Purcell, Morley: English Royal Funeral Music – 2013

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. The programme is completed by Purcell’s sublime a cappella anthems and a moving anthem by Weelkes on the death of Thomas Morley.

“Outre l’originalité, l’intelligence dans la conception du programme, on apprécie ici le soin porté à la réalisation, les couleurs vocales qui font bien ressortir la polyphonie et les subtiles dissonances. Une belle parution qui confirme la qualité de ce jeune ensemble belge.”



“Once again, Vox Luminis have touched the heart with their calm interpretative intelligence and vocal beauty.”



“Immaculate intonation and articulation… Meunier and his musicians travel far beyond the bounds of studio recording to forge a strong impression of the ritual surrounding a royal burial. “

—BBC Magazine


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