Author Topic: Early English Instrumental Music  (Read 26317 times)

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Online Que

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #160 on: October 30, 2018, 10:32:51 AM »


Phantasm play Matthew Locke, a brand new release. For those who know Phantasm, and their tendency for incisive articulation rather than fluidity and lyricism, will get what they’re expecting from this recording. It’s fascating to compare what the do with Locke with Fretwork and Savall.

The question which I’m trying to think about, so far with no clear success, is how well this style brings out the best in relatively late, Italianate, almost Frescabaldian music like Locke’s.

I'm a Fretwork fan....  :)
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #161 on: October 30, 2018, 10:57:52 AM »
I'm a Fretwork fan....  :)

I've been listening to their second Purcell recording -- it's really very good. On the whole I think Fretwork are outstanding in this later Italianate music.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #162 on: November 17, 2018, 11:32:05 AM »


A rather good Lawes CD from Anthony Rooley here, warmly recorded, sober, Lawes is for me a very challenging composer but The Consort of Musicke have found the right groove IMO
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Offline milk

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #163 on: November 21, 2018, 04:44:29 AM »
Have you heard this?



Richard Egarr recorded some Gibbons for the same label as his Louis Couperin. I have a rather good transfer of the Hogwood, better than the commercial transfer though with a bit of LP noise - I can always let you have it if you want. I like Daniel-Ben Pienaar’s performances very much. Gibbons’s instrumental music is I think, hard to get off the page.
I had missed your post. I did acquire the Hogwood. Thanks for the offer. It's very is enjoyable.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #164 on: December 14, 2018, 08:29:04 AM »
         

Quote from: Gio here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Locke-Consort-Fower-Parts-Fretwork/dp/B000005GGT/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544802286&sr=8-1&keywords=fretwork+locke
. . . but the general mood of the music is more philosophical than lusty.

This comment is from a customer review for the Fretwork CD on amazon. And he's right, and it pinpoints one essential difference between between their conception of Locke, or maybe of all Italianate late baroque music, and that of Phantasm. Which is more stylish I cannot say. But I can say that I find the suppleness and smoothness of Fretwork's approach rather beguiling. Phantasm, with a more sharp edged articulation and a less sweet, harder tone, are more demanding and less relaxing certainly. Does that make them more modern?

Also, it may or may not be relevant to point out that  Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, now on this latest Locke CD with Phantasm, recorded Jenkins and possibly other things with Fretwork. As far as I know, the leak is one way: Phantasm has lost no personnel to Fretwork.

This is, in fact, Phantasm's second Locke recording, as if proof were needed of their commitment to making sense of the composer's music.  Can someone let me have the first so I can hear the evolution?



« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 12:14:04 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #165 on: December 17, 2018, 01:02:51 AM »


Bernard Klapprott plays Thomas Tomkins variations on Fortune my Foe. This was Tomkins final work, and a magnum opus, yet there are only two recordings I think - this and Carol Cerasi.

I didn't get much joy from either Cerasi or  Klapprott, but here's a promising one by the imaginative Gerard van Reenen, whose Pachelbel was more than interesting


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/upbI2HUoigQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/upbI2HUoigQ</a>

He writes


Quote
Byrd, Gibbons, Morley, Bull, Farnaby and others . . .  wrote their pieces for the virginals, but we may interpret this as for all keyboard instruments (virginal, harpsichord, organ, regals, clavichord). The harmonium did not exist during that time, but I dare to play this piece on that instrument. I play with an "old" interpretation and I have tuned my harmonium in mean-tone temperament.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 01:04:44 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #166 on: December 17, 2018, 01:08:29 AM »
And here's the same performer on a harpsichord with Barafostus's Dream, which has probably fared rather better on record than the above variations because of Leonhardt's recording.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/dDTD9s0OiQo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/dDTD9s0OiQo</a>
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #167 on: January 24, 2019, 12:34:17 AM »

This is, in fact, Phantasm's second Locke recording, as if proof were needed of their commitment to making sense of the composer's music.



