Notes & Reviews:
Master of the King's Music, Maurice Greene was an important figure in English music at the time of Handel. His sensitive settings of sonnets by Edmund Spenser constitute one of the earliest songs cycles in the history of English music.
Early Music Today
Remembered today mostly for his church music, Maurice Greene was one of the leading figures in British musical life in the first half of the eighteenth century, as can be surmised from his 20-year tenure as Master of the King's Musick. Greene's settings of 25 of the 89 sonnets of Edmund Spenser's Amoretti, written in 1738, were originally written for soprano and continuo, but transfer seamlessly to tenor; here they receive impassioned and beautiful performances by Benjamin Hulett, whose limpid and agile voice is perfect for this music. Luke Green's excellent harpsichord playing occasionally suffers from being too brightly recorded, but he and Giangiacomo Pinardi make an excellent continuo team, whose realisations both are tasteful and expertly matched to the varying moods of each sonnet.
American Record Guide, May/June 2013
Benjamin Hulett is very effective in this repertoire, especially because of his clear diction and sensitivity to Greene's settings of the texts. Textural contrast is supplied by the various permutations and combinations of Luke Green (harpsichord) and Giangiacomo Pinardi (theorbo), who both supply supportive and subtly inventive accompaniments. While few singers will attempt the complete cycle, it is a pleasure to hear such fine recordings of English song after Purcell.
Recording information: Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, U.K. (02/20/2012-02/22/2012).
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Works DetailsGreen, Maurice : Spenser's Amoretti, song cycle for soprano & continuo
- Performers: Benjamin Hulett (Voice); Giangiacomo Pinardi (Theorbo); Luke Green (Harpsichord)
- Notes: Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, U.K. (02/20/2012-02/22/2012)
- Running Time: 61 min. 21 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Written: 1738