Purcell did not write for large choral societies but rather small ensembles and it is a joy to hear this well chosen selection which demonstrates Purcell's genius of writing for the small orchestra and choir. Whilst the ensemble sections are to the highest standard as one would expect from VOCES8, the solo sections are a revelation of the vocal capability of the group. It is also good to hear this group in partnership with Les Inventions, a small ensemble of outstanding players who specialise in music of this period. Altogether, a must buy for any lover of Purcell.
Having had the considerable privilege of sharing a platform with this group (as a humble member of the St Albans Bach Choir) I was keen to explore their discography. I've always loved Purcell so this CD was an obvious choice, and I was in no way disappointed. Live, I was blown away by their versatility, virtuosity, perfection of ensemble, sensitivity and sheer beauty of performance and all those qualities are finely displayed here. It will remain, I'm sure, a lasting reminder of a memorable occasion as well as a favourite in its own right amongst my CD collection.
I'm just left with one problem: which of their other CDs to put on my birthday list?