BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year: Paul McCreesh's 'Purcell King Arthur'

12 May 2020

Congratulations to Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort and Players, featuring Mhairi Lawson, on their double win at the at the 2020 BBC Music Magazine Awards: their recording of Purcell King Arthur 1691 has won both the Opera category and Recording of the Year.

This elaborate semi-opera disc was released in October 2019. Last year their recording of A Rose Magnificat won the BBC Music Magazine Award in the Choral category. You can view the full awards list here, voted by the public.

The Signum recording has received outstanding reviews:

Above all, McCreesh and his artists make us hear Purcell’s genius for word-setting. …McCreesh’s new performing edition, which contains re-ordered numbers and a finale forged from other works by Purcell, is the catalyst for this intimate, intensely energetic production.

Berta Joncus, BBC Music Magazine

Throughout the opera McCreesh’s speeds are relaxed rather than driven... it results in Dryden’s wonderful poetry being acted with personable clarity, and the lucidity of musical gestures ensures that affection and intimacy are hallmarks of a performance that conveys a humane smile.

David Vickers, Gramophone

Paul McCreesh follows convention by giving us only the musical numbers, but unlike most conductors he gives us a performance benefitting from years of living with and thinking about the work, constantly evolving his approach to it. The result tempts only superlatives, for the new recording is as accomplished and richly satisfying an experience as anyone could hope for...

Brian Robins, Opera Magazine


You can listen to a recent discussion with Paul of another Gabrieli Consort favourite - Purcell's Fairy Queen - in a Gramophone podcast here.

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