Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Purcell, Henry - The Indian Queen - Kirkby, Hogwood, Academy of Ancient Music







The Indian Queen is a play by Sir Robert Howard, written in collaboration with John Dryden, his sister's husband. It was first performed in 1664 with incidental music by John Banister the elder (1630-1679). In 1695, the play was expanded with additional music to create a new semi-opera of the same name by the composer Henry Purcell.

…Hogwood conveys a consistent, logical and meticulous understanding of the Henry Purcell by John Closterman score. The orchestral playing is crisp and transparent (as in the Symphony of Act 2), the Academy of Ancient Music's articulation allowing the integrity of the inner parts to be heard to the full without compromising blend. Amongst a distinguished line- up of singers, John Mark Ainsley gets the lion's share and is perhaps marginally more effective as the Indian Boy than as Fame, but such gloriously mellifluous and controlled singing can only enhance the reputation of this work. Emma Kirkby is in fine fettle and she executes the justly celebrated song "I attempt from love's sickness" with her usual communicative panache.
Then comes the pleasurably contrasted voice of Catherine Bott: "They tell us that your mighty powers" could not be in better hands. David Thomas as Envy, with his two followers in the Act 2 masque, highlights this brilliant scene as the work of a true connoisseur of the theatre. Mature Purcell is most strongly felt in the deftly ironic invocation by the conjurer, Ismeron, whose "Ye twice ten thousand deities" is delivered authoritatively by Gerald Finley.


ape, cover

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for this fine performance!


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