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Composer of the Week - Henry Purcell (2011)

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Composer of the Week - Henry Purcell (2011)
Composer of the Week - Henry Purcell (2011)
English | MP3 195 kbps 44 KHz Stereo | 5 MP3s | 404 MB
Genre: AudioBook
Donald Macleod explores Henry Purcell's music for the theatre, from songs he wrote for plays in the 1680s to the semi-opera The Indian Queen, which he did not live to complete.
Five episodes, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in May 2011.
Episode 1 - Before the 'Glorious' Revolution (9th May 2011)
Donald Macleod explores Purcell's earliest contributions to the theatre, from a smattering of songs for plays in the 1680s, to his only 'all-sung' work for the stage which has eclipsed all his other theatre music - Dido and Aeneas. Privately performed before the composer had established himself in the professional theatre, it is now the only piece with a secure place in the modern repertoire.


Music played:
King Arthur: Chaconne [The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock (director)]
Songs from Theodosius or The Force of Love [The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
Songs from A Fool's Preferment [Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
Dido and Aeneas (Act 3) [soloists, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Steven Devine (conductor)]

Episode 2 - Equal with the Best Abroad (10th May 2011)
In the last five years of his life Purcell was to contribute music to around 50 stage productions. The reign of William and Mary brought about a scaling back of court music, so the composer turned to the theatre as a source of income. He became a more public figure in the process, and began to work with playwrights such as John Dryden, chief poet of the Restoration.

Music played:
Hark, how the songsters (Timon of Athens) [Honor Sheppard (soprano) Suzanne Green (soprano), The Deller Consort, Alfred Deller (director)]
Circe (Extracts) [soloists, Aradia Ensemble, Kevin Mallon (conductor)]
Dioclesian (Act 2) [The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock (conductor)]
Songs from Amphitryon [Martyn Hill (tenor), Judith Nelson (soprano), The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]

Episode 3 - Thou Genius of This Isle (11th May 2011)
Donald Macleod explores Purcell's major collaboration with John Dryden, King Arthur, and looks at some of the characters populating London's theatrical world in the 1690s. A spoken verse drama 'adorn'd with Scenes, Machines, Songs and Dances', King Arthur features the extraordinary Frost Scene. A military hero and British virtues made it appropriate to the current regime, and there was also room for reflection on the new commercial ethos of the times, with songs in praise of Britain's chief exports, fish and wool...

Music played:
The Gordian Knot Unty'd: Overture [The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
Pursuing Beauty [Judith Nelson (soprano), The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
King Arthur (Extracts) [soloists, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (conductor)]

Episode 4 - We'll Try a Thousand Charming Ways to Win Ye (12th May 2011)
Donald Macleod explores Purcell's music for a spectacular 1692 adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Fairy Queen. Later that year the London stage faced disasters involving its principal performers - the worst being the murder of the actor William Mountfort, by an army officer, over the star actress Anne Bracegirdle. This was a bad omen for the United Company, which thanks to financial mismanagement was on the brink of collapse.

Music played:
Music for a while [James Bowman (tenor), The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
Hang this whining way of wooing; No, no, poor suff'ring heart [Emma Kirkby (soprano), The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
The Fairy Queen: Sonata while the sun rises [The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)]
The Fairy Queen (Extract from Act II) [soloists, The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir, Ton Koopman (conductor)]
No, no, no resistance is but vain [Emma Kirkby (soprano), Evelyn Tubb (soprano), The Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley (director)]

Episode 5 - In His Sickness (13th May 2011)
Donald Macleod explores the later works Purcell wrote for the stage, including his last song, and the semi-opera The Indian Queen, which he did not live to complete.

Music played:
Abdelazer: Air [The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)]
Bonduca: Britons strike home!; O lead me to some peaceful gloom [Martyn Hill (tenor), Judith Nelson (soprano), The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
Let the dreadfull engines [David Thomas (bass), Richard Boothby (bass viol), The Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley (director)]
From Rosie Bow'rs [Emma Kirkby (soprano), Alan Wilson (organ and harpsichord), The Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley (director)]
The Indian Queen (Extract: Act III-V) [The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (conductor)]
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Composer of the Week - Henry Purcell (2011)
Composer of the Week - Henry Purcell (2011)
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