Britten: Purcell Realizations: Orpheus Britannicus; Harmonia Sacra

COMPOSERS: Britten
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: Purcell Realizations: Orpheus Britannicus; Harmonia Sacra
PERFORMER: Felicity Lott (sop), Sarah Walker (m-sop), James Bowman (countertenor), John Mark Ainsley, Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), etc; Graham Johnson (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67061/2 DDD
Purcell’s songs were not widely known fifty years ago and we owe much to Britten for reawakening an interest. Moreover, as these discs show, in fleshing out Purcell’s scores, Britten honed his own skills as a songwriter; the accompaniments are sensitively and wittily attuned to the vocal line and lyrics. Although some of the performances lack focus, there are strong contributions from, among others, Sarah Walker and Anthony Rolfe Johnson, in what is an enjoyable collection. William Humphreys-Jones

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