Notes & Reviews:
Anthony Rooley wanted to make a new play which would make the Don Quixote music, written by Purcell, Eccles and others in 1694/5, performable in a dramatic setting, initially on the radio, and ultimately in the theatre. Taylor had heard some of the more famous numbers, and Rooley soon supplied him with a 20-year-old record of all the Purcell songs. The rest of the music, something in the region of 20 numbers, Taylor had never heard, and neither had anyone else. It doesn't seem to have been performed since the first and only production, at the very end of Purcell's life. So the necessity was to create a new viable drama on the Don Quixote story, that would show pieces by Purcell and Eccles and Courtville and the rest, in the best possible theatrical light, and the first imperative was to go back to Cervantes. It was clear that what had to be done was to write a musical, a work that would have all the best qualities of modern popular musical theatre, wedded to a late 17th century score. The 17th century work, as theatrical entertainment, had a great deal more in common with the world of Bernstein, Frank Loesser and Sondheim than with the world of Tippett or Birtwhistle. Covent Garden and The Met were not to be the models: Broadway and Shaftesbury.
American Record Guide, May/June 2014
Those merits are considerable, given the talent brought to this performance, which is almost 20 years old, having been recorded in 1995. It was originally released in 1996 on Musica Oscura. Most of the musicians and ensembles are still very much around and perhaps even better known today than they were then. It is all impeccably performed and historically fascinating. The booklet is excellent: full text and notes.
Recording information: BBC Maida Vale Studios (03/1995-04/1995).
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Works DetailsRooley, Anthony [Lute] : Don Quixote
- Conductor: Anthony Rooley
- Ensemble: Consort of Musicke
- Period Time: Contemporary
- Written: 1995