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Henry Purcell & Matthew Locke

Phantasies, Ayres & Chaconys, Theatre suites etc

The Flautadors with David Miller (theorbo & guitar)

Deux-Elles DXL1123 [TT 68 mins]

This is an attractive and thoroughly enjoyable programme, the recorder ensemble nicely varied by interposing accompanied pieces, all well recorded by Patrick Naylor.

To our mind, the musicologically researched notes are misconceived; they begin with an off-putting negative "- - recorders would not have been the instruments of choice..." and spend an inordinate amount of space justifying their use.

These days, arrangements of all sorts are accepted and enjoyed - no-one bothers to write justifying pianists who stick with anachronistic Steinways for Bach and other early music - and Michala Petri has just released the Mozart flute quartets, convincingly played on recorders... And these notes, by The Flautadors themselves, are clumsily written (e.g. "these pieces" twice in the same sentence) - can't Deux-Elles field a text-editor?

But do not be put off, especially if you play the recorder and have the opportunity to make music with friends. This mainly-Purcell CD has given us a lot of listening pleasure.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See also The Flautadors in Britten and Rubbra.