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Helen Watts - Songs For Courtiers And Cavaliers (CD DOUBLE (SLIMLINE CASE))

Helen Watts - Songs For Courtiers And Cavaliers (CD DOUBLE (SLIMLINE CASE))

Helen Watts - Songs For Courtiers And Cavaliers (CD DOUBLE (SLIMLINE CASE))

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Helen Watts - Songs For Courtiers And Cavaliers (CD DOUBLE (SLIMLINE CASE))

Helen Watts - Songs For Courtiers And Cavaliers (CD DOUBLE (SLIMLINE CASE))

Three L'Oiseau-Lyre LPs celebrating the art of a much-loved contralto, newly remastered and compiled together for the first time, including material new to CD.The history of British contraltos on record extends beyond Kathleen Ferrier to Constance Shacklock and before her Dame Clara Butt, but their select number was joined in the 1950s by Helen Watts: 'An extraordinary contralto,' in the words of her modern counterpart, Nathalie Stützmann.

Having left her Welsh home and graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, she quickly established herself as Ferrier's successor on the oratorio platform with memorable performances of Bach and Handel under Sir Malcolm Sargent and Sir Adrian Boult. At the same time she began making records forL'Oiseau-Lyre, in complete and pioneering accounts of Semeleand Sosarme, first of all and recently reissued by Eloquence. Louise Hanson Dyer, the label's founder, patroness and animating spirit, was sufficiently impressed at that stage to engage Watts for a solo disc, which duly appeared in 1957 under the fanciful title of 'Songs for Courtiers and Cavaliers'. From the opening bars of Caccini'sDolcissimosospiroit is evident that Dyer's faith in her young contralto discovery was well-founded, with projection combining warmth and strength in equal and winning measure with the kind of unforced excellence of diction that had already made her a sought-after fixture on the British oratorio circuit: 'a beautiful record,' as Gramophone's Alec Robertson remarked.The success of 'Courtiers and Cavaliers' then led to an album of songs by Purcell and Scarlatti, made in July 1957, and Bach cantatas for alto, in April 1958. All three albums were shaped by the sensitive and scholarly artistic direction of Thurston Dart, and they mixed well-loved with little-known repertoire. Thirteen songs by Henry Lawes introduced many listeners to one of seventeenth-century England's most original voices, and Watts's beautifully modulated accounts of If music be the food of loveand Widerstehedochder Sünderetain their lustre even in our historically informed times.

'I cannot recall having heard any better Bach contralto … [Her 'Erbarmedich'] is one of the finest I have heard … These are first-class players … most sensitively led by Thurston Dart … The recording is nothing short of superb.' Stereo Review, February 1960

'A voice of attractive quality, accurate in pitch, capable of spinning out long phrases and even of that rare thing among singerstoday, a real trill … In Cantata 200 Miss Watts has no competition worth mentioning. The recording is very good.' High Fidelity, March 1960


CD 1

1 CACCINIDolcissimosospiro

2 CALESTANIDamigellatuttabella

3 CALESTANIFolgorate

4 CIFRAIn quelgelato core

5 D'INDIA InfeliceDidone

6 D'INDIATornailserenozeffiro

7 GRANDIVientene, o miafedel


8 A Complaint against Cupid

9 No Constancy in Man

10 An Eccho

11 Tavola –In quelgelato core

12 Parting

13 Dissuasion from Presumption

14 Suffrance

15 Hymn to God the Father

16 Hymn to God the Son

17 Hymn to God the Holy Ghost

18 Among Rosebuds

19 A Lady to a young Courtier

20 I prithee send me back my heart

Thurston Dart,harpsichord · chamber organ (10, 15–17)


21 Music for a while

22 On the brow of Richmond Hill

23 From rosy bowers

24 They tell us that your mighty powers

25 The Fatal Hour

26 Corinna

27 If music be the food of love (first setting)

28 If music be the food of love (second setting)

CD 2


1 Il rossignuolose scioglieilvolo

2 Clorivezzosae bella

Desmond Dupré, viola da gamba

Thurston Dart,harpsichord


3–5 Cantata BWV 54 'Widerstehedochder Sünde'

6 Aria: Erbarmedich (Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244)

7 Schlage doch, gewünschteStunde(Hoffman, attrib. J.S. Bach)

8 Bekennenwill ich seinenNamen(Stölzel, attrib. J.S. Bach

Philomusicaof London

Thurston Dart

Helen Watts, contralto


More Information
More Information
UPC 0028948285785
Release Date 12 Jul 2019
Brand N/A
Artist Helen Watts
Title Songs For Courtiers And Cavaliers
Packaging -
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