In 1980, fascinated by the colours and sounds that period instruments could bring to Baroque music, a twenty-year-old music student at Cambridge University gathered together a small choir and ensemble to present a series of concerts. The programmes were acclaimed, the public attended in large numbers, and The King’s Consort was born. Two years later in London, Robert King’s ensemble became a professional orchestra and choir. As it discovered and performed new repertoire, so TKC’s reputation spread. In 1987, having given many concerts, and after making a handful of recordings for smaller companies, Robert King proposed four projects to the founder of Hyperion. Ted Perry’s reaction was immediate: ‘I like all four: we’ll record them.’ The first disc, of duets by Purcell and Blow, became the first of a series of best-sellers.
Ninety Hyperion CD releases later, containing music from across more than 250 years, The King’s Consort is one of the world’s most recorded period-instrument orchestras, releasing a huge and colourful array of repertoire from the Baroque and Classical eras, selling more than a million discs and winning a vast array of international awards. TKC has given thousands of concerts in five continents of the world—in North and South America, the Far East, a toe-dip into Asia, in almost every European country and, of course, widely across the British Isles—performing in many of the greatest concert halls and festivals across the globe. TKC has staged operas as far apart as Paris and Tokyo, played before Kings, Queens, Presidents, Ambassadors and hundreds of thousands of music lovers, recorded for Hollywood and broadcast to millions on television and radio, always presenting works—both familiar and unfamiliar—with its vital, infectious performing style.
As TKC celebrates its 25th anniversary, we hope you will enjoy this wonderfully varied selection of its music (which opens with a thrilling ‘taster’ of delights to come in the autumn of 2005 with the fourth volume of Monteverdi’s sacred music).