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O Poore Distracted World!: English Songs & Anthems from the 16th & 17th centuries / Les Voiox Baroques

Audio Samples

>Peerson, Martin : O let me at thy footstool fall
>Coprario, Giovanni : O poore distracted world
>Purcell, Henry : Let mine eyes run down with tears, anthem for soloists, chorus & organ, Z. 24
>Ramsey, Robert : In Guilty Night
>Lupo, Thomas : O Lord Come Pity My Complaint, anthem
>Locke, Matthew : The Lord hear thee in thy day of trouble, verse anthem for double chorus, 4 instruments & continuo
>Purcell, Henry : In guilty night, Z 134
>Blow, John : I Said in the Cutting Off of My Days
>Milton, John : In nomine ("If that a sinner's sighs"), for voice & ensemble, M15
>Purcell, Henry : I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, anthem for soloists, chorus, strings & organ, Z. 20
>Croft, William : Rejoice in the Lord, O Ye Righteous (A Thanksgiving Anthem)
>Weelkes, Thomas : O happy he, anthem for 5 voices

Album Summary

>Peerson, Martin : O let me at thy footstool fall
>Coprario, Giovanni : O poore distracted world
>Purcell, Henry : Let mine eyes run down with tears, anthem for soloists, chorus & organ, Z. 24
>Ramsey, Robert : In Guilty Night
>Lupo, Thomas : O Lord Come Pity My Complaint, anthem
>Locke, Matthew : The Lord hear thee in thy day of trouble, verse anthem for double chorus, 4 instruments & continuo
>Purcell, Henry : In guilty night, Z 134
>Blow, John : I Said in the Cutting Off of My Days
>Milton, John : In nomine ("If that a sinner's sighs"), for voice & ensemble, M15
>Purcell, Henry : I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, anthem for soloists, chorus, strings & organ, Z. 20
>Croft, William : Rejoice in the Lord, O Ye Righteous (A Thanksgiving Anthem)
>Weelkes, Thomas : O happy he, anthem for 5 voices
Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

During 16th and 17th centuries, English music was highly original and unique both in its forms and its characteristic mood. The Anthems and Songs on this CD reveal some of the most touching pieces from this era. Under the artistic direction of Matthew White, Les Voix Baroques is an ensemble of vocal soloists that works in conjunction with prominent instrumentalists, ensembles and music directors to present vocal works from, and related to, the Renaissance and Baroque, in formats ranging from traditional concerts to fully staged operatic events.

MusicWeb International, December 2012
The performances are almost ideal. The singers generally avoid vibrato - except Yulia Van Doren and Robert MacDonald now and then, mainly in solo episodes - and that results in the often daring harmony coming across perfectly...Without wanting to wrong any of the singers, for me Charles Daniels especially stands out for his subtle expression, also due to his immaculate diction and stylish ornamentation.

American Record Guide, January/February 2013
The performances are superb. The singers are outstanding exponents of this repertory, combining high technical polish with keen stylistic insight. They all seem completely at home in the distinctive idiom of 17th-Century English music. The booklet reproduces the complete texts but does not give the sources. Listeners with any interest in English music of this period will certainly want to acquire this recording. They will most likely find pieces that are new to them.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2013
The use of single voices takes on the atmosphere of refined domestic devotional music, ideal for In guilty night by Robert Ramsey...Les Voix Baroques also excel in Purcell's more famous setting that offers greater dramatic intensity.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Unitarian Church of Victoria, Colombie-Britannique, Can (08/2009).



Reviews

English Songs and Anthems about Melancholy
The subject of this new CD from ATMA is melancholy. Why? Because (as the detailed program notes explain) in medieval times, many people experienced "acedia," a kind of depression linked to belief in the concept of original sin, obsession with sinfulness, and fear of eternal damnation and of the devil. Some believed that melancholy unlocked access to profound truths about feelings and about the ways of the world. Further, melancholics were not necessarily unhappy; in fact, many of them enjoyed and cultivated their state. Noka Arikha wrote that melancholy encouraged a good deal of self-conscious estheticizing, and was "almost joyous in its warm embrace of absolute misery."
Towards the end of the 15th century, a time of great religious upheaval, melancholy became the era-defining mood. Europe was trapped between medieval values and desires for modernity. The reactions to these difficulties and tensions affected many people. The "profound discontentment of the Renaissance" became a fad that spread like an infection and triggered many suicides. Originating from Italy, melancholy became the "English disease" in the 1580s; it affected poets (e.g., Philip Sidney and John Donne), playwrights (Shakespeare staged more than 50 suicides), and especially musicians. Music was the ideal medium in which to express this "mal de vivre" (sickness of life). Thus, in 1600, John Dowland published his "Lachrimae or Seaven Teares"; soon after, Giovanni Coperario (born John Cooper) composed "Funeral Teares" and Songs of Mourning." John Milton (the poet's father) wrote "Teares or Lamentations" and a "Tristitiae Remedium" (Cure for Sadness). Aggravated by the fall of the monarchy and the upheavals of the Civil War, this mood prevailed throughout the 17th century and culminated in the magnificent compositions of Henry Purcell, the composer who explored to its utmost limits the melancholy so characteristic of the English.
Except for Coperario's "O Poore Distracted World," which comes from his "Songs of Mourning," all the all the songs are anthems. The CD contains works by both famous composers (e.g., Blow, Locke, and Purcell), and little-known composers (e.g., Lupo, Peerson, and Ramsey).
The performances are authentic and the recorded sound is excellent; highly recommended.
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 09/22/12 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Peerson, Martin : O let me at thy footstool fall
  • Conductor: Alexander Weimann
  • Ensemble: Les Voiox Baroques
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Coprario, Giovanni : O poore distracted world
  • Running Time: 3 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Purcell, Henry : Let mine eyes run down with tears, anthem for soloists, chorus & organ, Z. 24
  • Running Time: 7 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1678

>Ramsey, Robert : In Guilty Night
  • Running Time: 6 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Lupo, Thomas : O Lord Come Pity My Complaint, anthem
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Locke, Matthew : The Lord hear thee in thy day of trouble, verse anthem for double chorus, 4 instruments & continuo
  • Running Time: 4 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1678

>Purcell, Henry : In guilty night, Z 134
  • Running Time: 8 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: circa 1692

>Blow, John : I Said in the Cutting Off of My Days
  • Running Time: 8 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Milton, John : In nomine ("If that a sinner's sighs"), for voice & ensemble, M15
  • Running Time: 2 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Purcell, Henry : I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, anthem for soloists, chorus, strings & organ, Z. 20
  • Running Time: 8 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1683

>Croft, William : Rejoice in the Lord, O Ye Righteous (A Thanksgiving Anthem)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral

>Weelkes, Thomas : O happy he, anthem for 5 voices
  • Running Time: 1 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance