Music of Blow and Purcell
Countertenor Carlos Mena’s new Mirare recording of songs by John Blow and Henry Purcell with the Ricercar Consort is about as good as it gets. Along with fellow countertenor Damien Guillon, the two deliver the best performance of Blow’s “Ode on the death of Henry Purcell” I’ve heard so far. Directed by Philippe Pierlot, the ensemble plays is a strikingly beautify manner.
17th-century Italian Women Composers
I’ve yet to hear a bad recording from soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr and Concerto Soave. Their latest on the Ambronay label continues their world-class standard of presenting obscure composers in the finest light. That they chose to focus this time around on 17th-century women composers is to the benefit of all of us.