Coupled here are Philippe Herreweghe's two major Purcell recordings. The first (Jan. 1993), with the Funeral Sentences and a selection of full and verse anthems, was acclaimed by the American Record Guide for its 'clarity and precision of English diction and outstanding choral intonation' combined with 'consistently beautiful' solo singing. Five years later, the maestro directed his virtuoso Collegium Vocale Gent in two highly contrasting glorifications of the art of which Purcell was a supreme master. Whether with the small forces of Welcome to all the pleasures or in the vocal and orchestral pyrotechnics of Hail! Bright Cecilia, here is a genuine festival of music.
These titles were released for the first time in 1993 (CD 1) and 1998 (CD 2).