The Taste of this Nation - Pepusch | Corbett | Shuttleworth

Period ensemble Spiritato’s Delphian debut transports us back to a decisive juncture in the history of English music. The Taste of this Nation is a picture of the rapid arrival and astonishing success of Italian styles, genres and indeed musicians in London in the early 1700s, showing that a vibrant, cosmopolitan scene had arisen in the capital even before the arrival of Handel on British shores in 1710.

One of the prime instigators of the Italianate tendency was in fact an immigrant from Prussia. Johann Christoph Pepusch composed for the Italian soprano Margarita de L’Epine (also based in London) what can be regarded as the first English cantatas in the Italian style. Spiritato are joined by mezzo Ciara Hendrick, on dazzling vocal form in four of these works, while the vigour and precision of the ensemble’s playing – led by violinist Kinga Ujszászi – comes to the fore in instrumental works by two native Englishmen which again evidence Italian connections. Obadiah Shuttleworth’s concerti grossi are inventive reimaginings of violin sonatas by Corelli, and William Corbett’s infectious Bizarrie Universali show how a composer who had spent extensive time on the Continent could trade on his Italian connections to win favour with audiences in his native land.

"Reviving, ever-appealing music, expertly performed ... Hendrick is a fabulous singer, her sense of style superb, the emotion she brings to the texts immediate and fresh ... I can't praise the booklet highly enough: so much information, so readably presented. The cover illustration shows a bowl of fruit ripe for consumption, wholesome, appealing. Much the same could be said of the music here: reviving, ever-appealing (and expertly performed), and very much ripe for consumption"

Classical Explorer

"light, bright and competent enough to make this a release lovers of Baroque byways will surely find rewarding"

Release Date: 12 February 2021
Catalogue Number: DCD34236
Recorded on 17-19 February 2020 in All Hallows’, Gospel Oak
Producer/Engineer: Paul Baxter 2
4-bit digital editing: Matthew Swan
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter


Johann Christoph Pepusch:Rouse, Rouse Rouse

Advance review ....


Barry Creasey on The Taste of This Nation

"Spiritato are a highly accomplished ensemble, and their natural affinity for the period (complete with effortlessly realised ornamentation) shines through on these recordings ..."


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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