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William Lawes: Consorts to the Organ / Phantasm Viol Consort

Audio Samples

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in G minor (no 1)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in A minor (no 2)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in C minor (no 3)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in C major (no 5)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in G minor (no 6)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in F major (no 8)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in B flat major (no 9)

Album Summary

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in G minor (no 1)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in A minor (no 2)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in C minor (no 3)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in C major (no 5)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in G minor (no 6)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in F major (no 8)
>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in B flat major (no 9)
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'...the playing is quite simply divine.' - Gramophone 'Consorts to the Organ' honors the celebrated English Renaissance composer William Lawes and includes a selection of the Five- and Six-Part sets, some versions of which are premiere recordings. These works, the pinnacle of Lawes' achievement, challenged the musical rules of the day; his imagination and ingenuity created remarkable and enduring music. Phantasm is joined for this recording by regular contributors Emilia Benjamin (tenor viol) and Mikko Perkola (bass viol) plus guest musician Daniel Hyde (organ).The quartet's international members (from Britain, Finland and the US) are based in Oxford and have toured extensively throughout Europe, North America, and East Asia.

Sunday Times
Dreyfus's commentaries on these 23 pieces are as detailed as they are passionate...These two beautifully performed sets of fantasies, airs and pavans ...[are] full of suave angularities and delicious dissonances, captivating for liveliness and melancholy alike.

The Telegraph, August 2012
This new recording wins the palm. The balance between viols and organ is far superior, and the group is more attuned to the emotional extremes under the music's grave surface. Their performance of the Aire from the Set a6 in G is nearly twice as fast as [Hesperion XXI's], and is gripped by an astonishing, stinging intensity.

American Record Guide, November/December 2012
Phantasm, founded in 1994 by Laurence Dreyfus, is one of the outstanding ensembles of its kind. They have been based at Oxford\ University since 2005, when they were appointed consort in residence. In 2010 theybecame consort in residence at Magdalen College, Oxford. Organist Daniel Hyde was appointed organist and Informator Choristarum at Magdalen in 2009.

BBC Music Magazine, September 2012
Phantasm and organist Daniel Hyde capture the mercurial nature of the music in these poised, erudite accounts, which include some unusual versions not previously available on CD. The players animate Lawes's stately dances with fleet rhythms, elucidate his dark counterpoint and create an aptly vaporous quality in his more haunting, ethereal pieces...Linn's surround-sound allows you to wallow in the midst of it all.

The Arts Desk, 22nd September 2012
The pieces for viol consort on this gorgeous Linn release are consistently astonishing. It's not just Phantasm's luxuriant sound - listening to a well-played viol ensemble is like bathing in warm chocolate - more that Lawes's music is so endlessly entertaining...The package is rendered complete by erudite, exuberant sleeve notes by Phantasm's director William [sic] Dreyfus, whose enthusiasm for Lawes's music is intoxicating.

Gramophone Magazine, February 2013
As on previous discs, Phantasm, under the direction of Laurence Dreyfus (tenor viol) with Daniel Hyde on the organ, give immaculate performances, not least in that elaborate Fantasia in C minor, described in the notes as the 'craggiest' movement built in fact exhilarating in the elaboration of its counterpoint...First-rate Linn recording.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011).



Reviews

Sextet of viols illuminates intricacies by Lawes
The intricate voices of six viols bring back to life the airs, fantasies, and dances by John Lawes from the early 17th century. These instruments, plus a portative organ, present the songs, pavans, and In Nomine compositions for appreciation by sophisticated audiences.


This music was designated for private audiences in the royal courts of England. The internationally-acclaimed musicians bring interpretation and skill to the themes, variations, and counterpoints, astounding the unsuspecting listener. The booklet written by director/performer Laurence Dreyfus guides the reader through the maze and humor of Lawes’ unconventional compositions. It details the particulars of viol construction, availability during musical periods, and the kinds of audiences who had the privilege of hearing these compositions when they were new. The tracks are described regarding the fine points of construction and style for each composition in a fun, “tongue-in-cheek” manner. Some are perky, others mellow, and the entire group well-blended.


Audiences for this CD will be those who study these period instruments, history aficionados, harmony hounds, and string students. Even though these pieces and instruments vary in detail and contrast, the sound is remarkably similar. The resulting program has a “sameness”, blending into a lovely, homogeneous, soothing event. While these are fascinating instruments, labyrinthine compositions, and exceptionally talented musicians, there may be a limited market for audiences of this genre. Even so, this recording would make a good background for a party or reception.

Submitted on 10/11/12 by howsweetthesound 
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Works Details

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in G minor (no 1)
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Viol); Daniel Hyde (Organ)
  • Ensemble: Phantasm (Viol Consort)
  • Notes: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011)
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in A minor (no 2)
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Viol); Daniel Hyde (Organ)
  • Ensemble: Phantasm (Viol Consort)
  • Notes: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011)
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in C minor (no 3)
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Viol); Daniel Hyde (Organ)
  • Ensemble: Phantasm (Viol Consort)
  • Notes: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011)
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 5 in C major (no 5)
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Viol); Daniel Hyde (Organ)
  • Ensemble: Phantasm (Viol Consort)
  • Notes: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011)
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in G minor (no 6)
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Viol); Daniel Hyde (Organ)
  • Ensemble: Phantasm (Viol Consort)
  • Notes: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011)
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in F major (no 8)
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Viol); Daniel Hyde (Organ)
  • Ensemble: Phantasm (Viol Consort)
  • Notes: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011)
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Lawes, William [Composer] : Consort Sett a 6 in B flat major (no 9)
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Viol); Daniel Hyde (Organ)
  • Ensemble: Phantasm (Viol Consort)
  • Notes: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, England (08/30/2011-09/01/2011)
  • Period Time: Renaissance