Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Purcell - Complete Odes and Welcome Songs
A magnificent box
This is a magnificent box. The music itself is wonderful with Purcell's genius shining through every one of the pieces here. His gift for melody and especially for brilliant harmonic invention make these works a treasure trove of great music. Many are extremely famous, but the less well-known also all have something unique and special about them. It has to be said that the words Purcell was given to set are sometimes pretty over-ripe, but this doesn't interfere with my enjoyment of the music at all.
The performances are equally good. The King's Consort were invariably excellent and these recordings from the late 80s and early 90s are among their best in my view. There is a magnificent cast of soloists including Tessa Bonner, Michael George, John Mark Ainsley, James Bowman and others, with the great Crispian Steele-Perkins playing the natural trumpet superbly.
I love every disc and I simply don't think you can go wrong with this set. It is quite an investment, but it is one which will give a lifetime of pleasure. Very warmly recommended indeed.