Purcell, Eccles, Courteville, Pack, Lenton, Tollett, Compton & Anon

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COMPOSERS: Compton & Anon,Courteville,Eccles,Lenton,Pack,Purcell,Tollett
LABELS: Musica Oscura
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Don Quixote
WORKS: Don Quixote (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Paul Scofield, Roy Hudd (speaker), Emma Kirkby, Evelyn Tubb (sop), David Thomas (bass), etc; Consort of Musicke, Purcell Simfony, City Waites/Anthony Rooley
Almost from the time of its first publication in 1615, Cervantes’s burlesque novel Don Quixote has attracted the attention of composers. Telemann, Mendelssohn and Richard Strauss are but three. But even before these representatives of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Purcell, Eccles and several other composers, whose names are now all but forgotten, contributed songs and instrumental music to Thomas D’Urfey’s adaptation of Cervantes.


This set, however, offers something different. Here is a new play by Don Taylor, designed in the first instance for radio, but which perhaps will soon find its way on to the stage. The whole idea is the brainchild of Anthony Rooley. The spoken roles have been imaginatively cast with Scofield as Don Quixote and Hudd as a splendid Sancho Panza. In like manner the singers, too, have been well chosen and include sopranos Emma Kirkby and Evelyn Tubb, and bass David Thomas. Not all the music maintains the high level of interest generated by Cervantes’s masterpiece, but there are many fine songs here, all the same, and mostly of course from the pen of Purcell himself. Nicholas Anderson