Purcell composed six of his finest odes to honour the birthdays of Queen Mary in successive years from 1689. Come, Ye Sons Of Art (1694) followed recent stage successes and contains some of the composer's most sparkling and memorable instrumental and vocal writing. This authoritative performing edition is prepared by the leading Purcell expert, Robert King.
Come ye Sons of Art is a wonderful upbeat work. It has so many opportunities for solos and duets and which range widely in their difficulty level, enabling a performance to include singers of varying ability. It is unique amongst the field of small oratorios in presenting a great chance for secular celebration, being the sixth of his birthday odes to Queen Mary.
The several editions of this work can be a little confusing. For instance, this Faber version omits the reprise of the "Come Ye Sons" chorus, present in other editions. It also has differences in the wording in choruses from some other editions. It seems especially important when planning to perform this work to stick to the one edition! The Faber edition is brightly presented with a helpful introduction concerning such things as trills. The editors dynamics are sound. What would be really helpful is for the written out continuo parts in the full score to be issued in a separate booklet as those who need to read the part rather than extemporise will always struggle with page turning in these scores. (The 1969 Schott, Tippett and Bergman edition has some helpful continuo lines in it and worth visiting.) Anonymous
- (Coventry, United Kingdom)