This is played less for thrill, less vigorously, more peacefully and lyrically than their later recording, to me they feel very much at ease with themselves and the music, relaxed about playing it. I haven't checked but maybe the line up was different, maturer, in the first recording.  The sound of the ensemble is more sinewy in the later recording, the harmonies more interestingly crunchy, which suites their wired interpretation.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 01:08:21 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #168 on: February 18, 2019, 10:47:22 PM »


The first thing to say is that the harpsichord sounds beautiful and is well recorded. Timothy Roberts knows how to play it - he can make lots of different colours and attacks. His style is sobre, authoritative and classical, I mean that there’s a sense of control, confidence and poise - like the control, confidence and poise of the archetypical English gentleman in fact, Steady Steed. Tempo is well judged and natural.  You could, I think, say that Roberts is didactic almost - as if he’s demonstrating to his listeners how the music unfolds, showing us the music’s structure. But the quality of his playing, his good judgement and indeed the quality of the music stopped me from reproaching him his bloodlessness, stopped me from imagining that the music was being telephoned in from afar, and stopped me from ever thinking I was back at school.

Timothy Roberts is the same sort of ilk as Richard Lester.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 10:50:02 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Que

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #169 on: February 18, 2019, 11:00:09 PM »


The first thing to say is that the harpsichord sounds beautiful and is well recorded. Timothy Roberts knows how to play it - he can make lots of different colours and attacks. His style is sobre, authoritative and classical, I mean that there’s a sense of control, confidence and poise - like the control, confidence and poise of the archetypical English gentleman in fact, Steady Steed. Tempo is well judged and natural.  You could, I think, say that Roberts is didactic almost - as if he’s demonstrating to his listeners how the music unfolds, showing us the music’s structure. But the quality of his playing, his good judgement and indeed the quality of the music stopped me from reproaching him his bloodlessness, stopped me from imagining that the music was being telephoned in from afar, and stopped me from ever thinking I was back at school.

Timothy Roberts is the same sort of ilk as Richard Lester.

I'm very fond of that recording - one of my favourites in English harpsichord.

Q
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Offline JCBuckley

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #170 on: February 19, 2019, 06:36:21 AM »
I'm very fond of that recording - one of my favourites in English harpsichord.

Q

+ 1

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #171 on: February 23, 2019, 06:47:28 AM »


A  contrasting view of Farnaby here. Hantai gives it colour, swagger and bite. I think this was the first thing that Hantai recorded, and IMO is possibly THE most important harpsichord release of the past 50 years, heralding the free, fluid and virtuosic style which Hantai and Glen Wilson subsequently explored in other music.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 11:13:09 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #172 on: February 27, 2019, 02:29:45 PM »


The organ at Saint-Thomas de Cantorbéry in Mont Saint Aignan is 17th century originally, reconstructed back to how it was then, meantone,  details here

http://www.lesmeslanges.org/documents/orgue.pdf

I knew Thilo Muster before through a Guilan CD, this Bull recording was released last year. Very incisive playing, attractive and imaginative registrations I’d say, sometimes the pulse is unyielding, maybe hard to avoid in this music, and anyway what he does full of life and even ecstatic / hypnotic at times, in some of the big pieces, fantasias and in nomines, he’s very good at making the transitions flow naturally.

Here’s the organist’s website

http://thilomuster.info/bio-2/

Fabulous sound.

This is worth hearing I think.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 02:43:18 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Que

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #173 on: February 27, 2019, 10:39:50 PM »


The organ at Saint-Thomas de Cantorbéry in Mont Saint Aignan is 17th century originally, reconstructed back to how it was then, meantone,  details here

http://www.lesmeslanges.org/documents/orgue.pdf

I knew Thilo Muster before through a Guilan CD, this Bull recording was released last year. Very incisive playing, attractive and imaginative registrations I’d say, sometimes the pulse is unyielding, maybe hard to avoid in this music, and anyway what he does full of life and even ecstatic / hypnotic at times, in some of the big pieces, fantasias and in nomines, he’s very good at making the transitions flow naturally.

Here’s the organist’s website

http://thilomuster.info/bio-2/

Fabulous sound.

