Purcell Royal Welcome Songs For King Charles Ii
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Harry Christophers and The Sixteen continue their exploration of Purcell’s stunning music written for royal occasions on the second album in their new series. Charles II’s formal Restoration in 1660 marked both an end and a beginning: the end of England’s republican experiment and the beginning of a long process of monarchical reconstruction; and with a politically accident-prone king on the throne, Charles’s public relations machine could never rest. Purcell joined its small team of composer operatives just as the wave of Stuart propaganda swelled massively, and he surfed the wave with breathtaking panache, from his first court ode the simple but rousing Welcome, Vicegerent of the mighty King to the ambitious Fly, bold rebellion involving verse settings in up to seven parts and a six-part chorus. ‘Christophers creates a vivid sense of celebration and occasion, conjuring blustering trumpet fanfares and drum-rolls from his ensemble, while his solo singers pre-empt the textural variety and rhetorical sensitivity of Purcell’s stage works…’ (Gramophone)