The Pleasures of the Imagination

English 18th-century music for the harpsichord
Sophie Yates
Chandos Chaconne CHAN0814
Music by Thomas Arne, J. C. Bach, Blow, Clarke, Croft, Greene & Jones

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t a time when recordings incline towards ‘the complete’ this or that it is a pleasure to come across a themed but more varied recital. Sophie Yates’s survey of English keyboard music in the long 18th century is pretty much constant joy from start to finish. And the lack of Purcell and Handel is a real bonus. They are already ready well represented on disc anyway and their absence here makes space for the delights of others too often overshadowed. So let’s hear it for Blow, Clarke, Croft, Greene, Jones, Arne (especially Arne) and J. C. Bach. The booklet is an example of how to do it, the playing high-class and the instruments beautifully prepared, recorded and exploited. My only regret is that they are after French rather than English originals.

David Hansell

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