Purcell heads up!
Purcell's dazzling duet Sound the Trumpet is on the bill at the Wigmore Hall (020 7935 2141) this Saturday (24th January) in a concert given by soprano Kate Royal and mezzo Christine Rice with pianist Roger Vignoles. Other Purcell songs include Lost is my quiet for ever and the self-deprecating What can we poor females do?. The concert also features duets by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Gounod, Chausson and Rossini. My money's on the latter's Cat Duet as an encore.
The following evening, Sunday 25 January, the same group is joined by counter-tenor James Bowman for a concert using the historic Kessler collection of viols at the Royal Academy of Music. The concert takes place in Duke's Hall (020 7873 7300). The late Dietrich Kessler would have been 80 this year. He worked as a viol-maker for Arnold Dolmetsch at Haslemere, Surrey, before setting up on his own at Welling in Kent. The instruments were a gift to the RAM and are too rarely played. Next Sunday is a golden opportunity to hear them.