Saturday, June 12, 2010


The great bulk of Purcell's output consists of what used to be called "incidental" or "theater" music, and what now would be film scores. He wrote songs, dances, and "action" music for scores of Restoration plays and "semi- operas" (spoken plays alternating with operatic scenes and interludes). After his death, the best of the instrumental numbers from many of these scores were gathered together and published in this collection. There is an abundance of tuneful and catchy music here, including the famous melody that Britten used as the basis for The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. The performances are also fine, which is a good thing because, surprisingly, this set is the only show in town. --David Hurwitz (


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