Paivi Jarvio

The Music of Henry Purcell

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Given Finland's success in diffusing classical music and musical training throughout its national life, it seems inevitable that Finnish ensembles will begin to compete with their northwestern European and English counterparts in the realm of early music. An example of this trend comes from mezzo soprano Päivi Järviö, who undertakes the treacherous journey into the vocal music of Henry Purcell, accompanied by a small group of historical-instrument continuo players. Järviö has a distinctive and arresting voice, with something of the quality of a ship's horn, well supported without being large. She reacts strongly to what she is singing, and in some of the slower pieces, such as the sacred Lord, what is man? (track 15), she is haunting. More Italianate and operatic pieces such as the long scene Let the dreadful engines of eternal will (track 9) call for a more theatrical approach, and there is something non-English about Järviö's diction (note the elongation of the final vowel on the word "the"). The program includes a nice selection and dispersal of instrumental pieces, but they're done with an odd restraint, and the transfer of the keyboard Ground in Gamut to a historical trio of organ, lute, and viola is illogical. Even if the listener contributes quibbles and disagreements, however, he or she will find this a fresh group of Purcell performances and an introduction to a singer of whom ensembles specializing in seventeenth century music should take careful note.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
4:29
The Married Beau, or, the Curious Impertinent, incidental music, Z. 603
2
1:23
3
0:47
Prophetess, or The History of Dioclesian, semi-opera, Z. 627
4
1:42
5
3:34
Welcome to all the pleasures (An Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 339
6
3:05
7
4:56
8
1:42
Don Quixote, incidental music, Z. 578
9
6:30
Suite for harpsichord No. 7 in D minor (from "A Choice Collection of Lessons"), Z. 668
10
3:59
11
1:35
12
0:55
13
7:07
King Arthur, or, The British Worthy, semi-opera, Z. 628
14
3:31
15
5:18
16
4:23
17
3:30
18
3:45
blue highlight denotes track pick