Carolyn Sampson / Laurence Cummings / Elizabeth Kenny / Jonathan Manson

Come All Ye Songsters

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The live concert album is less well developed in early music than in Classical and Romantic repertory, but here's quite a valuable corrective to that situation. Soprano Carolyn Sampson has a flexible, creamy voice and has become a favorite in music of the English Baroque, in Britain and increasingly beyond. This recital, performed in 2015 in London's Wigmore Hall, made no concessions to the mainstream nature of the venue (and the engineering staff reciprocated with fine handling of the too-large space). These are not Purcell hits; much of the music is drawn from the so-called Gresham Manuscript, which was rediscovered fairly recently, and all the music has to stand on its own. All of it is gorgeous; Sampson is in fine voice, and the exuberant variety of treatments perhaps reflects what audiences in Purcell's own time would have heard. Purcell songs are mixed with instrumental works by him and others; the program is, in short, authentic in performance and content. The list of instruments in the graphics does not reflect the extent of the variety, and the contributions of each of the instrumentalists are as great as those of Sampson. Sample The Cares of Lovers, with its gorgeous, almost piano-like theorbo sound from string player Elizabeth Kenny. The live ambience is effectively transmitted, and the recording retains the lusty applause that greets the performers at the end, and the two encores. Passionate, enthusiastic, and very highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
The Fairy Queen Z629
1 01:56
2 00:41
3 00:46
4 05:51
Harpsichord Suite No. 5 in C major (with Jig) Z666
5 00:44
6 02:09
7 01:03
8 01:08
Timon of Athens Z632
10 02:00
11 05:35
12 02:53
13 03:14
Don Quixote Z578
14 06:50
15 07:08
The Fairy Queen Z629
16 00:55
17 01:31
18 00:49
La Guitarre Royalle
19 03:05
Aureng-Zebe Z573
20 02:08
21 03:33
22 01:10
23 04:16
Hail, bright Cecilia Z328
24 04:34
Abdelazar, or the Moor's Revenge Z570
25 03:16
The Fairy Queen Z629
26 03:16
27 00:06
The Indian Queen Z630
28 02:43
29 00:09
King Arthur Z628/38
30 03:02
blue highlight denotes track pick