Purcell’s Revenge: Sweeter than Roses?

Delving into the past is never a simple matter for David McGuinness and his indomitable Concerto Caledonia. But the present venture, even more than most, eludes verbal description. The group return – in the company of some starry guests – to the territory of their 2011 Britten tribute Revenge of the Folksingers, now engaging with music by Henry Purcell in a tapestry of arrangements and creative responses which is never less than surprising. Variations by eighteenth-century Scot James Oswald rub shoulders with the Purcell tunes they are based on, while original songs by Olivia Chaney and Ana Silvera and some literally ‘electrifying’ instrumental contributions add to the general air of expectations confounded.