“The period instruments of the Toronto-based Aradia Baroque Ensemble provide spry, vibrant accompaniment…The voices sing with relish, fluency and refined inflection of the words, and Kevin Mallon directs with a good rhythmic bounce and an acute ear for apt phrasing” Daily Telegraph
“The Canadian vocal and instrumental Aradia Ensemble, under its director Kevin Mallon, performs stylishly and with sensibility.” Classic FM Magazine
“There’s so much pleasure to be had from Purcell’s semi-operas that it’s easy to wish we had more of them. Much of The Tempest is thought to have been written by other hands, but that’s no reason for refusing to give it shelf-room. The score is cast in the same mould as Purcell’s fully accredited dramatic works and offers a similar range of music. Director Kevin Mallon doesn’t fuss over shaping the slower music, and the fast numbers go with plenty of zest. The ensemble includes oboes, recorders and bassoons, quite sparingly used, and bells for the setting of Ariel’s ‘Full fathom five’.
The line-up of solo singers has no weak links and a few real strengths. Brett Polegato may lack authority in the role of Neptune, but sings with a fine, warm, well-rounded tone. Meredith Hall brings a winning sensitivity to the long solo ‘Halcyon days’ and finds an ideal soprano partner in the young Gillian Keith. Purcell’s setting of ‘If ever I more riches did desire’ and his Trumpet Sonata No 2 are substantial makeweights. The recording acoustic is more church than theatre, but lively enough. Recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide
“Mallon’s new recordings with his Canadian period instrument ensemble offers honest, unfussy readings…while the Aradia Ensemble rarely wants for urbanity, warmth and clarity, a certain under-characterisation can merge one concerto into another.”
BBC Music Magazine, April 2013