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4.8 out of 5 stars
19
4.8 out of 5 stars
Essential Purcell
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£3.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 27 July 2013
At a time when the radio is assaulting my ears with Wagner (and worse) it is such a pleasant relief to sit and listen to Purcell, undoubtedly the greatest British composer of all time, and especially when, as here, his music is well performed.

Highly recommended.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 February 2014
Now twenty years old, this anthology, compiled from the complete, multi-CD box sets of the Songs and Anthems by Robert King and the King's Consort (geddit?), offers the perfect sampler for those general listeners who want to get the flavour of one of England's few great composers. The singers are predominately agile, light-voiced tenors and silvery sopranos like the ethereal Barbara Bonney - and, of course, eminent counter-tenors Michael Chance and James Bowman, both in excellent voice and singing "in due" in the celebrated "Sound the Trumpet".

The instrumental sound is tuneful, attuned and in tune; we have long left behind us vinegary strings and approximate intonation, so there is a powerful sense of period appropriateness which enhances these lovely melodies. I'm not quite sure why everything here is vocal, insofar as Purcell wrote some wonderful instrumental music and I would have included something from his viol fantasias and the famous Chacony but any interested punter may acquire these on a bargain label issue.

My favourite piece here is the magnificent, eight-part anthem "Hear My Prayer" which builds and builds over three minutes, culminating in a stunning discord. I have played this disc many times since I bought it so many years ago and can happily attest that it really does include those vocal works which must be called "essential" for a proper appreciation of Purcell; the CD does what it says on the tin.
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on 3 February 2012
Somewhere, somehow, my CD 'The Essential Purcell' disappeared from its case and I was quite upset. I never thought I would be able to replace it until I did a search on Amazon and to my absolute delight found a copy! Purcell is an incredible composer, at times producing witty lyrics and incredibly soothing music. And when I was at school all those years ago we sang some of his songs, although, of course, at the time I knew nothing of this. So a bit of nostalgia for me. Ok, hardly a well sought after CD, but nice to know it is still obtainable at a very reasonable price.
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on 14 May 2007
Very rarely does a disc come along which hits all the spots: excellent recording quality, perfect pacing, superb track listing and top class performance.

This is one of those discs. It even gets ten out of ten for price: this is one of those budget-priced "sampler" cd's, which, although all the tracks are full-length and unedited, it is geared towards selling the many other releases of Purcell by Robert King.

However don't let this put you off: the running order has been compiled with due care and attention. This album stands up as a classic in its own right.
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on 26 July 2011
Everything with released by "Hyperion" always gets my full attention as this wonderful company always have the highest standards of performance, selection of super-talented artists and the choice of recorded material is literary mind-blowing,it truly changed my life because they seem to avoid commercial direction and obvious paths in favor of lesser known but equally beautiful pieces.In short,if you see "Hyperion" label printed on Cd,go for it.

There is nothing lesser-known about Henri Purcell who,after all is a giant of the whole barque era. His oeuvre is so rich that it would probably take me years to get my head around many different styles he worked in but this CD is a good start for a somebody like me who simply needs some guidance where to start: "Hyperion" has released three series of complete Purcell works and here they presented choice from twenty-five various recordings.

The long and exhausting list of artists here is star-studded: Barbara Bonney, James Bowman, Gillian Fisher, Charles Daniels, Rogers Covey-Crump, Susan Gritton, Mark Padmore... there is something for everybody but I must point at the direction of my beloved Michael Chance who must have been one of my all-time favorite singers in any genre (after all,he is the guy responsible for my "classical bug") and here he shines in a heavenly duet with James Bowman,truly magnificent showpiece for two counter-tenors titled "Sound the trumpet" dating from 1694 royal celebration.

It is such a rich compilation that with repeated listening I am sure to find always different favorites.
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on 19 July 2017
Good. Extends my knowledge of the composer.
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on 1 November 2008
This is very enjoyable, and Dido's 'When I am laid in the cold ground' is especially moving, especially at this time of year! (England in a damp November!)
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on 14 January 2010
An excellent compilation, just right for an initial introduction to this uplifting and inspiring music that set the scene for so much that followed. A well produced and high quality recording with some excellent vocal performances.
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on 22 May 2011
A very good recording of an excellent cross-section of Purcell's choral music. It will be of particular benefit to anyone starting to rehearse for a performance that will include the items featured.
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on 27 February 2009
Not a bum track, with She loves and confesses too worth the price alone.The greatest one disk collection of his work in the world-accept no substitutes.
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