Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Two-Countertenor Tuesday – Purcell's Sound the Trumpet

I used to have the old David Munrow-led recording of Purcell's birthday odeson the Seraphim label, I think! It’s still available from Virgin Veritas.

Anyway, this little duet always makes me smile. There are other recordings, both more and less successful in my mind. No matter how marvelous the current French and German countertenors are, to me this music calls for Brits! Michael Chance and James Bowman just have this in their blood (and voices); and they even impart a bit of (very reserved) British humour to this happy music. 

Speaking of Paul Esswood*, here is a Bach duet (audio only) with Austrian tenor Kurt Equiluz—both Bach specialists who were featured on tons of recordings, especially under the direction Harnoncourt and Leonhardt.

*I guess I wasn't speaking of Paul Esswood, but when I think of important British countertenors of the recent past, he always comes to mind.  


  1. I'm sure you've seen the Sound the Trumpet with Jaroussky and Pascal Bertin (wearing an elegant man-skirt), directed by Emmanuelle Haim for some special anniversary concert, where they managed to smuggle in some bosa nova?

    If not, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQxTkTw4cCY

    1. Thanks! I'd seen that one before and forgotten about the bossa nova. There's something about Pascal Bertin's voice that I find very irritating, so when I started to watch it again yesterday, I couldn't make it all the way through.

  2. It's been years (more than I care to remember, actually) since I listened to this delightful music. Thanks for the reminder. And now I'm off to dig out my recording of the Ode for Queen Mary's Birthday...

    1. You're welcome. Isn't it fun? I need to get a new recording of the whole piece.


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