Friday Fun: When I have often heard young maids complaining (Purcell)

I know, I know, it’s more Purcell.  Anyone would think I had no imagination at all.  But the thing with Purcell is that if you are looking for gorgeous church music, there he is, writing it.  If you are looking for delicate, beautiful artsong, there’s Purcell again, writing that, too.  If you are looking for opera, or drunken rounds with impeccable music, he’s your man.

So it’s hardly a surprise that when you are in search of hilariously funny opera – in English, too, which does give us more scope, don’t you think? – Purcell is one of the names that comes up.

Incidentally, if you are watching this at work, you may want to switch it off as soon as the initial aria is finished.  The aria itself is mildly naughty, but the naughtiness is largely from the words.  What happens after the aria is probably not something you want the boss watching over your shoulder.  (There’s no nudity, but it is still decidedly not safe for work)

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Advent Calendar Day 25: There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Fields (Handel)

Merry Christmas!  I thought it fitting to end Advent with another piece from Handel’s Messiah, and this recording is a fascinating one, dating from 1930.  Singing styles have changed quite a bit since then, and I think my personal preference is for a rather faster version of this recitative, but there is something rather special about listening to a voice that was recorded more than 80 years ago.

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Handel’s Messiah: Rejoice Greatly!

As anyone who has looked at the front page of this blog recently will know, I’m singing the soprano solos for a Sing Your Own Messiah production in a couple of weeks.  This is the first time I’ve sung a ‘set’ of solos for an oratorio or opera or anything really.  It’s also the first time I will have sung in a production of the Messiah, so I’m pretty excited about it on a lot of levels.

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