"...a remarkable feat of artistic empathy..." Ivan Hewitt

On March 26 Daniel Harding conducts George Benjamin’s realisations of Purcell at the Isarphilharmonie in Munich, with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Three Consorts was first performed by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the BBC Proms in August 2021.

A 12-minute piece for chamber orchestra, Three Consorts is the second time Benjamin has transcribed Purcell’s music. In 1995 he arranged the middle movement Fantazia 7 for the Aldeburgh Festival for cello, clarinet, violin, and celesta; he remarks that it was a piece whose ‘mesmerising intersection of line and harmony… changed my path as a composer’. The final Purcell piece in this triptych of realisations, Fantazia on One Note, was also part of the 1995 ‘Purcell Garland’ at Aldeburgh – though then in a version by Oliver Knussen. Benjamin talks more about his music and Henry Purcell in this Radio France podcast.


‘Benjamin’s subtle additions of muted horn and layerings of orchestral colour gently heightened all this, without losing the music’s essential muted gravity – a remarkable feat of artistic empathy as well as skill’ The Daily Telegraph (Ivan Hewitt ) 28  August 2021