The Hibernian Muse: Music for Ireland by Purcell and Cousser | Linn CKD685

The Hibernian Muse: Music for Ireland by Purcell and Cousser

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Label: Linn

Cat No: CKD685

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 24th June 2022



Continuing their investigation into the wealth of forgotten Baroque music from Ireland, the Irish Baroque Orchestra and its Music Director Peter Whelan now explore music by Cousser and Purcell.

Johann Sigismund Kusser or Cousser was a Hungarian composer who travelled to Dublin, via Germany, France and London. One of the most knowledgeable and respected operatic directors in Europe, he spent the last twenty years of his life in Dublin where he was ‘Chappel-Master of Trinity-Colledge’ and ‘Master of the Irish State Musick’ at Dublin Castle. His Serenata ‘The Universal Applause of Mount Parnassus’, given its premiere recording here, is an enormously colourful work composed for the birthday celebrations for Queen Anne in 1711. It is also the earliest extant example of operatic music composed in Dublin for Irish audiences.

Purcell wrote his Ode ‘Great parent, hail!’ for the centenary of Trinity College Dublin in 1694 with a libretto by his collaborator and Trinity alum, Nahum Tate. This fascinating, little-known work contains some stunning music by Purcell. Its cautious tone delicately navigates the brittle political atmosphere in Dublin following the Glorious Revolution – the College having recently fallen for a time to the Jacobites. This recording will offer another huge surprise for those who know little of Ireland’s forgotten heritage in the art music.


Albums that sidestep familiar repertoire always deserve attention. The Irish Baroque Orchestra’s The Hibernian Muse (Linn), with the vocal group Sestina, is shaped around music played at festivals at the turn of the 18th century... Their skill and vigour, with lively singing from Sestina and soloists, shines out here in music by Henry Purcell and the Hungarian composer Johann Sigismund Cousser (1660-1727).  Fiona Maddocks
The Observer 7 August 2022

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