Although slightly short measure, this collection of Emma Kirkby singing Purcell is still irresistible value in its new Helios incarnation. The voice was in its most glorious prime in 1982 with an 'innocently sexy' mannerism-dominating proceedings in such choice numbers as: 'Fair Iris and her swain' or the deeply introspective, 'Lost is my quiet for ever'. Other memorable numbers include the six-minute, 'Tell me Why', a wonderfully ravishing portrayal of Kirkby's pristine top register and the amorously bawdy, 'You say tis' love'.
David Thomas is a strongly supportive bass throughout; his voice is a delight, especially in the opening, 'In all our Cinthia's shining sphere'. Anthony Rooley's expressive lute accompanies proceedings with knowing style. Full texts and informative notes make this an unmissable bargain for all lovers of the attractive Emma Kirkby.
Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech