I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this disc. I was completely unfamiliar with Pepusch's music, which is largely forgotten to day, and composers are often largely forgotten for a very good reason. However, this is thoroughly enjoyable music, excellently played.
Pepusch doesn't have Bach's astonishing brilliance and depth or Handel's stunning melodic gifts – but then almost no-one else did either. He was, however, an enjoyable and quite inventive composer. Mush of the music here sounds to me rather more Venetian than German, with distinct echoes of Corelli and Albinoni, which is just fine by me. It's uplifting, often quite exciting and a pleasure to listen to.
A good deal of this is due to the playing of The Harmonious Society Of Tickle-Fiddle Gentleman. Named after a real 17th-Century London ensemble, they play with real skill, terrific gusto in places and a genuine love of the music. It's excellent and really brings this music to life. The presence of the brilliant Crispian Steele-Perkins may give you an idea of the quality of the musicians here, all of whom are plainly extremely good.
So, my dubiety in approaching this was wholly unfounded. It's a little gem, I think. The recorded sound and presentation are both very good and it's a very recommendable disc all round.