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Purcell Quartet

The Purcell Quartet has become recognized as one of the leading chamber groups in the realm of Baroque music performance. As its name suggests, the group has devoted much effort to championing the chamber works of Henry Purcell, playing and recording a great amount of his output, notably the complete three- and four-part sonatas and the complete pavans. But the group's vast repertory also includes works by J.S. Bach, Corelli, Handel, Vivaldi, Schütz, and many other Baroque composers. In addition, -- and what makes the Purcell players unique -- they have staged operas, such as Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea and have presented large choral works in concert by Bach, including cantatas and masses. They have made over 50 recordings, mostly for the Chandos label.

The Purcell Quartet was founded in London in 1983, but did not give its debut concert until February 14, the following year, at London's St. John's, Smith Square. The group's members then were Robert Woolley (keyboard), Catherine Mackintosh (violin), Elizabeth Wallfisch (second violin), and Richard Boothby (cello; viola da gamba). Only one change in personnel has taken place over the years: violinist Catherine Weiss replaced Wallfisch.

The group had immediate success following its triumphant 1984 debut concert, and within three years turned out six recordings for the Hyperion label, each devoted to a different Baroque composer: Vivaldi, Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti, C.P.E. Bach, Geminiani, and Marais. In 1987 the ensemble began recording for Chandos Records and has produced more than 40 CD titles for that British label.

By the early '90s, the Purcell Quartet was in great demand, both at home and abroad. Numerous concert tours took the quartet not only throughout the U.K., but across Europe, the U.S., South America, and parts of the Middle East. In 1998 the group traveled to Japan to stage performances of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea. Three years later it returned for another important tour, this one featuring a highly successful staging of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo starring Mark Padmore. Other leading vocalists have typically appeared at the Purcell Quartet's opera and concert productions over the years, including Emma Kirkby, Nancy Argenta, Michael Chance, and Peter Harvey.

The Purcell Quartet marked its 20th anniversary in an acclaimed February 2004 concert at Wigmore Hall. The ensemble has remained very active in the recording studio, and among its recordings is the 2006 Chandos CD of Couperin's Les Nations, Vol. 2.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Biber: Mensa Sonora / Violin Sonata In A Major

1. I. Sonata: Grave - Allegro

2. II. Allemanda

3. III. Courante

4. IV. Sarabanda

5. V. Gavotte

6. VI. Gigue

7. VI. Sonatina: Allegro

8. I. Intrada

9. II. Balletto

10. III. Sarabanda

11. IV. Balletto

12. V. Sarabanda

13. VI. Balletto

14. I. Gagliarda: Allegro

15. II. Sarabanda

16. III. Aria

17. III. Ciacona

18. V. Sonatina

19. Sonata: Adagio - Presto - Adagio - Presto - Grave

20. Aria - 11 Variations - Aria

21. I. Sonata

22. II. Allemanda

23. III. Courante

24. IV. Balletto

25. V. Sarabanda

26. VI. Gigue: Presto

27. VII. Sonatina: Adagio

28. I. Intrada: Allegro

29. II. Balletto

30. III. Trezza

31. IV. Gigue

32. V. Gavotte: Alla Breve

33. VI. Gigue

34. VII. Retirada

35. I. Sonata

36. II. Aria

37. III. Canario: Presto

38. IV. Amener

39. V. Trezza

40. VI. Ciacona

41. VII. Sonatina: Adagio - Presto

x

Track List: Bach, J.S.: Trio Sonatas, Bwv 525-530

1. I. [Allegro]

2. II. Adagio

3. III. Allegro

4. I. Vivace

5. II. Largo

6. III. Allegro

7. I. Andante

8. II. Adagio E Dolce

9. III. Vivace

10. I. Adagio - Vivace

11. II. Andante

12. III. Un Poc' Allegro

13. I. Allegro

14. II. Largo

15. III. Allegro

16. I. Vivace

17. II. Lento

18. III. Allegro

x

Track List: Reincken: Hortus Musicus / Works For Harpsichord

Title: Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 1 In A Minor

1. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 1 In A Minor: I. Son. Adagio - Allegro - Solo: Adagio - Allegro

2. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 1 In A Minor: Solo: Adagio - Allegro

3. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 1 In A Minor: II. Allemand. Allegro

4. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 1 In A Minor: III. Courant

5. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 1 In A Minor: IV. Saraband

6. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 1 In A Minor: V. Gique. Presto (Allegro)

Title: Ballet For Keyboard In E Minor

7. Ballet For Keyboard In E Minor: Ballett: Partite Diverse In E - Robert Woolley

Title: Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 2 In B Flat Major

8. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 2 In B Flat Major: I. Son (Exc). Solo: Adagio - Presto

9. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 2 In B Flat Major: II. Allemand. Allegro

10. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 2 In B Flat Major: III. Courant

11. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 2 In B Flat Major: IV. Saraband

Title: Toccata For Keyboard In G Major

12. Toccata For Keyboard In G Major: Toccata In G - Robert Woolley

Title: Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 3 In C Major

13. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 3 In C Major: I. Son (Exc). Lento (Adagio)

14. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 3 In C Major: II. Allemand. Allegro

15. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 3 In C Major: III. Son (Exc). Solo: Adagio - Allegro

16. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 3 In C Major: IV. Saraband

Title: Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 4 In D Minor

17. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 4 In D Minor: I. Allemand. Allegro

18. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 4 In D Minor: II. Courant

19. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 4 In D Minor: III. Saraband

Title: Suite For Keyboard In G Major

20. Suite For Keyboard In G Major: I. Allemande

21. Suite For Keyboard In G Major: II. Courante

22. Suite For Keyboard In G Major: III. Sarabande

23. Suite For Keyboard In G Major: IV. Gigue

Title: Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 5 In E Minor

24. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 5 In E Minor: Son (Exc). Grave (Adagio) - Presto (Allegro) - Lento (Largo)...

Title: Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 6 In A Major

25. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 6 In A Major: I. Allemand. Allegro

26. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 6 In A Major: II. Son (Exc). Solo: Largo (Adagio) - Allegro - Largo

27. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 6 In A Major: III. Saraband

28. Hortus Musicus, Suite For 2 Violins, Viola Da Gamba & Continuo No. 6 In A Major: IV. Gique. Presto

x

Track List: Biber: Fidicinium Sacro-Profanum / Nisi Dominus / Battalia / Laetatus Sum / Balletti Lamentabili

Disc 1

1. Allegro - Adagio - Allegro - Adagio - Allegro - Adagio - Grave - Adagio

2. (Adagio) - Allegro - (Presto) - Allegro - Adagio

3. Nisi Dominus Aedificaverit Domum

4. Grave - Allegro - Presto - Adagio - Presto - Adagio

5. Alla Breve - Adagio - Alla Breve

6. Presto - Allegro - Presto - The March - Presto - Aria - The Battle - Lament Of The Wounded Musketeers: Adagio

7. Allegro - Grave - (Piu Presto) - Allegro

8. (Allegro) - (Adagio) - (Allegro) - Presto - Adagio - Allegro - (Adagio)

9. Laetatus Sum

Disc 2

1. (Adagio) - Presto - Allegro - (Presto) - (Allegro) - Presto

2. Allegro - Presto - Adagio

3. Sonata —

4. Allemanda —

5. Sarabande —

6. Gavotte —

7. Gigue —

8. Lamenti —

9. (Allegro) - (Presto) - Allegro - Adagio - Presto - Adagio

10. (Allegro) - (Presto) - Allegro - Adagio - Presto - Adagio

11. Serenada —

12. Allemanda —

13. Aria —

14. Ciacona: Lost Ihr Herrn … —

15. Gavotte —

16. Retirada

17. Adagio - Piu Presto - Adagio - Allegro - Adagio

18. Allegro - (Piu Presto) - (Adagio) - Allegro - Adagio - (Piu Adagio) - Allegro

19. Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas And Passacaglia: Passacaglia

x

Track List: Leclair: Overtures & Trio Sonatas , Opus 13

Title: Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Major, Op. 13/1

1. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Major, Op. 13/1: I. Grave: Staccatto

2. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Major, Op. 13/1: II. Allegro

3. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Major, Op. 13/1: III. Andante: Dolce

4. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Major, Op. 13/1: IV. Menuetto-non Troppo Allegro: Altro

