COMPOSERS: Purcell.Maute
LABELS: Analekta
ALBUM TITLE: Purcell.Maute
WORKS: Here let my Life; Music for a While; The Moor’s Revenge; In the black dismal Dungeon; Sound the Trumpet. Concerto on the Death of Henry Purcell
CATALOGUE NO: Analekta AN 2 9948
Wistful expression and visceral energy are brought together in this collection which includes some of Purcell’s best-loved songs and duets along with less-familiar instrumental pieces, performed by one of Canada’s leading early music ensembles.Taylor and Bowman might appear to be strange musical bed‑fellows, their voices distinctly contrasted in timbre and power, yet they complement each other as perfectly as coffee and cream. Bowman’s darker voice, now burnished with autumnal tones, is well-suited to the melancholy sound‑world of his solos, while Taylor’s light, silvery countertenor is perfect for the intimacy of ‘Music for a While’ or the lyricism of ‘If Music be the Food of Love’. A close-recorded perspective ensures the words cut through with compelling detail. The instrumentalists take centre stage in a new concerto – a genial if somewhat light-weight Baroque pastiche by the group’s recorder player Matthias Maute, inspired by Purcell’s celebrated Chaconne. Despite some slightly erratic changes in tempo, quite possibly a result of the editing process, this is a vibrant, virtuoso performance. There’s some bucolic playing, too, in Purcell’s incidental music for the play Abdelazar, the hornpipe of which was made famous through Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, though the rest of this felicitous suite is seldom heard.