Magazine article Gramophone

Blow * Purcell: 'Elegy'

Magazine article Gramophone

Blow * Purcell: 'Elegy'

Article excerpt

Blow * Purcell [G] 'Elegy' Blow Ah heav'n, what is't I hear?. An Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell. Paratum cor meum. The Queen's Epicedium: No, Lesbia, no, you ask in vain Purcell Bonduca, Z574--Sing, sing, ye druids. Come, ye sons of art, Z323--Sound the trumpet. Dioclesian, Z627--Chaconne; Since the toils and the hazards of war. Hail, bright Cecilia!, 328--In vain the am'rous flute. O dive custos Auricae domus, Z504.0 solitude, my sweetest choice, Z406. The Queen's Epicedium: Incassum Lesbia, Z383. Timon of Athens, Z632--Hark how the songsters lestyn Davies, James Hall countertens The King's Consort / Robert King Vivat (F) VIVAT118 (78' * DDD * T/t)

This latest disc from The King's Consort on the independent Vivat label is absolutely on point: with two wonderfully matched countertenors and superb recorder-playing, bound together in the intimate acoustic of Alpheton New Makings, Suffolk, there is much to enjoy here. The big draw is, of course, countertenor lestyn Davies, and for me his performance of Purcell's 'O solitude' is a clear standout. Davies sings the entire song in falsetto, maintaining his tone's silvery thread through even the most fiendishly low passages. His word-painting is nuanced, subtle and intimate. Paired with the deliciously warm tone of Reiko Ichise's bass viol, the cushion of the chamber organ and Lynda Sayce's ever-sensitive theorbo, this is surely one of the best countertenor performances on disc, rivalling even perhaps King's previous account with James Bowman (Hyperion, 7/88). …

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