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Ravishing Odes & ElegiesFeb. 10 2013
Peter P. Fuchs
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This magnificent CD, which in the liner notes is called Purcell Odes and Elegies (must have been a New Agey PR guy who changed it to the present Hallmark Card-like title) has turned out to be one of my most wonderful purchases in many years. So much of Purcell's music seem almost heartbreakingly inspired, and as a knowledgeable music-loving lawyer friend of mine who once studied with Easley Blackwood used to say, had the musical language been a bit more evolved at the point that Purcell lived he could have been Mozart. (Perhaps having studied with a maven of micro-tonality makes one acutely sensitive to the vagaries of musical evolution!) At any rate, the performance- conception of these works does everything to bring the works drama and regal poise. The singers are nothing less than sublime, without a trace of the Brit fuddy-duddy vibe that has afflicted other recordings of these works. So because of them this is the first time I have really enjoyed these works throughly. In fact Nasrawi's voice, singing in Latin no less, is perhaps the sexiest-sounding male voice I have ever heard in my whole life. I know him from live opera performances I have downloaded, of Zemilinsky for example, but in fact it is a Purcell elegy for the Queen in Latin that brings out the almost erotic sinews of this fellow's amazingly gorgeous voice. Listening to it bestirs me in a way that serious music never does in fact. It must be heard to be believed, so beautiful. One small quibble is that sometimes the string band plays with a tad too fetishized "old instrument" sound, which unfortunately means that lovely raw scraping sound. But it is not consistent, thank Apollo, who is also apotheosized on the CD. The Gods are to be blessed for the fact that these hymns to the "immortal deity" in welcoming the very Christian kings and queens are vocally mostly free from some of the British vocal affectations, which later did not bless that land, but cursed it, at least musically.