A CLEVER DANIEL TAYLOR ACCOMPANIED BY SUPERSTAR PERFORMERS PRESENT US WITH A FEAST OF LOVE!
Clever, because although famous in his own right, on this disc he added the likes of Chance, Kirkby, and Daniels whose vocal skills are beloved by many, as well as lutenist Kenny and recently deceased viola da gamba player Richard Campbell and a few others. But though all of this has made it desirable to more people, it is a superb recording in and of itself.
Accompanied by the voices and period instruments of the Theatre of Early Music, celebrated countertenor Daniel Taylor herein presents a collection of songs drawn from, or influenced by, Shakespeare. This is a haunting 21 track program of songs and madrigals by some of the great masters of the Renaissance Period, including Purcell, Morley, Johnson, Dowland and Gibbons. The theme of the album is 'love' in all its many forms, expressed through the poetry of the Shakespearian era. The Theatre of Early Music are a choir and orchestra directed by Taylor and together, have produced a stunning piece of work.
Taylor headlines a recording that counts among its superstars: sopranos, Carolyn Sampson & Emma Kirkby - countertenor,and one of Taylor's former teachers, Michael Chance - tenor, Charles Daniels and bass Neal Davies. The singers are complimented by adept instrumentalists Elizabeth Kenny & Jacob Heringman, lute - Richard Boothby & Richard Campbell viola da gamba.
This is a wide and varied collection of solos, duets and madrigals all unique and interesting and of course beautifully rendered. A most wonderful confluence occurs in the various combinations of voices as in Gibbons' "The Silver Swan" and most particularly when countertenors Taylor and Chance sing a duet in Robert Jones' "Sweet Kate" and Thomas Morley's 'Sweet Nymph, come to thy lover'. Purcell's "By Beauteous Softness" and "If Music Be the Food of Love" (Purcell's version three)as well as Johnson's "Full Fathom Five" are interpreted with gentle sensitivity by Taylor, Sampson and Davies respectively. Charles Daniels is given the title tract and Emma Kirkby adds a light-hearted flavor in her contribution 'Now what is love?'. This all makes for a delicious feast of love for a mid-summer's night!
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE, AWARDS ISSUE: "This is a deluxe casting, allowing combos from unaccompanied lute songs to a cappella duet, and lute solos to five-part madrigals....Taylor - with one of the lovliest countertenor voices in the business - is on nine (tracks), happy it seems to let others into the spotlight, with every other singer getting at least one solo spot! (Chance has two.)
An additional comment from me is that the line-up listed by Amazon is correct only in the titles because it does not clearly show that there is often more than one performer in a particular song. There is a 27 page booklet accompanying the CD with pertinent information and text in French, English and German.