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Purcell: How Pleasant Tis To Love! / Van Mechelen, Achten, Scherzi Musicali

Purcell / Musicali / Achten / Van Mechelen
Release Date: 08/27/2013 
Label:  Alpha Productions   Catalog #: 192   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PURCELL Sound the Trumpet. Ah! How Pleasant ‘tis to Love. O Solitude. Almand in d. Still I’m whishing. Seek not to know. Corant and Hornpipe in d. Musick for a while. Sweeter than Roses. New Ground in e. _‘Tis Nature’s Voice. From Rosie Bow’rs. Hornpipe in e. They tell us that you mighty Powers above. Ah! How happy are we. The plaint: O let me Weep. Ground in d. Roundo in d. Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Strike the Viol, touch the Lute. Prelude in a. In vain the am’rous Flute. An Evening Hymn Scherzi Musicali ALPHA 192 (73:57)


Led by Nicolas Achten, who sings and plays harp or virginal while leading this ensemble, the Scherzi Musicali has rearranged Purcell in its own image. The ensemble, which besides Achten’s baritone features Reinoud Van Mechelen’s tenor voice, has two flutes à bec, which are basically recorders, a viola da gamba, theorbo, and a Baroque guitar. No larger string ensemble, as we hear in Gustav Leonhardt’s Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, for instance. No trumpets, no matter how pleadingly the two male singers proclaim “Sound the trumpets.” No harpsichord, either, nor female voices, even in songs traditionally sung by women. So this is not a typical or in any way definitive Purcell recording.


Still it is often musically satisfying, in both the instrumental pieces and vocals. When the band sounds after Van Mechelen’s initial chorus of Still I’m Whishing, it does so with a sweetness one rarely hears elsewhere. Yet the sound also becomes muddied when the full band accompanies the singer. Nor is the enunciation always clear: these are after all French singers. On Musick for a while, Van Mechelen clearly enjoys singing how the “snakes drop, drop, drop from her head,” and we share his pleasure. The hornpipes are also delightful, as is Achten’s playing of such pieces as the Almand in D Minor on virginal. The notes are extensive; thankfully, they include texts. It might be helpful it they had also included the sources of the pieces; not everyone will know the source of Sound the trumpet, for instance. This is a pleasing, though eccentric, collection of Purcell.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

1. Sound the trumpet, Z 335: Sound the trumpet by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
2. Ah! how pleasant 'tis to love, Z 353 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1688; England 
3. O solitude, my sweetest choice, Z 406 by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1687; England 
4. Almand in D minor by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
5. Prophetess, Z 627: Still I'm wishing by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1690; England 
6. Indian Queen, Z 630: Seek not to know by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; England 
7. Corant and Hornpipe in D minor by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
8. Oedipus, Z 583: Music for a while by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1692; England 
9. Sweeter than roses, Z 585 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: By 1696; England 
10. A New Ground for Harpsichord in E minor, Z T682 "Welcome to all the pleasures" by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
11. Fairy Queen, Z 629: 'Tis nature's voice by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
12. Don Quixote, Z 578: From rosie bow'rs by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1694-1695; England 
13. Hornpipe in E minor by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
14. Indian Queen, Z 630: They tell us that your mighty powers by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; England 
15. Indian Queen, Z 630: Ah! how happy we are by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; England 
16. Fairy Queen, Z 629: Oh, oh, let me weep "The Plaint" by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
17. Ground in D minor by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
18. Roundo in D minor by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
19. Strike the viol by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
20. Prelude in A minor by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
21. Hail, bright Cecilia, Z 328 "Ode on St Cecilia's Day": In vain the am'rous flute by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Reinoud Van Mechelen (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
22. Evening Hymn by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Nicolas Achten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scherzi Musicali
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 

Sound Samples

Come, ye sons of art away, Z. 323: Sound the Trumpet
Ah! how pleasant 'tis to love, Z. 353
O solitude, my sweetest choice, Z. 406
A Choice Collection of Lessons: Suite No. 7 in D Minor, Z. 668: I. Almand Bell-barr
The Prophetess, Z. 627, "The History of Dioclesian": Act V: Still I'm wishing
The Indian Queen, Z. 630: Act III: Seek Not to Know
A Choice Collection of Lessons: Suite No. 7 in D Minor, Z. 668: II. Corant - III. Hornpipe
Oedipus, King of Thebes, Z. 583: Music for a While
Pausanius, the Betrayer of his Country, Z. 585: No. 1. Sweeter than Roses
A New Ground in E Minor, Z. T682 (arr. for chamber ensemble)
Hail, bright Cecilia, Z. 328: Tis Nature's voice
The Comical History of Don Quixote, Z. 578: No. 9. From rosy bow'rs
The Old Batchelor, Z. 607: Hornpipe in E Minor
The Indian Queen, Z. 630: Act IV: They Tell Us That Your Mighty Powers
The Indian Queen, Z. 630: Act III: Duet: Ah! How Happy We Are
The Fairy Queen, Z. 629: Act V: O let me ever, ever weep
A Ground in D Minor, Z. D222
Round in D Minor
Come, ye sons of art away, Z. 323: Strike the Viol
A Choice Collection of Lessons: Suite No. 4 in A Minor, Z. 663 (arr. for harp): A Choice Collection of Lessons: Suite No. 4 in A Minor, Z. 663: I. Prelude (arr. for harp)
Hail, bright Cecilia, Z. 328: In Vain the Am'rous Flute
Now that the sun hath veiled his light, Z. 193, "An Evening Hymn on a Ground"

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