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BYRD/ROSE CONSORT OF VIOLS
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
to misquote slightly the first vocal number on this disc. This is a really superlative production in every respect except that the words are not provided for the vocal items (the words of the anonymous The Silver Swan are worth knowing!). Even the liner note, by John Bryan, is excellent, which proves what I had never doubted, namely that the thing can be done on a budget label. There are nearly 70 minutes of music here, and the plan seems to have been to give as broad a representation as possible of the output of this notable composer. There are 23 items in total, featuring music for accompanied solo voice and 5-part ensemble, keyboard compositions played on three different types of instrument, and items for viol ensembles of 2,3,4,and 6 instruments. Thought and care has obviously gone into the sequencing of the pieces, and the recital ends powerfully with a 5-part anthem `Glorious and Powerful God' led off by a gent with a truly terrific bass voice. One notable inclusion is an...
This is a handsomely played and beautifully recorded disc. The Rose Consort of Viols aptly catches the inherent melancholy of Gibbons style while Tessa Bonner sings ethereally as usual. With singing of Bonner's purity, as in "Silver Swanne", who needs texts? This is more than a bargain; it is a wonderful introduction to the deeply touching music of Orlando Gibbons.
The music of Orlando Gibbons represents the English response to radical changes that stemmed largely from Italy in the age of the birth of opera and a move away from the contrapunctal complexities of previous centuries. Whereas the Italian tended to write gradiose and radical works such of those by Monteverdi, the English tended to write music that was stylistically old-fashioned by the standards of the times, unostentatious with its preference for the sounds of the viol consort that helped make it so intimately poetic and evocative. The madrigal The Silver Swan is one of the most famous examples of English music of its time.
We really should rejoice over the fact that Naxos has this superb recording in its catalog. The music making here is first rate in every possible way. Of course Tesser Bonner is a regular with none other than the Tallis Scholars, testifying to the fact that Naxos is above all a quality label. In particular I really do love the way Bonner uses period...
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