Purcell: The Fairy Queen

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

WORKS: The Fairy Queen
PERFORMER: Ann Murray, Lorna Anderson, Gillian Fisher, Michael Chance, Richard Suart; The Sixteen, The Symphony of Harmony and Invention/Harry Christophers
CATALOGUE NO: COR 16005 Reissue (1990)
This version of The Fairy Queen was recorded and issued some 12 years ago on Collins, though I can find no reference to this either on the discs or in the accompanying booklet. Harry Christophers and The Sixteen offer a characteristically graceful and affectionate performance, though what I miss is the crispness of attack and the more sharply defined inflections of William Christie and, more recently, Roger Norrington. But Christophers, nonetheless, has assembled an appealing solo cast and it is herein, perhaps, that the strength of the performance lies. Gillian Fisher’s contribution is especially delightful to my ears for its lightly articulated and airy declamation but, as I have implied, there are few weak moments in the solos which are complemented by excellent choral contributions from The Sixteen. Nicholas Anderson