As English as Shakespeare, and like the Bard, a part of this island's cultural output which should be on every Englishman's shelf. Robert King directs a sextet of big name vocalists - Barbara Bonney, Susan Gritton, James Bowman, Rogers Covey-Crump, Charles Daniels and Michael George - in these excellent performances of all eighty-five of Purcell's wonderfully crafted secular solo songs which span the breadth of human emotion from love to melancholy, introspection to joy, from sadness to the comic and sometimes downright bawdy. Too many commentators sniffily dismiss the poetry as doggerel, but Purcell was a true master at combining words and music.
Three discs packaged in a double jewel case along with a sixty-three page booklet providing often quite substantial notes for each song along with the lyrics. This is a set to provide years of pleasure.