Saturday, 8 July 2017

Purcell - Twelve Sonatas of Three Parts - King's Consort

Rating: 5/5

Something special

I love the King's Consort's recordings of Purcell's three- and four-part sonatas.

The music itself is wonderful, showing all Purcell's melodic gift and extraordinary harmonic invention. Although perhaps not his best-known works, these sonatas really show why Purcell is considered such a great composer, and their variety, depth and sheer inventiveness make them a constant pleasure for me.

The musicians here do them proud. Robert King is well established as a giant of this repertoire and he has assembled a small group of very fine musicians here and moulded them into a wonderfully cohesive, empathetic chamber ensemble. With people of this calibre you'd expect something pretty special and we certainly get it; the playing is effortlessly virtuosic, but also has a wonderful clarity, a sense of depth without being over-solemn, and a love for the music from all five players. They obviously enjoy playing together, and the overall result is a joy from start to finish.

I don't mean to gush, but I think this really is something rather special. It is beautifully recorded and the notes are very full, scholarly, interesting and readable. This is a terrific disc all round, in my view, and I recommend it very warmly.

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