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Purcell’s substantial, richly inventive welcome songs were written to celebrate the return from holiday of the court of King James II and Queen Mary. Almost operatic in scale and ambition, both deserve to be heard more especially in performances as poised and well-executed as here. Inevitably Sound the trumpet, beat the drum is more dramatic, more rousing than Ye tuneful Muses, raise your heads, but they make an apt coupling, generously filled with songs, instrumental items and a fine, lithe take on the famous Chacony in G minor. Singing, playing, recording and presentation are exemplary.

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