Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Henry Purcell, Robert King, King's Consort|
Complete Secular Songs (3cd)
Genres: Pop, Classical
An essential recording for lovers of Henry Purcell's music.
Steven Guy | Croydon, South Australia | 01/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am surprised that this superb product, released in 2004, hasn't attracted any reviews yet. So I will offer a brief one.
This CD contains all of Henry Purcell's secular solo songs, although it does include some works for more than one voice. The CD contains highly informative notes on each the songs and the texts of all 87 songs. The songs are spread amongst the six singers - Barbara Bonney and Susan Gritton, sopranos; James Bowman, alto; Rogers Covey-Crump and Charles Daniels, tenors; Michael George, bass. The accompaniment, from Robert King's The King's Consort, consists of Mark Caudle and Susanna Pell on bass viols, David Miller playing the theorbo and archlute and maestro Robert King on the chamber organ and harpsichord.
The sound of the recording is very fresh, clear and vivid, as they say. It is exemplary of Hyperion's very high standards in that department. The presentation of the CD is very beautiful and tasteful. All in all, a great achievement and a very fine collection.
Purcell's songs range from the introspective ("Music for a while"), to the melancholy ("O Solitude, my sweetest choice!"), to the hedonistic ("Ah, how pleasant 'tis to love"), to the frankly bawdy ("Since the pox, or the plague") and comical ("Love is now become a trade"), to straight out love songs ("Oh, fair Cedaria, hide those eyes"). Purcell was the master of setting the English language to music and I'd say that his only serious rivals are John Dowland and Benjamin Britten.
This recording is one I treasure and it is one of the best Purcell recordings available. I bought it a couple of years after buying Purcell's complete Welcome Songs & Odes by Robert King and The King's Consort, also on Hyperion. Any serious lover of Purcell's music should have both.
I would love to see a complete survey of Purcell's Catches on CD. The lack of a recording of these works seems to represent a serious hole in the modern range of recordings of Purcell's music. The Deller Consort and Pro Cantione Antiqua recorded some of them many years ago. However, no modern recordings are available, as far as I know."