Purcell and His Friends

This is a concert about the music at Chapel Royal in England at the end of the 17th century. A whole generation of composers got their start in the boys choir at Chapel Royal. The most well-known is Henry Purcell, but John Blow, William Turner and others sang there as well. They socialized and wrote music together and even performed as soloists in each others music, which must have created a very stimulating and creative environment.

We let two voices from Chapel Royal form the core of our program. The counter-tenor or male alto was a very popular voice type at this time, and we give samples of music for counter tenor. John Gostling was the most sought-after bass with the biggest vocal range of his time, and we perform several works which his friends at Chapel Royal wrote specifically for him.

Staffan Liljas – counter-tenor and bass

Karl Nyhlin – lute and theorbo

From the Program

Piece Composer Source
Music for a While Henry Purcell Oedipus, 1692
Rise mighty Monarch John Blow Amphion Anglicus, 1684
God reigneth over the Heathen  William Turner O sing Praises, 1687, Gostling-manuskriptet
A Scots Tune Anonym / Trad Balcarres-manuskriptet,ca 1700
O Lord Thou art my God John Blow Gostling-manuskriptet, 1688
On the Burning of White-Hall-Chappel John Blow Amphion Anglicus, 1698
Bacchus is a Pow’r divine Henry Purcell Orpheus Brittanicus