Daniel Taylor; Theatre of Early Music
RCA Red Seal 88697727222
As founder and artistic director of the Montreal-based Theatre of Early Music (TEM) and a singer of international renown with over 60 recordings to his credit, Canadian countertenor Daniel Taylor is now at a point in his career where, on the Sony label, he headlines a recording that counts among its vocal performers Dame Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance and Charles Daniels as well as Carol Sampson and Neal Davies. Drawing on repertoire inspired by, referred to or performed in the plays of Shakespeare, this is a delightful and varied collection of solos, duets and madrigals complemented by adept instrumentalists from two different ensembles: TEM’s Elizabeth Kenny and Jacob Heringman on lute and Fretwork’s Richard Boothby and Richard Campbell on viola da gamba. A most wonderful confluence occurs in the various combinations of voices as in Orlando Gibbons’ The Silver Swan and particularly when countertenors Taylor and Chance duet in Robert Jones’ Sweet Kate and Thomas Morley’s Sweet nymph, come to thy lover. Purcell’s By Beauteous softness and If music be the food of love as well as Johnson’s Full Fathom Five are interpreted with tender affect by Taylor, Sampson and Davies respectively. Charles Daniels is given the title track and Emma Kirby adds a light-hearted flavour to Now what is love? This collection, recorded in London, is highly recommended as a feast of love for a mid-summer’s night.