Odes & Welcome songs
Ode and Welcome songs
Fly bold rebellion Z 324
Why are all the muses mute Z 343
From those serene and rapturous joys Z326
There are 24 Odes and Welcome Songs composed by Purcell between 1680 and 1695: 4 celebrate St Cecilia, 6 are to welcome royalty, 3 celebrate King James II’s birthday and 6 celebrate that of Queen Mary (from 1684 to 1694). The others were written for specific events – royal wedding, Yorkshire festival, Duke of Gloucester’s birthday, hundredth anniversary of Dublin’s Trinity College, etc.
The Odes cover practically the entire period during which Purcell was a renowned composer. For these occasions, Purcell composed incredibly imaginative music of amazing quality – often keeping his most beautiful pieces for less remarkable texts, most of the time conventionally obsequious when it came to royalty. According to the registers, audiences were surprisingly small during special events. Purcell’s most elaborate Odes (namely Come Ye sons of Art and Hail! bright Cecilia) seem to have been designed for about twelve instruments and four singers, for solos and choruses.
The Banquet Céleste chose a chamber music-like spirit for these extremely expressive and musical works