Jeremiah Clarke’s ‘The Glory of the Arcadian Groves’

26

April
2010

A couple of years ago, I discovered a recording devoted to the surviving music from  Henry Purcell‘s memorial (held not long after he died). It was yet another marvelous Hyperion production led by the musicologist and harpsichordist Peter Holman and performed by his ensemble, The Parley of Instruments.

The recording includes Jeremiah Clarke‘s “Come, come along for a Dance and a Song,” Gottfried Finger‘s “Farewell” suite, Henry Hall‘s “Yes, my Aminta, ’tis too true,” Thomas Morgan‘s “Mr. Henry Purcell’s Farewell Tune,” and John Blow‘s “Mark how the lark and linnet sing” based on a John Dryden ode.

Although Blow’s work is famous and often performed, it is Clarke’s that I prefer—a dramatic and moving large-scale composition for vocal soloists (SAB), chorus (SATB), and orchestra (recorders, oboes, trumpets, strings, and continuo).

Last summer I decided to make my own edition based on a manuscript found in the British Library and in the hand of William Croft, a contemporary of Clarke’s. The process was no small undertaking, but since no full-score is commercially available, the final product was quite rewarding.

Here’s the music to one of my favorite airs (for tenor or countertenor, two recorders, and basso continuo) from “Come, come along for a Dance and a Song”: “The Glory of the Arcadian groves”

[N.B.: If you’re interested in getting a copy of the entire piece, send me a note, and we’ll work something out.]

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