Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Monday - Halloween Music No. 6

The following music is probably more appropriate for Hallowmas rather than its eve, but it is so gorgeous I can't resist sharing it:

A recording of this March from the Funeral Music for Queen Mary as recorded by Harry Christophers and the Sixteen, plus the Symphony of Harmony and Invention can be found here. The entire recording is filled with the music of Purcell and is titled Love's Goddess Sure Was Blind from the title of a birthday ode to the same queen.

Called "England's most gifted and important composer of the Baroque period" by my undergraduate history of music professor (in the hallowed days of yore), British composer, singer, and organist Henry Purcell was born and lived and died in 17th century London. His best known work is the opera Dido and Aeneas (1689), from which this aria, sung by Emma Kirkby, comes. Just listen to the opening line descend into the Underworld:

Normally I use excerpts from Amazon, but this particular YouTube video has the vocal line scrolling in front of me while I'm listening--I'm in music-geek heaven. ☺ Not to mention that the CD of Kirkby singing Dido and Aeneas is no longer being released, though it is available via iTunes in the form of four very long tracks. But here is a recent recording of German-born coloratura soprano Simone Kermes, who treats Purcell's lament with a sensibility similar to Kirkby's, though their voices are quite different, on a CD also featuring Dimitris Tiliakos, Deborah York, Music Aeterna, and the New Siberian Singers under the direction of Teodor Currentzis.

More information about Purcell can be found here and here.


Spinneretta said...

OOh I love Purcell :) they used a some of his music in the film 'Restoration' :)

Fiddler said...

I haven't seen that movie yet, though I'm reminded of it from time to time. Worth viewing?