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Classical - Released March 22, 2019 | Musica Ficta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
In a long lifetime that extended from the late Renaissance era through the early Baroque, John Jenkins saw major changes in the development of English chamber music, though many of these were of his own devising. Particularly in the field of consort music, Jenkins was industrious and innovative, reviving the traditional In Nomine and elaborating the form of the fantasy for viol consort, composing them in four, five, and six parts. For this 2019 release on Musica Ficta, Freek Borstlap and his viol consort, The Spirit of Gambo, present the Fantasies in Five Parts, a set of 17 pieces presented in a scheme based on their tonality, rather than in numerical order. Listeners who may not know of Jenkins may find his work similar in mood and style to the later and better-known fantasies of Henry Purcell, who undoubtedly benefitted from Jenkins' examples as much as from William Lawes' consort music. The lyrical lines and polished textures of Jenkins' fantasies were distinct from Lawes' more assertive and energetic style, and the variety of expressions and range of ideas put his fantasies among the finest English works of the early 17th century. The sound of the recording is quite clear and focused, though the consort's textures are softened by the resonant acoustics of the Doopsgezinde Kerk in Haarlem. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 12, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Marin Marais, "chamber viola player to the King", and a talented composer is the author of this rich work full of contrasts, which forms the bridge, in the French viola tradition, between the generation of pioneers (with Saint-Colombe at their head) and the generation of the last French viola players (such as Forqueray or Caix d'Hervelois). This selection gives us an insight into the art of Marais - who was recognised in his own time as a technically gifted and brilliant musician - by way of his two Livres de viole, published in 1717 and 1725 respectively. It was in this period, which was both especially artistically fruitful but also unstable and subject to all sorts of political, economic and social turmoil, that Marais brought out his two last works. This album brings together a good number of strikingly original pieces, in particular from the Suite d’un goût étranger, a real introduction to the world of tonalities. The viola responds very differently to different tones: each tonality has its own very particular effect in terms of musical rhetoric: the Paraza in D minor sounds opulent and full, the Badinage in F sharp minor fragile and uncertain. Special mention should also go to a rare and stunning piece called Le Tact, which requires a curious sort of left-handed pizzicato without any help from the right (which he calls "tact", a forerunner of very modern techniques). This is where Marais shows his particular genius, because he loves the instrument's sensitive, vulnerable instrument, which he explores with great poetry. Founded by theorbist Benjamin Perrot and the viola player Florence Bolton, La Rêveuse (taking its name from the final piece of this album) is an ensemble which specialises in the artistic heritage of the 17th and 18th Centuries, periods which are rich in experiences and artistic inventions of all kinds. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 20, 2016 | CPO

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Chamber Music - Released April 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Classical - Released December 1, 2012 | Brilliant Classics

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Chamber Music - Released September 6, 2011 | Glossa

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Classical - Released August 26, 2010 | Ricercar

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Classical - Released May 15, 2008 | Mirare

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Exceptional Sound Recording
Viol player Philippe Pierlot, a veteran of Jordi Savall's Hesperion XX, has also built a rich catalog of recordings on his own, and this 2008 disc coupling François Couperin's Pièces de Violes is another outstanding addition. Performing with violist Emmanuel Balssa, guitarist Eduardo Egüez, and harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï, Pierlot turns in readings that are thoughtful and playful, sorrowful and joyful, depending on the needs of the music. As befits his pedigree, Pierlot has a warm tone, a virtuoso technique, and a flexible sense of rhythm. Though his leadership is subtle, it is no less palpable, and the group's ensemble is tight but relaxed with an emphasis on beauty of tone and depth of interpretation over flash playing and emotional display. This approach suits Couperin's Pièces, which range from the dour to the delighted, but without ever stepping over the line into bathos or pathos. Recorded in close but evocative sound that puts the listener in the same room with the players (rather than close but cool sound that puts the players in the same room as the listener), this disc should be heard by anyone who enjoys the repertoire, the period, the instrument, or the players. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released October 20, 2006 | Natives