If: Michael Nyman, Henry Purcell

If: Michael Nyman, Henry Purcell cover
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If: Michael Nyman, Henry Purcell
Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor), Fretwork

[ Signum / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 22 March 2019

When Michael Nyman started reinventing the English baroque back in the 1980s, one critic described the result as "pump-action Purcell." This recording combines these two singular musical styles through the stunning voice of countertenor Iestyn Davies and viol consort Fretwork, serving as the bridge across three centuries. The programme combines bold harmonies, wondrous inventions, and melodies that will haunt your dreams - whether from the 17th century or the 21st.

Recorded following a concert tour of the programme, the disc includes the premiere recording of a new commission from Michael Nyman, Music after a While - based upon Purcell's song, or more particularly upon its strikingly original bass-line, with its insidious rising chromatics.

★★★★ A beautiful account - Planet Hugill

"The Nyman performances are exemplary - crisp and cleanly articulated from Fretwork and dispatched by Davies with a vacant, unrippled purity that is so essential to the music, and must be hard won for this instinctively expressive performer… All [of the Purcell songs] are immaculately sung by Davies, whose Peter Pan voice sounds fresher and smoother than ever." Gramophone Editor's Choice May 2019

"Nyman's art has finesse and more...The instrumental Music After a While, here following its Purcell model, thoroughly entices in its complexity" Sunday Times

"Purcell's Evening Hymn showcase Davies's famed vocal purity, but so too does the exquisite title song, Nyman's If...Anyone who thinks Nyman's music stops at his hallmark pulsing rhythms and prominent bass lines will find variety and introspective beauty here, all executed with perfection." The Observer


No Time in Eternity

Michael Nyman

1. I. To Music (I)

2. II. No Time in Eternity

3. III. Fortune

4. IV. The Definition of Beauty

5. V. Things Mortal Still Mutable

6. VI. The Watch

7. VII. To Music (II)

8. Balancing the Books Michael Nyman, arr. Richard Boothby

9. If (From "The Diary of Anne Frank") Michael Nyman, arr. Richard Boothby

10. Why (From "The Diary of Anne Frank") Michael Nyman, arr. Richard Boothby

11. Music for a While, Z 583 No. 2 Henry Purcell, arr. Richard Boothby

12. Music after a While Michael Nyman

13. Evening Hymn, Z 193 Henry Purcell, arr. Silas Wolston

14. The Self-Laudatory Hymn of Inanna and her Omnipotence Michael Nyman

15. O Solitude, my Sweetest Choice, Z 406 Henry Purcell, arr. Richard Boothby