Valer Sabadus: To Touch, To Kiss, To Die (2013)


Listen to this for: music by Purcell, Matteis, Poole and Dowland

This is a bit of a curiosity in my music collection because it showcases some 17th-century English music, which feels rather mannered in comparison to Hasse and Vinci. However, Sabadus’s beautifully controlled voice gives it a bewitching elegance. As ever, his high notes have a thrilling purity and power that make your jaw drop. O solitude, my sweetest choice is intoxicating; and the album also fittingly includes Purcell’s If music be the food of love. I find it rather magical to hear such a lovely voice singing in English. I should take the music with me to Hampton Court or Banqueting House, to listen to it in context. The title is taken from Come again, sweet love doth now invite by Dowland, which shows off Sabadus’s pellucid high notes: ‘To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss to die!’. It’s the musical equivalent of one of Isaac Oliver’s melancholic young men: perfect music for serenading maidens by moonlight (which doesn’t happen enough nowadays, if you ask me).

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