Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell

with Tim Mead
and James Hall

Project note

Touched by grace, Purcell’s work eclipsed that of his contemporaries. Ten years his senior, John Blow (best known for his marvellous ‘Venus and Adonis’) was no less a composer of genius.
The two formed a powerful friendship. In 1679 Blow, who was also Purcell’s teacher, gave up his post as organist at Westminster Abbey to the twenty-year-old Purcell. Was it simple generosity or recognition of a disconcerting superiority? With his Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell, Blow gives us probably the most melodious and inventive music he ever wrote. With a libretto by John Dryden, another of Purcell’s friends, it is also the closest he ever came to Purcell’s own music…

François Lazarevitch has returned to the English music that suits his ensemble so well. He wanted to bring together a selection of works by these two giants of musical history, starting with Purcell’s sublime Ode on Death, written for two counter-tenor voices (which was Purcell’s own vocal range), two recorders and basso continuo. François Lazarevitch is surrounded by long-term partner, Tim Mead, with whom he has devoted an entire CD to Purcell. The programme alternates between works for one or two voices with basso continuo, and pieces for one or two recorders.

Duration 1h20

7 musicians
Tim Mead, James Hall : countertenors
François Lazarevitch : recorder & direction
with recorder, viola da gamba, theorbo, organ and harpsichord

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