Various Artists

Shakespeare: The Greatest Hits

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The Truth in Advertising Department would like it to be known that these are not actually Shakespeare's greatest hits and that in fact he only appears as a backup vocalist on a few of the tracks. What you have here is a set of two separate instrumental recitals, each of which features Ancient music, much--but not all--of it coming from 16th-century England: just the kind of thing the aforementioned bard would put on while working on his film scripts.

Classical guitarist Jonathan Adam occupies the first disc with a program of brief dances, most of them in a stately or even melancholy mood. More substantial are the offerings of harpist Christine Drescher and recorder player Richard Jones, as they have put together a varied and rewarding set of pieces featuring music of John Taverner, Thomas Morley, Giles Farnaby, William Byrd, and John Dowland, a real Cook's tour of the English Renaissance.

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