Lawes – Consort In Four And Five Parts
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Editions consulted (1) William Lawes, Consort Sets in Five and Six Parts, ed. David Pinto, London: Faber, 1979. (2) Forthcoming edition of Lawes, For the Violls a4 by Mark Davenport (with thanks to the editor for making this available to us) Warning. Exposure to the consort music of William Lawes (1602-1645) is known to cause an addiction that can be difficult to cure. The symptoms? (1) An obsessive desire to play or hear Lawes at odd times of day; (2) a compulsive humming of snatches from the Fantazys and Aires; (3) unexplained melancholia connected to certain harmonic twists. At least this has been my experience with Lawes, though it wasnt always the case. When first playing Lawes, I found his music inscrutable, bizarre, and anarchic. Jamming one summer afternoon in 1975 with some eminent Lawesians who had assembled in Cambridge, I was counting like mad so as not to get lost in Lawes 6-part Setts and scarcely noticed Francis Baines repeated requests between pieces to borrow my rosin. I obliged but, ignorant of English circumlocution, failed to appreciate the meaning of his gesture. After an hour or so of an obscure game of pass the rosin, the young woman on my right was kind enough to whisper: Francis thinks youre playing too loud.
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BBC Music Magazine
(…) draws the listener into a world of sound which Dreyfus himself describes as inscrutable, bizarre and anarchic. (…) Phantasms spirited playing blows all the cobwebs away, and readers will find that they need no multi-syllable password to the wholehearted enjoyment of this wonderful music.
(…) the performances, technically and stylistically superb, are also intellectually and musical persuative.(…) (…) This recording sets new standards for consort playing. We must hope for more.
Inernational Record Review
(…) For those addicted to Lawes consort music (and for those who are not), this is not to be missed. Early Music Review (…) some of the most serious but also most adventurous music Lawes ever wrote (…) (…) Phantasm emphasize the musics essential vigour. (…)
(…) Een gamba-consort klinkt met zijn heldere, kleine volume als musicerende engelen. Het ensemble Phantasm bestaat uit zulke musicierende engelen, want zij spelen de muziek van Lawes beeldschoon.
(…) Phantasm play wonderfully richly without an organ, but the ensemble, tuning, balance and clarity of the viols is superb. (…)
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