Saturday 23 February 2019

The Cares of Lovers

Purcell: The Cares of Lovers - Rowan Pierce - Linn Records
At the beginning of last year (2018) we heard soprano Rowan Pierce and lutenist William Carter in a private recital of Purcell songs which was a taster for a forthcoming recording, what would be Rowan Pierce's debut recital. The disc has now been released on Linn Records, with The Cares of Lovers featuring Rowan Pierce, Willliam Carter and harpsichordist Richard Egarr in a wide selection of Purcell's songs from one of his very first published pieces (1683), to Sweeter than roses from his final months (1695).

Last night (22 February 2019) the CD was launched with an audience of friends and supporters at St George's Church, Hanover Square with Rowan Pierce, William Carter and Richard Egarr. They performed three groups of Purcell's songs, first a contrasting selection of his secular songs, The Care, Dear Pretty Youth, The Fatal Hour, and Sweeter than Roses, then a group of theatre songs If music be the food of love, Celia hath a thousand charms, o ldead me to some peaceful gloom and She loves and she confesses too, and then finally three more serious songs, Music for a while, The Morning Hymn and The Evening Hymn. In between Egarr played Byrd's The Bells and Carter played Dowland's chromatic fantasia The Farewell.

Despite the largeness of the acoustic, Pierce's diction was admirable and I certainly look forward to hearing the disc. She brought a lovely range of colour and character to the songs without ever veering to far into the operatic, and was finely supported by Egarr and Carter.

The disc is available from Linn Records, and on-line.

Rowan Pierce is appearing as Papagena in Mozart's The Magic Flute in English National Opera's revival of Simon McBurney's production which opens on 14 March 2019, see ENO website

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