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HENRY PURCELL

The Fairy Queen, semi-opera after Shakespeare (1692)

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie
2h08
2 CD
HAF8901308.09
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On the strength of the immense success of Dido & Aeneas and King Arthur, in 1692 Purcell went on to produce The Fairy Queen, based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The work is, in fact, a ‘semi-opera’, or ‘opera with dialogue’, in which only some of the crucial scenes are provided with music. But this version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the ‘Orpheus Britannicus’ became almost as famous as the play that inspired it, with its love scenes, its supernatural scenes and its innate sense of musical humour investing it with an irresistible savour and enchantment.
This title was released for the first time in 1989.

 

See the sung texts.

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Contents

The Fairy Queen Livret d'après "Le Songe d'une Nuit d'Eté" de William Shakespeare Libretto after "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare Libretto nach "Ein Sommernachtstraum" von William Shakespeare · First Musick · 1. Prelude (1'30) · 2. Hornpipe (0'50) · Second Musick · 3. Air (0'58) · 4. Rondeau (1'40) · 5. Overture (1'25) · ACT I · 6. Duet 'Come, let us leave the town' (1'43) · 7. Scene of the drunken Poet 'Fill up the bowl' (6'00) · 8. First act tune: Jig (1'03) · ACT II · 9. 'Come all ye songsters' (2'30) · 10. Prelude (1'20) · 11. Chorus 'May the God of Wit inspire' · 12. Echo (2'25) · 13. Chorus 'Now join your warbling voices all'. 'Sing while we trip it'. Dance of Fairies (2'53) · 14. Entrance of Night 'See, even Night herself is here' (4'48) · 15. Entrance of Mystery 'I am come to lock all fast' (0'52) · 16. Entrance of Secrecy 'One charming night gives more delight' (2'22) · 17. Entrance of Sleep 'Hush, no more' (5'02) · 18. Dance for the followers of Night (1'22) · 19. Second act tune: Air (1'25) · ACT III · 20. 'If love's a sweet passion' (5'15) · 21. Symphony while the swans come forward (1'30) · 22. Dance for the Fairies (0'45) · 23. Dance for the Green Men (1'45) · 24. 'Ye gentle spirits of the air' (5'00) · 25. Dialogue between Coridon and Mopsa (3'30) · 26. 'When I have often heard young maids complaining' (2'00) · 27. Dance for the Haymakers (0'50) · 28. 'A thousand, thousand ways' (2'13) · 29. Third act tune: Hornpipe (0'50)The Fairy Queen Livret d'après "Le Songe d'une Nuit d'Eté" de William Shakespeare Libretto after "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare Libretto nach "Ein Sommernachtstraum" von William Shakespeare · ACT IV · 30. Symphony (6'25) · 31. 'Now the night is chased away' · 32. 'Lete the Fifes and the Clarions' (3'15) · 33. Entry of Phoebus (0'35) · 34. 'When a cruel long winter' · 35. Chorus 'Hail! great parent of us all' (5'02) · 36. Spring 'Thus the ever grateful Spring' (2'13) · 37. Summer 'Here's the Summer, sprightly, gay' (1'30) · 38. Autumn 'See, see my many colour'd fields' (2'40) · 39. Winter 'Next Winter comes slowly' (3'38) · 40. Fourth act tune: Air (1'02) · ACT V · 41. Prelude (1'10) · 42. Juno 'Thrice happy lovers' (2'50) · 43. The Plaint 'O let me weep!' (8'15) · 44. Entry Dance (1'25) · 45. Symphony (1'00) · 46. A Chinese Man 'Thus the gloomy world' (4'05) · 47. Chinese Woman 'Thus happy and free' (0'45) · 48. Chinese Man 'Yes, Daphne' (1'50) · 49. Monkey's Dance (0'53) · 50. 'Hark! how all things with one sound rejoice' (2'05) · 51. 'Hark! the echoing air a triumph sings' (2'30) · 52. 'Sure the dull God of Marriage does not hear' (2'30) · 53. Prelude · 54. Hymen 'See, I obey' (1'47) · 55. 'Turn then thine eyes' (0'40) · 56. Hymen 'My torch indeed will from such brightness shine' (0'45) · 57. 'They shall be happy as they are fair' (0'50) · 58. Chaconne (2'40) · 59. 'They shall be as happy as they are fair' (0'50)

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