Purcell: The Fairy Queen
by Various Artists
Released: Nov 2007
Loosely based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Fairy Queen is Purcell's most beloved semi-opera, and this 1981 period-instrument recording, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, captures it best. Comedy abounds (listen to "The Drunken Poet"), and dances intermingle with drama, merrymaking songs and the occasional earth-shattering aria, as when soprano Jennifer Smith takes her turn on "The Plaint."
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