Delving into the past is never a simple matter for David McGuinness and his indomitable early-music-meets-nu-folk group Concerto Caledonia. But the present venture, even more than most, eludes verbal description. The group return – in the company of some starry guest names – 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 18th-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!
“Hate it or love it (and it will divide listeners) this CD is certainly a different take on Purcell, presenting some of his most famous dances and vocal pieces in versions that emphasise folk roots and folk styles of playing and singing...Invigorating and controversial.” The Times