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In this programme, director Trevor Pinnock rejoins The English Concert, which he founded almost 40 years ago. Many of the pieces are edited or arranged for performance by Pinnock and soloist Alison Balsom. By-and-large they work well, though readers with particular affection for some of the music may require a little aural adjustment. I certainly did for the celebrated countertenor duet ‘Sound the trumpet’ from the ode ‘Come, ye Sons of Art’. Yet, Iestyn Davies and Balsom carry it offwith aplomb and, after all, a trumpet is anything but contextually inappropriate. One of the disc’s chief merits is the skill with which Balsom demonstrates the versatility of natural trumpets, reminding us that they are capable of a wide range of colours. Nevertheless, I found myself longing to hear Purcell’s immortal air, ‘Fairest Isle’ in the mouth of a singer rather than in the mouthpiece of a trumpet. Oh dear! What a spoilsport I am.

Nicholas Anderson Read the full review on Agora Classica


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