King Arthur, Z. 628
Claron McFadden (Soprano), Véronique Gens (Soprano), Susannah Waters (Soprano), Jonathan Best (Bass-Baritone), Iain Paton (Tenor), Mark Padmore (Tenor)
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie (Conductor)
Peter Ruzicka called Purcell’s ‘King Arthur’ the “first known musical”: “The heroes and their armies wander through foggy swamps, enchanted forests and frozen landscapes, fight with art against art and magic against magic. The means used range from the monumental battle with drastic show effects (the effect-conscious theatre man Dryden equipped his extras in the battle scenes with blood-soaked sponges, for example) to the tête-à-tête of the conflicting spirits, which seems like a slapstick parody. Although Purcell and Dryden were at the height of the zeitgeist with ‘King Arthur’, it was forgotten…”
William Christie’s 1995 Paris reference recording with Les Arts Florissant and an All Star cast is now back in its original cover.