Music All Powerful – Music to Entertain Queen Victoria
Purcell Consort of Voices; Grayston Burgess
Catalogue No.

‘Music All Powerful – Music to entertain Queen Victoria’ provides a delightful flashback of the British Royal Family and is the first release on CD of a delightful Argo LP. It offers solo songs, unaccompanied and accompanied choral songs and a handful of instrumental numbers such as would have been performed for and during Queen Victoria’s reign. The Purcell Consort of Voices under Grayston Burgess is joined by a group of instrumental soloists, including the superb violinist Iona Brown, with pianist Jennifer Partridge both accompanying and playing a Mendelssohn Song without Words and a Chaminade piece. For bringing back songs from obscurity alone, this is a worthy CD. But it also recalls obscure composers like Pinsuti, Klosé, Beale, Galkin, Walmisley and Callcott and an obscure instrument  – the ophicleide (the instrument Mendelssohn wanted for Bottom’s braying in the Midsummer Night’s Dream overture). The performances are idiomatic and charming, the programming a joy. Geoffrey Coleby provides the amusing notes: ‘…when they could burst the shackles of their dreadful academic training, the Victorians could show a touching great-heartedness which is their most endearing feature’. All song texts are included.


1 TOURS: The Stars beyond the Cloud
2 PINSUTI: Good night, Beloved
3 SULLIVAN: I would I were a King
4 PRINCE ALBERT: Melody for the Violin
5 MENDELSSOHN: The Passage Bird’s Farewell, Op. 63 No. 2
6 MENDELSSOHN: Song without words, Op. 38 No. 2 ‘Lost Happiness’
7 BARNBY: Sweet and low
8 KLOSÉ: Air Varie for ophicleide
9 BEALE: Come let us join the Roundelay
10 MENDELSSOHN: Autumn Song, Op. 63 No. 4
11 GALKIN: Mazurka
12 WALMISLEY: Music, all powerful
13 SMITH: O that we two were maying
14 CALLCOTT: The Lark now leaves his Watery Nest
15 CHAMINADE: Arlequin
16 BENSON: A Loyal Ode
17 SULLIVAN: The Long Day Closes

Purcell Consort of Voices
Jennifer Partridge, piano
Iona Brown, violin
Alan Lumsden, ophicleid
David King, speaker
Grayston Burgess

Recording information

Recording Producer: Michael Bremner
Balance Engineer: Stanley Goodall
Recording Location: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, September 1968 & January 1969


‘irresistably charming … And there is plenty of variety … “Sweet and low” [is] most beautifully sung  … A particularly charming item is the duet by Alice M. Smith … Alan Lumsden (a trombonist by profession) is splendid in the variations by Klosé for ophicleide and piano. I had not previously heard a solo on this instrument, and it is a memorable experience’ Gramophone