Purcell: Songs & Dialogues

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COMPOSERS: Purcell
LABELS: Hyperion Helios
WORKS: Songs & Dialogues
PERFORMER: Emma Kirkby (soprano), David Thomas (bass), Anthony Rooley (lute)
CATALOGUE NO: CDH 55065 Reissue (1982)
Restoration society sought escape from its own mannered artificiality in the simple pains and pleasures of rustic love, both unrequited and often explicitly fulfilled. On the page, the music here is sparse, often uninspiring, heavily dependent on the expressiveness and subtlety of the performers. In this reissue from almost 20 years ago, Emma Kirkby is at her most unaffected, coy and teasing, naive and knowing by turn. David Thomas, the persuasive lover, is more vocally manipulative, his passion reaching well beyond two octaves. Anthony Rooley’s lute supports their innocent amorous adventures with exemplary sensitivity to every expressive nuance. An unqualified delight. George Pratt

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