If: Music by Nyman & Purcell | Signum SIGCD586

If: Music by Nyman & Purcell


In stock - available for despatch within 1 working day

Label: Signum

Cat No: SIGCD586

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 22nd March 2019

Gramophone Editor's Choice



When Michael Nyman started reinventing the English baroque back in the 1980s, one critic described the result as “pump-action Purcell”. This recording combines these two singular musical styles through the stunning voice of countertenor Iestyn Davies and viol consort Fretwork, serving as the bridge across three centuries.

The programme combines bold harmonies, wondrous inventions and melodies that will haunt your dreams – whether from the 17th century or the 21st. Recorded following a concert tour of the programme, the disc includes the premiere recording of a new commission from Michael Nyman, Music after a While – based upon Purcell’s song, or more particularly upon its strikingly original bassline, with its insidious rising chromatics.

“This was a near-perfect concert, contrasting two composers whose links are stronger than many people might think and performed by musicians at the top of their profession.” – Early Music Review


The Nyman performances are exemplary – crisp and cleanly articulated from Fretwork and dispatched by Davies with a vacant, unrippled purity that is so essential to the music, and must be hard won for this instinctively expressive performer. ... It’s hard to believe that Purcell left no songs with viol consort accompaniment, and Boothby’s meticulous arrangements offer a tantalising glimpse of what might have been. ... All are immaculately sung by Davies, whose Peter Pan voice sounds fresher and smoother than ever.  Alexandra Coghlan
Gramophone May 2019

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