As England's greatest composer of the Baroque, Henry Purcell was dubbed the "Orpheus Britannicus" for his ability to combine pungent English counterpoint with expressive, flexible, and dramatic word settings. While he did write instrumental music, including the important viol fantasias, the vast majority of his output was in the vocal/choral realm. His only opera, Dido and Aeneas, divulged his sheer mastery in the handling of the work's vast expressive canvas, which included lively dance numbers, passionate arias and rollicking choruses. Purcell also wrote much incidental music for stage productions, including that for Dryden's King Arthur. His church music includes many anthems, devotional songs, and other sacred works, but few items for Anglican services.
On April 1, 2022, Steinway & Sons releases Andrew Rangell's recording of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 (STNS 30176). Pianist Andrew Rangell's debut recording—released thirty years ago—featured Bach's Goldberg Variations, F-sharp minor toccata, and the two Ricercares from "A Musical Offering". Over the course of many years, the verve, beauty and originality of Mr. Rangell's Bach playing have been evidenced in a steady progression of interpretations: The Partitas, French Suites, Well-Tempered Clavier (bk.1), The Art of Fugue, English Suites, Inventions, Sinfonias, and many other individual pieces. This second book of the WTC now brings to completion a journey and survey which was never firmly planned as such. This is because the pianist's embrace of Bach has run parallel with other deep involvements, beginning with Beethoven, but also exploring repertoire ranging from Sweelinck, Gibbons, and Farnaby to Ives, Nielsen, Enescu, Schoenberg and a host of other 20th century voices. Schubert, Haydn and Chopin also receive special attention within the artist’s rich discography. Rangell's Bach survey ends with this second book of the WTC in sparkling, free-spirited performances.
Following from Ash Wednesday, this album is the second live Evensong album from the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge and marks the next great season of the Church’s Year, Eastertide. This cele- bration of Jesus’s resurrection also initially spans forty days, taking us up to Ascension Day, and culmi- nates on the fiftieth day with the Feast of Pentecost. Where the previous album reflected the tradition of using no organ from Ash Wednesday until the Gloria of the Easter Vigil, the instrument is fully utilised here by the Chapel’s organ scholars Glen Dempsey and James Anderson Besant.