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Nicolas Achten - Purcell: How Pleasant 'tis to Love!

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Purcell: How Pleasant 'tis to Love!

Scherzi Musicali, Nicolas Achten, Reinoud Van Mechelen

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A good deal of ink is spilled in the booklet to this Alpha release on the question of what instruments were popular in England during Henry Purcell's lifetime at the end of the 17th century. But none of it deals with the music heard on the album, or the conditions in which it was played (some of the songs were part of dramatic works, which would have made the mixed chamber groupings here unlikely), or who might have used these instruments in performances of this kind. Thus the performance falls into the class of those that use written music merely as a stimulus to further creativity. As such, it's a bit hard to evaluate. The program is the strongest point: the arrangements (for that is really what they are) by the Belgian group Scherzi Musicali and its leader, Nicolas Achten, shed light on the various layers of 17th century music, from several national origins, that came together to generate Purcell's unique style. Consider the attractive performance of O solitude! (track 3), which bends a long Continental ground bass tradition to a distinctively British mood of melancholy (even if the original poem was French). It's very affectingly done here, and it sounds as though it could have come out of a Monteverdi opera. Generally the singing of tenor Reinoud van Mechelen succeeds in avoiding the revelation of its non-English origins, but a plummy tone impedes text intelligibility. Your mileage may vary substantially with this release, but it's hardly a "historical performance."
© TiVo

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Purcell: How Pleasant 'tis to Love!

Nicolas Achten

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1
Sound the Trumpet
00:02:23

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Reinoud Van Mechelen, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

2
Ah! How Pleasant 'tis to Love!
00:02:04

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Reinoud Van Mechelen, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

3
O Solitude!
00:05:33

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

4
Almand in D Minor
00:04:36

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

5
Still I'm Whishing
00:02:45

Scherzi Musicali, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

6
Seek Not to Know
00:03:48

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Laura Pok, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

7
Corant & Hornpipe in D Minor
00:02:07

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Laura Pok, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

8
Musick for a While
00:04:17

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

9
Sweeter Than Roses
00:02:58

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Reinoud Van Mechelen, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

10
A New Ground in E Minor
00:02:29

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Laura Pok, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

11
'Tis Nature's Voice
00:03:52

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

12
From Rosie Bow'rs
00:05:31

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Reinoud Van Mechelen, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

13
Hornpipe in E Minor
00:01:03

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Laura Pok, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

14
They Tell Us That You Mighty Powers Above
00:04:57

Scherzi Musicali, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

15
Ah! How Happy Are We
00:01:41

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Reinoud Van Mechelen, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

16
The Plaint: O Let Me Weep!
00:06:56

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

17
A Ground in D Minor
00:02:35

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

18
Roundo in D Minor
00:01:39

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Laura Pok, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

19
Strike the Viol, Touch the Lute
00:02:05

Scherzi Musicali, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

20
Prelude in A Minor
00:00:55

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

21
In Vain the Am'rous Flute
00:04:23

Scherzi Musicali, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

22
An Evening Hymn
00:05:06

Nicolas Achten, Performer - Lambert Colson, Performer - Justin Glaie, Performer - Simon Linné, Performer - Solmund Nystabakk, Performer - Henry Purcell, Composer

2013 Alpha Productions 2012 Alpha Productions / Scherzi Musicali

Album Description

A good deal of ink is spilled in the booklet to this Alpha release on the question of what instruments were popular in England during Henry Purcell's lifetime at the end of the 17th century. But none of it deals with the music heard on the album, or the conditions in which it was played (some of the songs were part of dramatic works, which would have made the mixed chamber groupings here unlikely), or who might have used these instruments in performances of this kind. Thus the performance falls into the class of those that use written music merely as a stimulus to further creativity. As such, it's a bit hard to evaluate. The program is the strongest point: the arrangements (for that is really what they are) by the Belgian group Scherzi Musicali and its leader, Nicolas Achten, shed light on the various layers of 17th century music, from several national origins, that came together to generate Purcell's unique style. Consider the attractive performance of O solitude! (track 3), which bends a long Continental ground bass tradition to a distinctively British mood of melancholy (even if the original poem was French). It's very affectingly done here, and it sounds as though it could have come out of a Monteverdi opera. Generally the singing of tenor Reinoud van Mechelen succeeds in avoiding the revelation of its non-English origins, but a plummy tone impedes text intelligibility. Your mileage may vary substantially with this release, but it's hardly a "historical performance."
© TiVo

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