Rowan Pierce, Richard Egarr, William Carter
Linn Records CKD 592
Approaching some of these well-worn Purcell songs must be a similar experience for singers as the prospect of a great Shakespeare soliloquy is for an actor. What to do with this familiar material? Rowan Pierce with her musical team decide to approach this music as if they were the first ever to perform it, and the resulting freshness and spontaneity are hugely engaging. Of course, to be able to present Purcell’s music as effectively as this demands consummate technique, but it is technique that must be worn lightly and the present performers do this very effectively. The accompanying texture of harpsichord with lute/theorbo works very well indeed, and variety is achieved by thinning this out occasionally. The success of this sort of recital relies of course ultimately on the solo voice, and Rowan Pierce has a beautifully flexible, sweet, and technically secure instrument at her disposal which she employs with musicality and intelligence to produce highly engaging accounts of her chosen songs. As ever, the Linn engineers capture every nuance perfectly, and the result is a charming and highly enjoyable CD which rewards repeated listening.
D. James Ross
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