We know now that Purcell's three Funeral Sentences were not written for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1695. Following the tradition of the English court, it was pieces by Thomas Morley, originally written for the funeral of Elizabeth I, that were sung there. Purcell's only contribution to the ceremony was the composition of two pieces for slide trumpets (March and Canzona), and the anthem in the archaic style Thou knowest, Lord. During the funeral procession to Westminster Abbey, a band of oboes played two marches written by John Paisible and Thomas Tollet. This recording assembles the music composed for the funeral of Queen Mary and that used at the funeral of Elizabeth I in 1603.
Ensemble Avantgarde's 2013 release on MDG presents six pieces that sum up the ideas and techniques Giacinto Scelsi employed in his late semi-improvised works. Three are solos and three are duets, so the forces are small and limited in their potential for creating dense sonorities. Yet Scelsi's music wasn't always about microtonal drones played by large ensembles, or vast durations that made time seem irrelevant. Here, the strands of Scelsi's textures are exposed and clarified by isolating the instruments. Ko-Lho (1976) is transparent in its counterpoint, though the rapid changes between the flute and clarinet in register and gestures sometimes suggest the presence of a third unwritten part.
A European recording date for Brooklyn-based Preminger, hailed across the pond as a distinctive tenor stylist with a gift for composition. Joined by the sensitive accompaniment of both fellow Brooklynite Garcia and Barcelona resident Kamaguchi, Preminger tackles a varied set of tunes. Theres a sweet (but never cloying) version of Try A Little Tenderness and a minimal Moonlight In Vermont (with a nicely understated drum solo). They step out a little further to pleasing effect on Ornettes Law Years and Monks Four In One and on the one original, Garcias Prairie Dance, but this disc never loses sight of lyricism and melody. Which is undoubtedly why Preminger is receiving such praise his playing is cool (the title track is a Warne Marsh tune), inventive, unexpected but never jarring or dissonant. In a world where innovative and edgy often means grating in a new way, Preminger is a rising star for those who like a little sugar in their coffee.
The Mozart Requiem is one of the best-known sacred works in the classical repertoire. It was the composer's last work, and he left it unfinished at his death. British conductor Roger Norrington, a pioneer of authentic performing practice, and an outstanding group of singers present Duncan Druce's version of the Requiem, based on the latest Mozart research, together with other moving choral works.
Manuel Tomadin follows up his first album for Brilliant Classics, of Weimar-composed chorales by J.S. Bach (94456), with some little-known musical treasures from Hamburg c.1700 complemented by a bona-fide rarity by Bach, a chorale fantasia believed to date from between 1705 and 1710 and rediscovered as recently as 2008.