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International Record Review - (09/2014)
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Harmonia Mundi

HMG 501308/09

Code-barres / Barcode: 3149020130810

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Reviewer:  Nigel Simeone

Another Purcell set presents a major work in a performance that's extremely attractive: The Fairy Queen ‑ setting a libretto based on Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream ‑ is sung by a very large cast of soloists (led by Nancy Argenta, Véronique Gens and Sandrine Piau), with Les Arts Florissants conducted by William Christie. The booklet includes a complete libretto, but gives no indication of which singer performs each of the numbers, which is a little frustrating. It doesn't really matter as the quality of the performance is so consistently high, and Christie's forces (recorded in 1989) characterize the music so well. There are a number of good rival versions, but the combination of elegance and animation in this recording makes for enchanting listening.

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