Title: Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/2

5. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/2: I. Adagio

6. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/2: II. Allegro

7. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/2: III. Sarabanda: Largo

8. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/2: IV. Allegro Assai

Title: Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/1

9. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/1: I. Grave: Staccato

10. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/1: II. Allegro

11. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/1: III. Andante: Dolce

12. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In D Major, Op. 13/1: IV. Allegro

Title: Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In B Minor, Op. 13/2

13. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In B Minor, Op. 13/2: I. Largo

14. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In B Minor, Op. 13/2: II. Allegro Ma Non Troppo

15. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In B Minor, Op. 13/2: III. Largo

16. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In B Minor, Op. 13/2: IV. Allegro

Title: Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In A Major, Op. 13/3

17. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In A Major, Op. 13/3: I. Grave: Staccatto

18. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In A Major, Op. 13/3: II. Allegro

19. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In A Major, Op. 13/3: III. Largo: Dolce

20. Overture For 2 Violins & Continuo In A Major, Op. 13/3: IV. Allegro Assai

Title: Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Minor, Op. 13/3

21. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Minor, Op. 13/3: I. Adagio

22. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Minor, Op. 13/3: II. Allegro Ma Non Troppo

23. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Minor, Op. 13/3: III. Aria: Gratioso-altro-gratioso

24. Trio Sonata For 2 Violins & Continuo In G Minor, Op. 13/3: IV. Allegro

x

Track List: Leclair: Sonates For Strings, Op. 4

1. 4 Adagio

2. 2 Allegro Ma Non Troppo

3. 3 Largo

4. 4 Allegro

5. 4 Adagio

6. 2 Allegro Ma Non Troppo

7. 3 Largo [Cantabile]

8. 4 Allegro

9. 4 Adagio

10. 2 Allegro

11. 3 Aria: Allegro Ma Poco

12. 4 Sarabanda: Largo

13. V. Allegro

14. 4 Largo

15. 2 Allegro Ma Non Troppo

16. 3 Aria: Andante Ma Non Troppo

17. 4 Presto

18. 4 Andante

19. 2 Allegro Ma Non Troppo

20. 3 Aria: Grazioso

21. 4 Giga: Allegro Ma Non Troppo

22. 4 Adagio

23. 2 Allegro Ma Non Troppo

24. 3 Gavotta: Grazioso, Un Poco Andante

25. 4 Vivace

x

Track List: Purcell: Sonatas A 3 / Sonatas A 4 / Pavans (Complete)

Disc 1

1. Sonata A 3 No. 1 In G Minor, Z. 790

2. Pavan In G Minor, Z. 751

3. Sonata A 3 No. 2 In B Flat Major, Z. 791

4. Pavan In B Flat Major, Z. 750

5. Sonata A 3 No. 3 In D Minor, Z. 792

6. Sonata A 3 No. 4 In F Major, Z. 793

7. Sonata A 3 No. 5 In A Minor, Z. 794

8. Pavan In A Minor, Z. 749

9. Sonata A 3 No. 6 In C Major, Z. 795

10. Sonata A 3 No. 7 In E Minor, Z. 796

11. Sonata A 3 No. 8 In G Major, Z. 797

12. Sonata A 3 No. 9 In C Minor, Z. 798

13. Sonata A 3 No. 10 In A Major, Z. 799

14. Pavan In A Major, Z. 748

15. Sonata A 3 No. 11 In F Minor, Z. 800

16. Sonata A 3 No. 12 In D Major, Z. 801

Disc 2

1. Pavan In G Minor, Z. 752

2. Sonata A 4 No. 1 In B Minor, Z. 802

3. Sonata A 4 No. 2 In E Flat Major, Z. 803

4. Sonata A 4 No. 3 In A Minor, Z. 804

5. Sonata A 4 No. 4 In D Minor, Z. 805

6. Sonata A 4 No. 5 In G Minor, Z. 806

7. Sonata A 4 No. 6 In G Minor, Z. 807

8. Sonata A 4 No. 7 In C Major, Z. 808

9. Sonata A 4 No. 8 In G Minor, Z. 809

10. Sonata A 4 No. 9 In F Major, Z. 810

11. Sonata A 4 No. 10 In D Major, Z. 811

12. Fantasia A 3 On A Ground In D Major, Z. 731

13. Chacony In G Minor, Z. 730

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