Xavier Sabata countertenor – Brice Sailly harpsichord, organ – Wim Maeseele theorbo, guitar – Romina Lischka viola da gamba


Reason, what art thou? John Weldon
Must then a faithful lover go? John Eccles
While I with wounding grief did look Gottfried Finger
Restless in thought John Eccles
I burn, my brain consumes to ashes John Eccles
From rosy bow'rs (Don Quixote, Z.578) Henry Purcell
Bess of Bedlam (Silent Shades and the Elysian Groves) Henry Purcell
Morpheus, thou gentle god Daniel Purcell
O Solitude, My Sweetest Choice, Z.406 Henry Purcell

The celebrated Catalan countertenor Xavier Sabata transports you to the England of the 17th century, when society was obsessed with the ‘abnormal’. Mentally-ill people who had been incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals captured the imaginations of the English people. English baroque masters such as Purcell and Eccles were also intrigued by these characters and wrote ‘mad songs’. They demonstrated their great originality by using sudden tempo changes and unusual melodic twists to represent the ever-changing moods of the insane. A neglected repertoire that is well worth discovering!