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Gabrieli & Paul McCreesh • Purcell: King Arthur 1691 (2CD)

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The great patriotic opera of the 17th century, recorded here in a lively new performing edition after two decades in the Gabrieli’s touring repertoire. Notoriously difficult to present on disc or in concert, this version presented by Gabrieli was created to allow an obvious musical narrative, despite Purcell’s music often being completely dislocated from much of the original theatre context.

Gabrieli have been performing the music from King Arthur for nearly a quarter of a century, evolving their interpretation over time. With the score having to be pieced together using separate versions (due to Purcell’s originals being lost), and with Gabrieli’s evolved interpretation of the music, the end product of this recording is truly unique. Their subsequent release on Signum was the semi-opera by Purcell, The Fairy Queen, which is an adaptation of A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Gabrieli Consort & Players
Paul McCreesh
Anna Dennis soprano
Mhairi Lawson soprano
Rowan Pierce soprano
Carolyn Sampson soprano
Jeremy Budd high tenor
James Way tenor
Roderick Williams baritone
Ashley Riches bass-baritone

SIGCD589 • Released 2019