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Fretwork|Matthew Locke: The Flat Consort

Matthew Locke: The Flat Consort

Fretwork, David Miller & Silas Wollston

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With playful and inventive melodies, The Flat Consort is full of whimsy, romance and flair. There’s no shadow of a doubt that this is the highlight of the musical catalogue of Matthew Locke, the great master of English Baroque and predecessor of Henry Purcell (whose musical ventures he likely encouraged). Trained at Exeter Cathedral, the young Locke carved his name into the stone surrounding the organ. This graffiti is still visible today and is now proudly displayed on the cover of this recording by Fretwork, a consort of viols that celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary with this new album recorded in Cambridge in May 2021.

As a composer for the stage, Matthew Locke wrote ‘masques’, a traditional type of English entertainment that included dance, poetry and song to celebrate special events. He also worked with the most prominent figures in London's musical society. In addition to his dramatic music, he also left behind several volumes of sacred music and music for viol consorts.

The five suites of Flat Consort “for my cousin Kemble,” as the creator called it, employ a varied instrumentation that includes not only various viols, but also the harpsichord (Silas Wollston), archlute and theorbo (David Miller). The Flat Consort represents both the grand finale and the pinnacle of a great tradition born one hundred and fifty years earlier.

Still little known and rarely recorded, this album punctuates these suites with the four austere and unaccompanied Duos pour deux violes de gambe, all of which ooze the bleak melancholy of the late 17th century. Hopefully, this exemplary recording will mark the beginning of a resurgence of Matthew Locke's consort works. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Matthew Locke: The Flat Consort

Fretwork

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1
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: I. Fantazia
00:03:13

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

2
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: II. Courante
00:01:25

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

3
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: III. Fantazia
00:02:21

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

4
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: IV. Saraband
00:00:37

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

5
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: V. Fantazia
00:01:37

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

6
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: VI. Jigg
00:01:01

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

7
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: I. Fantazia
00:01:36

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

8
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: II. Fantazia
00:01:39

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

9
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: III. Courant
00:01:35

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

10
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: IV. Fantazia
00:01:26

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

11
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: V. Fantazia
00:01:33

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

12
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: VI. Saraband
00:00:54

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

13
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: I. Fantazia
00:02:56

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

14
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: II. Courant
00:01:42

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

15
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: III. Fantazia
00:03:04

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

16
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: IV. Saraband
00:00:52

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

17
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: V. Fantazia
00:02:31

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

18
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: VI. Jigg
00:01:16

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

19
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: I. Fantazia
00:03:36

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

20
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: II. Courante
00:01:34

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

21
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: III. Fantazia
00:03:01

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

22
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: IV. Saraband
00:01:49

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

23
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: I. Fantazia
00:01:26

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

24
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: II. Fantazia
00:01:13

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

25
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: III. Courant
00:01:11

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

26
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: IV. Fantazia
00:01:15

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

27
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: V. Fantazia
00:01:14

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

28
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: VI. Saraband
00:00:54

Nicholas Parker, Producer - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

29
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: I. Fantazia
00:03:06

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

30
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: II. Galliard
00:01:21

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

31
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: III. Fantazia
00:03:37

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

32
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: IV. Saraband
00:01:35

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

33
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: I. Fantazia
00:03:18

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

34
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: II. Galliard
00:01:18

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

35
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: III. Fantazia
00:02:50

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

36
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: IV. Saraband
00:01:42

Nicholas Parker, Producer - David Miller , MainArtist - Matthew Locke, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Silas Wollston, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Records (P) 2022 Signum Records

Descripción del álbum

With playful and inventive melodies, The Flat Consort is full of whimsy, romance and flair. There’s no shadow of a doubt that this is the highlight of the musical catalogue of Matthew Locke, the great master of English Baroque and predecessor of Henry Purcell (whose musical ventures he likely encouraged). Trained at Exeter Cathedral, the young Locke carved his name into the stone surrounding the organ. This graffiti is still visible today and is now proudly displayed on the cover of this recording by Fretwork, a consort of viols that celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary with this new album recorded in Cambridge in May 2021.

As a composer for the stage, Matthew Locke wrote ‘masques’, a traditional type of English entertainment that included dance, poetry and song to celebrate special events. He also worked with the most prominent figures in London's musical society. In addition to his dramatic music, he also left behind several volumes of sacred music and music for viol consorts.

The five suites of Flat Consort “for my cousin Kemble,” as the creator called it, employ a varied instrumentation that includes not only various viols, but also the harpsichord (Silas Wollston), archlute and theorbo (David Miller). The Flat Consort represents both the grand finale and the pinnacle of a great tradition born one hundred and fifty years earlier.

Still little known and rarely recorded, this album punctuates these suites with the four austere and unaccompanied Duos pour deux violes de gambe, all of which ooze the bleak melancholy of the late 17th century. Hopefully, this exemplary recording will mark the beginning of a resurgence of Matthew Locke's consort works. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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