs. 
5.
Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Evening Service), for chorus & orchestra in E minor by Pelham Humfrey
Performer:  Tom Blackie (), James Imam (), Alec [Treble Vocal] d'Oyly (Treble),
Huw Leslie (), Peter Hicks (Treble), Julian Gregory ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 5 Minutes 51 Secs. 
6.
Behold, now praise the Lord, Z 3 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  James Gilchrist (), Neal [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Davies (), Iestyn Davies ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
7.
My beloved spake, Z 28 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Neal [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Davies (), Iestyn Davies (), James Gilchrist ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1678; England 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 11 Minutes 22 Secs. 
8.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, Z 15 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680-1682; England 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
9.
Rejoice in the Lord Alway, Z 49 "Bell Anthem" by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Neal [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Davies (), James Gilchrist (), Iestyn Davies ()
Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. John's Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1682-1685; England 
Venue:  St. John's College Chapel, Cambridge, En 
Length: 8 Minutes 6 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Remember not, Lord, our offences, Z. 50
Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei, Z. 135
O sing unto the Lord, Z. 44
O Lord my God
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis: Magnificat
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis: Nunc dimittis
Behold, now, praise the Lord, Z. 3
My beloved spake, Z. 28
Hear my prayer, O Lord, Z. 15
Rejoice in the Lord alway, Z. 49, "Bell Anthem"

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