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Philippe Pierlot - Ferrabosco & Byrd: Consort Music

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Ferrabosco & Byrd: Consort Music

William Byrd - Alfonso Ferrabosco II

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Here's a two-for-one reissue that makes sense rather than just suggesting an attempt to wring the last few dollars, euros, or yen out of recordings that have run their course. The two CDs were made (apparently) separately in the late '90s, with countertenor James Bowman and soprano Susan Hamilton, respectively, joining Belgium's Ricercar Consort. Contrary to the ordering on the cover, the first disc, featuring Bowman, is dedicated to Byrd, the second, with Hamilton, to Alfonso Ferrabosco II. (Actually, several anonymous works are included on both discs.) Viol consort music was, in the intentionally vague words of the sixteenth century motto reproduced as the title of the booklet essay, "apt for viols and voices." It was a music for sophisticated amateurs who might perform the polyphony with whatever forces were available; the solo voice (not always on top) plus viols configuration must have been a common one. Both singers blend so subtly into the group of viols that each seems almost like one more viol. The real fascination of this two-disc release is that it leads you into some of the stylistic distinctions among the composers who worked in this rather intellectual tradition. Alfonso Ferrabosco II, an Italian who came to England to serve the British crown, was a generation younger than William Byrd, the king of all composers for viols and one whose inward nature responded passionately to the genre. Ferrabosco's music represents an elaboration on the classic style represented by Byrd; the second disc includes complex all-instrumental pieces like the Fantasia on the hexachord, chromatically cycling through different statements of a six-note subject in such a way as to suggest that some variant of equal temperament was known to the first people who played the piece. Even in vocal pieces Ferrabosco's music comes off as more extreme than Byrd's, more aimed toward startling the listener. The Ricercar Consort clarifies the details of the music in other ways, as well; antiphonal effects usually hidden in viol recordings are carefully delineated through the placement of the players in relation to the microphones, and the presence of the unusual lyra-viol employed by Ferrabosco, with a rich sound generated by vibrating open strings, is worth the purchase price by itself. The texts of the consort songs have a distinctive refined melancholy, and the Ricercar Consort draws that melancholy out with deliberate, perfectly controlled performances on period instruments. The whole set is lovely, and even over two discs of fairly homogeneous music it never becomes dull. A strong candidate for a viol consort purchase if you're going to make just one.
© TiVo

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Ferrabosco & Byrd: Consort Music

Philippe Pierlot

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1
O Seath Rock Me Asleep
James Bowman
00:03:14

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

2
Come Tread the Paths
James Bowman
00:03:21

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

3
Quis Me Statim
James Bowman
00:02:26

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

4
My Little Sweet Darling
James Bowman
00:01:26

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

5
Fantasia a 6 (II)
James Bowman
00:05:25

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

6
Wretched Albinus
James Bowman
00:03:28

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

7
Rejoice Unto the Lord
James Bowman
00:03:33

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

8
Fair Britain Isle
James Bowman
00:06:33

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

9
In Nomine a 4
James Bowman
00:02:28

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

10
Born Is the Babe
James Bowman
00:02:15

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

11
Triumph With Plesant Melody
James Bowman
00:03:39

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

12
Lullaby, My Sweet Little Baby
James Bowman
00:05:43

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

13
Fantasia a 5
James Bowman
00:03:05

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

14
Ye Sacred Muses
James Bowman
00:03:53

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

15
Complain With Tears
James Bowman
00:02:31

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

16
Fie, Fie, My Fate
James Bowman
00:01:46

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

17
In Paradise
James Bowman
00:06:13

James Bowman, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - William Byrd, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

18
Four-Note Pavan "Hear Me O God"
Denis Pierlot
00:07:10

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

19
In Nomine a 5
Denis Pierlot
00:03:59

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

20
Fantasia In Nomine a 6
Denis Pierlot
00:06:11

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

21
Sweet Was the Song the Virgin Sung
Denis Pierlot
00:03:07

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

22
Allmand - Gaillard - Coranto
Denis Pierlot
00:08:52

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

23
This Merry Pleasant Spring
Denis Pierlot
00:02:20

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

24
Dovehouse Pavan a 5
Denis Pierlot
00:04:29

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

25
Cuckoo
Denis Pierlot
00:01:24

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

26
When Daphne From Fair Phoebus Did Fly
Denis Pierlot
00:04:48

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

27
Fantasia a 4
Denis Pierlot
00:03:46

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

28
Alas, Alack, My Heart Is Woe
Denis Pierlot
00:02:20

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

29
Fantasia a 6
Denis Pierlot
00:04:14

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

30
Why Stays the Bridegroom
Denis Pierlot
00:02:09

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

31
Pavan
Denis Pierlot
00:04:24

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

32
Why Stays the Bridegroom (Ornamented Version)
Denis Pierlot
00:02:28

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

33
Fantasia On the Hexachord
Denis Pierlot
00:04:27

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

34
Farewell the Bliss
Denis Pierlot
00:04:47

Susan Hamilton, Performer - Ricercar Consort, Performer - Philippe Pierlot, Performer - Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Composer

Outhere / 1999 Ricercar

Album Description

Here's a two-for-one reissue that makes sense rather than just suggesting an attempt to wring the last few dollars, euros, or yen out of recordings that have run their course. The two CDs were made (apparently) separately in the late '90s, with countertenor James Bowman and soprano Susan Hamilton, respectively, joining Belgium's Ricercar Consort. Contrary to the ordering on the cover, the first disc, featuring Bowman, is dedicated to Byrd, the second, with Hamilton, to Alfonso Ferrabosco II. (Actually, several anonymous works are included on both discs.) Viol consort music was, in the intentionally vague words of the sixteenth century motto reproduced as the title of the booklet essay, "apt for viols and voices." It was a music for sophisticated amateurs who might perform the polyphony with whatever forces were available; the solo voice (not always on top) plus viols configuration must have been a common one. Both singers blend so subtly into the group of viols that each seems almost like one more viol. The real fascination of this two-disc release is that it leads you into some of the stylistic distinctions among the composers who worked in this rather intellectual tradition. Alfonso Ferrabosco II, an Italian who came to England to serve the British crown, was a generation younger than William Byrd, the king of all composers for viols and one whose inward nature responded passionately to the genre. Ferrabosco's music represents an elaboration on the classic style represented by Byrd; the second disc includes complex all-instrumental pieces like the Fantasia on the hexachord, chromatically cycling through different statements of a six-note subject in such a way as to suggest that some variant of equal temperament was known to the first people who played the piece. Even in vocal pieces Ferrabosco's music comes off as more extreme than Byrd's, more aimed toward startling the listener. The Ricercar Consort clarifies the details of the music in other ways, as well; antiphonal effects usually hidden in viol recordings are carefully delineated through the placement of the players in relation to the microphones, and the presence of the unusual lyra-viol employed by Ferrabosco, with a rich sound generated by vibrating open strings, is worth the purchase price by itself. The texts of the consort songs have a distinctive refined melancholy, and the Ricercar Consort draws that melancholy out with deliberate, perfectly controlled performances on period instruments. The whole set is lovely, and even over two discs of fairly homogeneous music it never becomes dull. A strong candidate for a viol consort purchase if you're going to make just one.
© TiVo

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