Blow: An Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell

Arcangelo & Samuel Boden (Tenor), Thomas Walker (Tenor)

John Blow is one of the greatest of not-quite-forgotten English composers. Conscripted as a choirboy from Newark Parish Church to the Chapel Royal of Charles II he rose to become royal choirmaster by his mid-twenties and organist of Westminster Abbey – a post he generously yielded in 1679 to his pupil, the brilliant Henry Purcell. The lives and careers of the two men remained closely intertwined, attested by the deeply-wrought emotions of Blow’s great funeral ode. 

Featured works

  • Blow: Begin the Song!
  • Blow: Chaconne a 4 in G Major
  • Blow: An Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell
  • Blow: Ground in G Minor
  • Blow: The Nymphs of the wells
  • Blow: Sonata in A Major
  • Blow: Dread Sir, the Prince of Light

Press & Praise


For many, getting to know these pieces will be persuasion enough, but the performances complete the seduction with their expert playing and singing, vigorous but tastefully realised sense of style and … firmly shaped contours and effective illustrative touches … with a recording that is wonderfully clear and alive, everything seems to be going right for Jonathan Cohen at present.


“There is so much to enjoy in this superb collection of John Blow’s odes and instrumental music: fine solo and ensemble singing, beautifully articulated strings, crisp and tangy theorbos, punchy baroque guitar, all driven by the abundantly talented Jonathan Cohen at the harpsichord and chamber organ.”


“Duets for high tenor seem to have been something of a Blow speciality…and in Samuel Boden and Thomas Walker, director Jonathan Cohen has harnessed a quintessentially English sound whose lyricism fits the vocal writing like a glove…Throughout, the instrumental contribution is a joy; Cohen’s direction a model of stylish empathy and suavely-negotiated gear changes.”

Album Details

  • Released September 2017
  • Hyperion Records | CDA68149
  • Recorded July 2015


  • Samuel Boden (Tenor)
  • Thomas Walker (Tenor)
  • Emma Walshe, Zoe Brookshaw (Soprano), David Allsopp (Counter-Tenor), Nicholas Madden (Tenor), William Gaunt, Callum Thorpe (Bass) (Vocal Consort)
  • Arcangelo
  • Jonathan Cohen (Direction)


Gramophone Magazine

Editor’s choice Oct 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song choice Dec 2017

BBC Radio 3

Record of the week Oct 2017

BBC Music Magazine Awards

Finalist 2018

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