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Purcell: Keyboard Suites & Grounds / Richard Egarr

Album Summary

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 1 in G major, Z 660
>Purcell, Henry : Chaconne for Harpsichord in G minor, Z T680 "Timon of Athens"
>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 2 in G minor, Z 661
>Purcell, Henry : Ground for Harpsichord in C minor, Z T681
>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 3 in G major, Z 662
>Purcell, Henry : A New Ground for Harpsichord in E minor, Z T682 "Welcome to all the pleasures"
>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 4 in A minor, Z 663
>Purcell, Henry : Ground in Gamut for Harpsichord in G major, Z 645
>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 5 in C major, Z 666
>Purcell, Henry : Ground for Harpsichord in C minor, Z D221
>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 6 in D major, Z 667
>Purcell, Henry : Fairy Queen, Z 629
>Purcell, Henry : Suite for harpsichord no 7 in D minor (from "A Choice Collection of Lessons"), Z. 668
>Purcell, Henry : Ground for Harpsichord in D minor, Z D222 "Celebrate this Festival"
>Purcell, Henry : Suite for harpsichord no 8 in F major (from "A Choice Collection of Lessons"), Z. 669
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Published a year after his death, Henry Purcell's eight keyboard suites were long overshadowed by his more celebrated works. They are the heirs to a characteristically English vein, shifting from humor to seriousness in delightfully casual fashion, like the elegant grounds chosen by Richard Egarr to echo them here. All of these works are part of the musical testament of a composer who died all too soon.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
While the eight posthumously published suites (with judiciously selected miscellany to create some elbow-room between each) are woefully unknown, they are beautifully crafted. Purcell's keyboard style rarely reverts to French luxuriance, rather more questing in its unpredictable steers, deliberately wrong-footed harmonic inflections, often quite tough textures and extended lyrical journeys.

Richard Egarr's devotion to these pieces comes in the form of studied spaciousness which allows these rich strains to become gently infused into our listening habits. This is no background tafelmusik, which is why it requires our indulgence, to stop and follow the thread - especially in the sustained narrative of the minor-key suites.

If the Almand of the G major Suite offers homage to the exquisite character-piece Almans of Gibbons, the A minor work is prescient of 18th-century models in its directed figuration and the grandiloquence of its easy conflation of French and Italian styles. Indeed, one of Egarr's greatest achievements is to challenge the homespun perception of this repertoire and present it as great keyboard music. The C major Suite is a wonderful demonstration of this, as is the gamey tuning of the D major work with its burly final hornpipe. The harpsichord by Joel Katzman (after Ruckers) covers all the bases with its disarming colour, clarity and resonance. An outstanding recital.



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Works Details

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 1 in G major, Z 660
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696

>Purcell, Henry : Chaconne for Harpsichord in G minor, Z T680 "Timon of Athens"
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1694

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 2 in G minor, Z 661
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696

>Purcell, Henry : Ground for Harpsichord in C minor, Z T681
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 3 in G major, Z 662
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696

>Purcell, Henry : A New Ground for Harpsichord in E minor, Z T682 "Welcome to all the pleasures"
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1683

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 4 in A minor, Z 663
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696

>Purcell, Henry : Ground in Gamut for Harpsichord in G major, Z 645
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 5 in C major, Z 666
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696

>Purcell, Henry : Ground for Harpsichord in C minor, Z D221
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1700

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for Harpsichord no 6 in D major, Z 667
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696

>Purcell, Henry : Fairy Queen, Z 629
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for harpsichord no 7 in D minor (from "A Choice Collection of Lessons"), Z. 668
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696

>Purcell, Henry : Ground for Harpsichord in D minor, Z D222 "Celebrate this Festival"
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Purcell, Henry : Suite for harpsichord no 8 in F major (from "A Choice Collection of Lessons"), Z. 669
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1696