Purcell Retrospective 2015

“Gabrieli, as they style themselves these days, consisted here of nine singers: not mere consort singers but soloists in their own right who supplied the choral parts as well as taking the spotlight in solo numbers — all impressively from memory...The orchestra played with admirable verve and sensitivity under Paul McCreesh’s stylish direction.”Evening Standard

“McCreesh is one of today’s finest Purcell interpreters, and musically this was rather special, played with an admirable mixture of sensuousness and majesty, and sung with consistent finesse and elan by nine singers sharing the songs and choruses between them.

The high points, of which there were many, included Anna Dennis’s exquisite account of Fairest Isle, and a deliciously suggestive scene in which Helen-Jane Howells’s Cupid thawed out Ashley Riches’ handsome Cold Genius. Sophie Junker and Marcus Farnsworth generated considerable chemistry as a couple gradually giving in to their desire for each other. Nicholas Mulroy was outstanding in How Blest Are Shepherds. Beautifully done, all of it.”The Guardian

“We heard some very fine Purcell singing and playing indeed, welded into a sophisticated whole by Paul McCreesh. This was a finely satisfying performance, with the singers bringing great warmth and humour, all presided over with humorous aplomb by Paul McCreesh.”Planet Hugill

“McCreesh carefully delineated the contrasting mood and style of each, with the strings-only line of Now Does the Glorious Day Appear sounding lean and severe, and Welcome, Welcome Glorious Morn tipping into relaxed warmth. The Gabrieli Consort is effectively a choir of soloists working as a team and the singing was wonderfully warm and controlled. Tenors Jeremy Budd and Nicholas Mulroy stood out for tackling Purcell’s high-flying tenor writing with exceptional ease. McCreesh says he wants to conduct Purcell more often and I, for one, would like to hear him do it.”The Guardian

“Riches abound. Of the three odes in McCreesh’s first evening, Arise, my muse was the most subtly rewarding, Welcome, welcome, glorious morn, with its major key certainty and pealing trumpets, the most uplifting. Tenor Jeremy Budd performed marvels of high-wire singing in his near-countertenor solos. Anna Dennis and Nicholas Mulroy also excelled. McCreesh is an inspiring leader of his chorus and orchestra.”The Financial Times