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Retrospect Ensemble - Purcell: 10 Sonatas in 4 Parts - American Record Guide


01 January 2012
American Record Guide
Ardella Crawford

Henry Purcell wrote twenty-two sonatas, published in two collections, one posthumously. These Sonatas, while partly a testimony to Purcell's love for the Italian style popular in the England of his time, are also remarkable for their fusing of the French and Italian styles, while simultaneously incorporating elements of Purcell's native English style.

The Sonatas on this program were the ones Purcell published first as a set in 1683. Though he said they were modeled on 'the most fam'd Italian masters', his originality shines through to such a degree that no one knows which masters Purcell most admired. These Sonatas, in accordance with the style of the time, have several movements, anywhere from four to six. The texture is often dark and meditative, as organ is often used for continuo - also very beautiful!

The music is meditative and reflective. The sound is excellent.


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Purcell: Ten Sonatas in Four PartsPurcell: Ten Sonatas in Four Parts