(5 out of 5 stars)
"Paul Elliott has an extraordinary voice. He was a long-time member of the Hilliard, and then he went off with Paul Hillier to his newly formed Theatre of Voices. Elliott's voice is sort of like Rogers Covey-Crump's but not as sour, and that's the beauty of it! John Gay's Beggar's Opera has some very enjoyable tunes, and the cutest lyrics. It's not Handel, but you'll like it. Patricia Kwella's bell-like voice is also very memorable.P.S. If you happen to see anywhere The Hilliard's Dunstable Motets, GRAB IT! It's one of the most awesome early music recordings ever made. Paul Elliott delivers a truly stunning performance."
One of the starting points of modern operas
Jacques COULARDEAU | OLLIERGUES France | 05/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here we only have nine of the songs of this famous « opera » or rather « semi-opera » in the tradition of Purcell. It is a shame, in a way, not to have the whole play which is rarely performed, and the whole score of the play. It is also a shame that we cannot easily find the arranged version of Benjamin Britten. This old play or opera by Gay has been kind of pushed aside by the version of it proposed by Brecht. The various songs on this CD are very typical of English music in the 18th century and the subject, real society, shows an evolution in England that will catch on the continent later. It has to be contrasted with Handel at the time and it shows the same musical evolution : a distanciation from religion, continuing Purcell's experiments and opening the gates to the next phase that will emerge from the Mannheim school with Mozart and his Magic Flute. This opera is thus a milestone in music history and a starting block for maybe one full century of music in Europe. It is inspiring in many ways. The music and singing on this CD are both light and clear, enchanting and mesmerizing in many ways, modern and traditional at the same time. A moment in music that cannot be ignored or pushed aside.Dr Jacques COULARDEAU"