Given the excellence of the music tucked away in Henry Purcell’s Royal Welcome Songs – those majestical, if frequently fawning eulogies on the Stuart monarchy – it seems remarkable that The Sixteen’s series represents only the second time an ensemble has attempted a proper survey. Robert King’s excellent Hyperion accounts, which include Purcell’s various extended Odes, are rightly benchmarks here, but Harry Christophers’ adroit programming, which frames the Welcome Songs with appropriately themed or contemporaneous sacred and theatre music, makes a case for acquiring both. That’s quite apart from The Sixteen’s delightful performances.

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Christophers has chosen to focus each issue on one of Purcell’s three rulers: Charles II, James II, or – though we haven’t got to her yet – Queen...