On what’s thought to have been his 18th birthday, 10 September 1677, Henry Purcell’s first appointment to the court docket of Charles II was as composer-in-ordinary. Occurring to turn out to be organist at Westminster Abbey and to the Chapel Royal, additionally serving James II and William and Mary, Purcell’s prolific composing profession – minimize tragically quick, like that of Mozart – proved to be somewhat extraordinary.
Within the context of Charles III’s current accession to the throne, Harry Christophers’ live performance along with his Sixteen choir and orchestra, programming Welcome Songs and music written for the coronation of James II, was a well timed lesson about musical tradition in turbulent political instances.
Purcell’s vocal music is most notable for his imaginative word-setting, so it was ironic that within the Tub Abbey acoustic, even with printed texts, phrases have been typically not discernible. However the achieved sound of the eight voices – as within the Sixteen’s acclaimed Purcell recordings – carried superbly and was greater than matched by the instrumental taking part in. The intricacies of concord and contrapuntal interweaving within the many interludes and postludes have been completely beguiling, notably the chaconne ending What Larger Bliss, from the 1687 music Sound the Trumpet! Beat the Drum! Z335, written to welcome James II again from a trip.
The pastoral coronation music Whereas Thirsis, Wrapp’d In Downy Sleep, Z437, sung by soprano Katy Hill with candy, pure tone, was adopted by the quick catch-song Full Luggage, a Brisk Bottle, its boozy and jovial character providing amusing distinction to the typically sycophantic celebratory settings. The ultimate welcome music Why, Why Are All of the Muses Mute? allowed high-quality particular person voices to be heard in successive verses, phrases now rising clearly and all of the extra rewarding for it.
Over the MozartFest’s week, the Ok numbers of the Köchel catalogue are distinguished and acquainted; the Z numbers assigned by Franklin Zimmerman in his cataloguing of Purcell’s works are as but unfamiliar, however his scholarship has been invaluable. Zimmerman is 99, so it’s maybe not a second too quickly to salute him as properly.