Carolyn Sampson - Purcell: Victorious Love

Carolyn Sampson - Purcell: Victorious Love
Release Date:
January 29, 2008
Vocal Music
Purcell: Victorious Love

The young English soprano Carolyn Sampson has been heard in ensemble recordings of music by Bach, Handel, and Monteverdi, among other mostly Baroque composers. In Purcell's songs, many drawn from otherwise forgotten theatrical productions, she has strong competition from Emma Kirkby, among other British stalwarts, but she stands up to them and more and she's on her way to becoming a major star. Her voice is not really large, but the occasional little explosions written into Purcell's scores show the power she keeps in reserve and her skill at working within chamber dimensions. She uses a plain, vibratoless tone just up to the edge, where you wonder what's coming next, and then slides into extremely agile decorations and ornaments, which would be mostly improvised in this repertory. Best of all is her dramatic sense for this music -- each track involves not just a melody but a theatrical character, and she is funny, flirtatious, passionate, humorous, and despondent in turn. The small continuo group, especially the unusually active harpsichord of Laurence Cummings, is notable for its sensitivity to Sampson's readings; this was no pickup group, or even historical-performance all-star group, but performers who obviously worked hard on creating unified interpretations. The BIS engineers can take home the triple crown for this disc. They bring the microphones up close and create an unresonant, chamber-theater sound that's right for Purcell (even if a church was the recording location), catching all the detail of the instrumental playing but none of the wheezing and instrument-scratching that bedevils so many recordings of this type. Anglophones will be able to understand every word Sampson sings, and perhaps the only complaint here is that the readers of the German and French booklet notes might also wish they had text translations as they're the only ones who might need the texts in the first place. An absolute delectation.

Sweeter than roses (from "Pausanius"), song, Z. 585/1Carolyn Sampson3:25 Amazon
The fatal hour comes on apace, song, Z. 421Carolyn Sampson3:45 Amazon
When first Amintas sued for a kiss, song, Z. 430Carolyn Sampson2:03 Amazon
O let me weep ("The Plaint" from "The Fairy Queen"), aria, Z. 629/40Carolyn Sampson7:28
They tell us that you mighty powers above (from "The Indian Queen"), soprano aria, Z. 630/19Carolyn Sampson3:19
Man is for the woman made (from "The Mock Marriage"), song, Z. 605/3Carolyn Sampson1:28
From silent shades and the Elysian groves (Bess of Bedlam), song, Z. 370Carolyn Sampson4:35 Amazon
Music for a While (from "Oedipus"), song, Z. 583/2Carolyn Sampson4:01
Now the night is chas'd away (from "The Fairy Queen"), soprano aria with chorus, Z. 629/28Carolyn Sampson1:39
If music be the food of love, song, Z. 379 (3 settings)Carolyn Sampson3:41
Thrice Happy Lovers (Epithalamium from "The Fairy Queen"), aria for soprano, Z. 629/39bcCarolyn Sampson3:01
Of old when heroes thought it base (Yorkshire Feast Song), ode for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 333
No. 4. The bashful ThamesCarolyn Sampson2:48
I attempt from Love's Sickness to Fly (from "The Indian Queen"), Z630/17hCarolyn Sampson1:43
O! fair Cedaria, hide those eyes, song, Z. 402Carolyn Sampson3:58 Amazon
Fairest Isle (from "King Arthur"), aria for soprano, Z. 628/38Carolyn Sampson3:24
O solitude, my sweetest choice, song, Z. 406Carolyn Sampson5:23 Amazon
If love's a sweet passion (from "The Fairy Queen"), aria for soprano with chorus, Z. 629/17b, cCarolyn Sampson3:24
Tell me, some pitying angel, (The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation), sacred song, for soprano & continuo, Z. 196Carolyn Sampson7:18
Now that the sun hath veiled his light, sacred song for soprano & continuo ("An Evening Hymn"), Z. 193Carolyn Sampson5:03

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