This is worth hearing I think.

I'm more generous in my judgement: a superb performance and, considering the special organ, a unique recording!  :)

Not that really matters...but the recording was (originally) issued in 2012 - I got my copy over three years ago.

Q
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #174 on: February 28, 2019, 12:13:33 AM »
Thanks Q, I only found out about it last week and saw 2018, that must have referred to it’s transfer to a stream.

 

Two harpsichord only CDs pretty well devoted to fantasias by Byrd and  Farnaby. Fantasia here denotes a genre in which simple variation and imitation of a motif gradually accelerates, and in the end, the density and rapidity of notes is so intense that the formal rails are transcended, like an aeroplane taking flight, slowly on the runway and then faster and faster . . . .

A whole CD of this sort of music may sound a bit academic and off putting, but it has the potential to be like an Art of the Fugue avant la lettre. 

Wilson has an impressive bravura technique, something which here may well be a sine qua non. He can show imagination in the way he embelishes the music with rubato and with ornaments. He has a wonderful Hantaï like capacity for making packets of notes leap out, like discharges of static electricity from a Van Der Graaf generator. Moreover he doesn’t shrink from underlining asperities and dissonances. He never loses the thread in what is very complex music.

Wilson has a tendency to pound, as if he’s got his boots on the keyboard. For both Byrd and for Farnaby, he chose to use a copy of a Ruckers harpsichord, with the typical rich tones of a Dutch instrument. I wonder if this sense of heavy handedness is a consequence of his choice of instrument - he may have been better off with a virginal, an Italian harpsichord or an organ.

The sound is fine, particularly in the Byrd.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 12:29:59 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #175 on: March 08, 2019, 11:04:10 PM »


An astonishing organ rendition of Bull’s Ut re mi fa sol la (God save the king) here, somehow Rampe makes it sound like a Shostakovich scherzo, with a repeating motif like a battering ram. He takes it fast on an organ.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Instrumental Music
« Reply #176 on: March 11, 2019, 12:23:47 AM »


William Cranford. (fl. 1613-1621) was long dead when Henry Purcell was born (Purcell:1659– 1695) Nevertheless his sequence of viol fantasias are every bit as contrapuntally and textually interesting as Purcell's -- I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Purcell was paying homage to him when he wrote them.

The notes in the recording by Le Strange Viols say that

Quote
Perhaps because Cranford’s musical style
is so idiomatic to a particularly insular vein of
Stuart consort music, it has not yet found the
popularity among modern listeners enjoyed by
the brash and flamboyant William Lawes or the
incredibly prolific and cultivated John Jenkins.
Gordon Dodd’s characterization of Cranford’s
music as “pointilliste” and “mechanical” has
managed to cast a shadow, perhaps, across
Cranford’s evident enjoyment of unique textures
and droll sequences of close imitation. Cranford’s
fantasias reveal an astonishing breadth of internal
contrasts and subtle use of an often strikingly
modern-sounding harmonic palette, such as his
conspicuous use of modal mixture in the opening
of the fourth fantasia a4. His consort music is also
quite technically demanding, requiring frequent
forays above the frets in the treble parts and the
nimble execution of tricky divisions in the close
quarters of dense ensemble textures

For my part I much prefer his consort music to the so called "brash and flamboyant William Lawes" (I wish Lawes were a bit more brash and flamboyant in fact.) The booklet essay by Lauren Ludwig is spot on I'd say when she comments on

Quote
. . .  Cranford’s evident enjoyment of unique textures
and droll sequences of close imitation. Cranford’s
fantasias reveal an astonishing breadth of internal contrasts and subtle use of an often strikingly
modern-sounding harmonic palette. . .

as was a gentleman of the C 17, Dudley North, who praised Cranford's music for its

Quote
gravity,
majesty, honey-dew spirit, and variety


The Le Strange consort, New York musicians, are well able to play the music and they have a good set of instruments. For me this recording is a major discovery -- in fact I may end up preferring the sequence to Purcell's!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 05:13:32 AM by Mandryka »
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