King Arthur (1691)

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File: (August 2019) 169 kB
Full name of work:King Arthur (1691)
Composer:Purcell, Henry (1659-1695), English
Lyricist:John Dryden
Music category:oratorio
Instruments:arranged for SSAATTBB (piccolo/whistle, clarinet/flute, French horn/trombone, bassoon/tuba)
Name of file creator:John Hooper
e-mail address:john "at" learnchoralmusic "dot" co "dot" uk
Running time:01:32:37
Comments:The ZIP File contains the following NAMED sections:-
01-FirstMusic.nwc First Music - Chaconne
02-SecondMusic.nwc Second Music - Overture
03-Air.nwc Air
04-Overture.nwc Overture
Act 1
05-6-7-Woden.nwc 5: Woden, first to thee,
. . We have sacrificed
6:A white horse neigh'd aloud
To Woden thanks we render
7:The lot is cast,
08-Brave-souls.nwc 8: Brave souls, to be renown'd in story.
09-I-call.nwc 9: I call, I call you all to Woden's Hall.
10-11-Come-dare.nwc 10: Come if you dare.
. . . First Act Tune
Act 2, Scene 1
13-14-Let-not.nwc 13: Let not a moonborn elf mislead ye
. . Hither, this way.
15-Come-follow.nwc 15: Come follow me.
Act 2, Scene 2
16-How-blest.nwc 16: How blest are shepherds, how happy their lasses.
17-Symph-Shepherd.nwc 17: Symphony
. . . Shepherd, shepherd leave decoying
18-Come-shepherds.nwc 18: Come shepherds, lead up a lively measure
19-Air-2nd-Act.nwc SecondAct tune: Air
Act 3
20-26-Prelude-etc.nwc 20: Prelude [as Cupid descends]
21:Cupid - What ho!
22:Prelude while the Cold Genius arises
. . . What power are thou
23:Cupid: Thou doting fool, forbear
24:Cold Genius - Great Love, I know thee now
25:Cupid - No part of my dominion
27-See-we-assemble.nwc 27: Chorus of cold people - See, we assemble
28-29-'Tis-I.nwc 28: 'Tis I that have warmed ye.
29:Sound a parley, ye fair, and surrender
30-Hornpipe.nwc 30: Third Act Tune - Hornpipe
Act 4
31-Two daughters duet.nwc 31: Two Daughters Duet
32-How-happy.nwc 32: How happy the lover, how easy his chain
33-Air-4th-Act-tune.nwc 33: Fourth Act Tune - Air
Act 5
34-Trumpet-consort.nwc 34: Consort of trumpets - Trumpet tune
35-Ye-blust'ring.nwc 35: Ye blust'ring brethren of the skies
36-Symphony.nwc 36: Symphony
37-Round-thy-coast.nwc 37: Round thy coast, fair nymph of Britain
38-For-folded-flocks.nwc 38: For folded flocks, and fruitful plains
39-Your-hay-it-is-mowed.nwc 39: Your hay it is mowed, and your corn is reap'd
40-Fairest-isle.nwc 40: Fairest isle, all isles excelling
41-You-say-'tis-love.nwc 41: Dialogue: You say 'tis love creates the pain
42-Warlike-consort.nwc 42: Warlike consort - Trumpet tune
43-Saint-George.nwc 43: Saint George
There are no text/lyrics; each File was generated purely for Choral Rehearsing purposes (using a published piano-reduction Score), and so doesn't look pretty even though it should sound reasonable (though that depends very much on your hardware/software; mine is a Soundblaster AWE64 Gold).
Voice-emphasised Midi Files of the whole work can be downloaded for free from my Website (above). My Website also contains Midi Files for several rather more modern Composers, for which NWC versions may be available.
There is an excellent performance of this Work by BarokOpera Amsterdam,
Frederique Chauvet, direction, on YouTube starting
As it says in the Wikipedia Entry - - for this Work:-
King Arthur is a "dramatick opera" or semi-opera: the principal characters do not sing, except if they are supernatural, pastoral or, in the case of Comus and the popular Your hay it is mow'd, drunk. Secondary characters sing to them, usually as diegetic entertainment, but in Act 4 and parts of Act 2, as supernatural beckonings. The singing in Act 1 is religious observance by the Saxons, ending with their heroic afterlife in Valhalla. The protagonists are actors, as a great deal of King Arthur consists of spoken text. This was normal practice in 17th century English opera. King Arthur contains some of Purcell's most lyrical music, using adventurous harmonies for the day.
The plot is based on the battles between King Arthur's Britons and the Saxons, rather than the legends of Camelot (although Merlin does make an appearance). It is a Restoration spectacular, including such supernatural characters as Cupid and Venus plus references to the Germanic gods of the Saxons, Woden, Thor, and Freya. The tale centres on Arthur's endeavours to recover his fiancée, the blind Cornish Princess Emmeline, who has been abducted by his arch-enemy, the Saxon King Oswald of Kent.
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