Purcell: Works

Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, English composer Henry Purcell’s legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. When it comes to Purcell, it is a little harder to find the ‘essential’ works, but they should include Dido and Aneas and Music For Queen Mary. Purcell’s choral works are excellent, and if you do not have any Baroque vocal works, Purcell is a nice place to start. There are several collections listed here to give you a taste of Purcell’s works, and these are affordable recordings of nice performances.

The Kings Consort has a nice Essential Purcell CD of various works, featuring excerpts of Dido and Queen Mary. The Taverner Consort 2CD set has the Odes for St. Cecilia’s Day and Music for Queen Mary. Dame Janet Baker as Dido in her recording of Dido and Aneas with Lewis and the English Chamber Orchestra is a great older recording, and a splendid buy.

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Essential Purcell
Conductor: Robert King
Performers: The Kings Consort

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Ode on St Cecilia’s Day
Funeral Music for Queen Mary

Conductor: Andrew Parrott
Ensemble: Taverner Players

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Dido & Aeneas
Conductor: Anthony Lewis
Performer: Dame Janet Baker
Ensemble: St. Anthony Singers

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