Personalities | John Blow | Early Baroque | Classical
Blow held various court appointments and served as the first Composer of the Chapel Royal (1700). His greatest gifts lay in the composition of vocal music, notably anthems and services for the church. Among the finest of his verse anthems is ‘God spake sometime in visions’, for the coronation of James II (1685). In this piece, his individual approach to harmony and modulation is a distinctive feature. As well as organ voluntaries and miscellaneous keyboard compositions, Blow wrote a single stage work, Venus and Adonis. Incorporating features of French musical drama and the Italian chamber cantata, it was a significant precursor to Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. He also composed an ode on the death of Purcell, whom he succeeded as organist of Westminster Abbey in 1695.
Venus and Adonis, soloists, New London Consort (dir) Philip Pickett (L’Oiseau-Lyre)
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