One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Purcell’s Revenge; Sweeter than Roses?
Moonlight on the Green by James Oswald / Scotch Tune (Purcell, Amphitryon, Z572) [2:14]
There’s not a swain on the plain (Rule a Wife and Have a Wife, Z 587), arr. Olivia Chaney [4:21]
Rondeau (Abdelazer, Z570) [1:48]
An Evening Hymn, Z193, arr. Ana Silvera [3:56]
Fantazia in four parts, No. 11 in G, Z742 [2:59]
A New Scotch Tune, Z655: Peggie I must love thee (Balcarres Lute Book) [2:12]
Sweeter than roses (Pausanias, Z585), arr. David McGuinness [3:25]
First Music: Hornpipe (The Fairy Queen, Z629) [1:01]
Fairest isle (King Arthur, Z628) [3:44]
Old Sir Simon the King (The Division Violin / Second Part of Musick’s Hand-maid) [3:54]
Jigg (Second Part of Musick’s Hand-maid) [0:57]
One charming night (The Fairy Queen) [3:42]
Close thine eyes, Z184, Jigg (Abdelazer) [3:06]
Music for a while (Oedipus, Z583) [3:42]
Cassiopeia - Olivia Chaney [4:11]
Halos - Ana Silvera [3:43]
The Plaint (The Fairy Queen) [6:01]
What shall I do to show how much I love her (Dioclesian, Z627) and variations by James Oswald, arr. David McGuinness [3:48]
Aminta one night had occasion to piss, Z430, arr. David McGuinness [2:22]
Hornpipe on a Ground (The Married Beau, Z603) [3:00]
Concerto Caledonia/David McGuinnessl Performers:
rec. 2013, Britten Studio, Snape, UK
Texts included
DELPHIAN DCD34161 [66:04]

This is a playful and occasionally exasperating disc from Concerto Caledonia under David McGuinness. Straight-ahead, no-nonsense Purcellians will be aghast at some of the things inflicted on their hero whilst the more broad-minded may well welcome the serious and indeed funnier moments - whilst also privately wondering why it all doesn’t work rather better than it does.

Given their folk basis the ensemble could hardly be expected to take an Academy of Ancient Music approach and the infusion of lyra d’amore, hurdy-gurdy, Nyckelharpa and harmonica will give you some idea of the sound-world explored by the group. There’s not a swain on the plain with its vocal folk ethos and ensuing expansive instrumental shows how the group wants to marry the Purcellian idiom to its own sonically inclusive one but it can be a dangerous business. An Evening Hymn is de-ground bassed, as it were, and turned, kicking and screaming, into a winsome ballad, with Ana Silvera’s vowels not sounding especially English. It strikes me, then, as strange that, having established their credentials here in a kind of folk-baroque concept album, they should then decide to invite a proper singer of such music, James Bowman, to join them in a couple of numbers. As we can hear in Sweeter than Roses his voice is now well, well past its best and his musicality, never to be doubted, is little compensation. Is the use of Bowman to offer ‘real’ Purcell or to acquire some kind of legitimacy for the project? I’m undecided.

Fairest Isle is folked, much as the Classics were Jazzed in the 1930s, or Loch Lomond swung but whilst the latter two worked, this doesn’t. It sounds limp. Still, if you’ve yet to encounter a harmonica over hurdy-gurdy then listen to the Jigg. One Charming Night however takes us to the verge of Rock chamber opera – electric guitar, piano, and then quite a melancholy folkloric dénouement with much rusticity in the vocalising.

I’ve enjoyed a couple of this ensemble’s discs before and I appreciate that as suppliers of so-called Nu-Folk (what’s wrong with ‘New Folk’?) they plough their own furrow. Some things are effective, especially that nexus between the more Arcadian aspects of Purcell’s writing and the rural-folk inspirations on which the ensemble draw. But too much of the singing also draws upon the clichés of the genre and I don’t necessarily mean, for instance, the elongated vowels that turn the word ‘safe’ into ‘sayyyyyfe’.

The documentation is excellent and there are some splendid photographs. Most of the performances are live but a couple come from the studio. Sample firrrrst.

Jonathan Woolf




 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger