Purcell: Orchestral suite from The Fairy Queen; Orchestral Suite from The Prophetess

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Purcell
LABELS: Astrée Auvidis Naïve
WORKS: Orchestral suite from The Fairy Queen; Orchestral Suite from The Prophetess
PERFORMER: Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall
CATALOGUE NO: ES 9934 Reissue (1997)
Purcell’s instrumental music from his semi-operas is a veritable treasure trove. Some of it is generously orchestrated, as Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations demonstrate in a richly rewarding programme of pieces drawn from Dioclesian or The Prophetess (1690) and, much more substantially, from Purcell’s most ambitious semi-opera, The Fairy Queen, whose subject derives from Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Savall, as much as any interpreter of Purcell’s music that I know, revels in its rich textures and varied colours, producing performances which are full of fantasy. Trumpets, oboes, flutes, bassoon, percussion and strings all play a part in an entertaining, often rhythmically irresistible sequence of dances whose character is given a by no means inappropriate French spin. Nicholas Anderson

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