The English Concert returns to the stage of Wigmore Hall this autumn, with a programme that celebrates some of Henry Purcell’s most jubilant vocal music.
The performance opens with My beloved spake, one of Purcell’s earliest surviving works, which is a sensuous setting of words from the Song of Solomon.
Among the instrumental pieces is an exquisite Chacony in G Minor by Purcell’s teacher, John Blow, offering an insight into the kind of creative influence that evidently inspired the young Purcell so profoundly.
At the heart of the programme is the anthem My heart is inditing, written for the coronation of James II at Westminster Abbey in 1685, and scored for an extravagant ensemble comprising soloists, chorus and orchestra.
The concert is rounded off with the heartrendingly beautiful and much-loved Evening Hymn, before culminating with the suitably festal Now does the glorious day appear, Purcell’s first ode written to mark the birthday of Queen Mary in 1689.
Featuring some of the UK’s top vocal talents, this performance is set to be a fitting tribute to the composer hailed by his contemporaries as ‘the British Orpheus’.