Friday, 6 October 2017
Purcell - Complete Ayres for the Theatre - Parley of Instruments/Goodman
This is a wonderful, very welcome budget re-issue of the original, widely-admired recordings. It contains all of Purcell's hugely enjoyable music for the theatre (including the famous Rondeau from Abdelazer on which Britten based his Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra). The music is typical of Purcell - full of melody and harmonic invention, making it hugely enjoyable while not being in any way superficial or trivial - and the musicianship of the Parley of Instruments is simply brilliant. The players include Crispian Steele-Perkins, Pavlo Beznosiuk and Mark Caudle and these stars of the Baroque produce something really special. The dances really dance and the more reflective pieces shine with beauty and depth. It's a delight from start to finish.
The recording quality is of Hyperion's normal excellent standard, giving a fabulous lustre particularly to the bass viol and theorbo and a real sparkle to Steele-Perkins's natural trumpet, and the overall sound is truly seductive. I return to this set again and again with enormous pleasure. At this price for three excellent CDs you've very little to lose and I recommend it extremely warmly.