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American Record Guide: (01/2020) 
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Elegy – Countertenor duets by Purcell & Blow Product Image

Code-barres / Barcode : 0793591468839


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Reviewer: David Reynolds

There must be some sort of unwritten rule that all countertenors who become well known in musical spheres must record an album of Henry Purcell and John Blow’s music. Iestyn Davies is just such a singer, so I suppose it was obligatory for him. A number of Purcell’s songs and duets are recorded here along with three elegies on the death of Queen Mary and Blow’s Ode on the Death of Henry Purcell. The singing is very accomplished. He has an excellent florid technique and more color in his voice than a lot of countertenors. He has created roles in a number of contemporary operas (including The Tempest by Ades) and has also recorded a number of works outside the normal countertenor world of baroque and early classical music. His partner in music, James Hall, also has a fine voice. He and Davies blend so thoroughly in their duets it’s almost impossible to tell who is singing which part. That cuts both ways—good blend but too much sameness. These songs are certainly enjoyable, but I would recommend taking them a few at a time. Listening to this without a break causes a feeling of ennui to set in. The King’s Consort offers excellent accompaniment with its colorful brass and strings. Vivat supplies notes and texts.

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