Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Purcell - Complete Sacred Music - King's Consort/King

Rating: 5/5

A superb box

Purcell's sacred music is stunning and deeply affecting, and the King's Consort do it proud.

These recordings bring out all the musical brilliance and spiritual depth of Purcell's work. There is a starry cast of performers who all plainly love this music and give it everything. Many of these recordings are my favourite versions of the pieces. This isn't universally true, of course - in such a huge set that would be very surprising - but many are. Even those which aren't (like An Evening Hymn, for example, which I prefer in two treasured versions by Michael Chance and Carolyn Sampson) are still very good and there is nothing on any of the 11 discs in this box which I found disappointing.

The recording quality is excellent as is the presentation in a robust cardboard box and sleeves with a very good, substantial booklet of notes and texts of the works. This is a significant investment, but it is a set to last a lifetime, full of well-loved masterpieces and also little-known gems. It has given me immense pleasure for years and will continue to do so for years to come. Very warmly recommended.

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