The best viol ensemble in the world
From Upbeat, 1:00 pm on 30 April 2018
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Listen duration 31′ :26″
The viol consort Phantasm is one of the world’s most renowned early music ensembles. The group is in New Zealand at the moment, as part of a five-centre tour for Chamber Music New Zealand. David Morriss talks to its director and founder Laurence Dreyfus about the history of the viol and the two discuss their fondness for early recordings and the delights of music of a bygone era.
Phantasm is delighted to welcome into its ranks viol player Heidi Gröger, who has already appeared with Phantasm as a guest artist at the Trigonale Festival in Austria, at the Wigmore Hall in London and at the Heinrich-Schütz-Festival in Dresden.
Born in Eichstätt (Bavaria), Heidi Gröger studied viola da gamba with Philippe Pierlot and baroque cello with Jaap ter Linden at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, where she was awarded her Master’s degree with distinction. She later won leading prizes at international early music competitions in van Wassenaer (2004) York (2005) and the Biaggio-Marini-Wettbewerb (2003 and 2007).
Having played in Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Vocale, the Berlin Baroque Soloists and Harmonie Universelle, she founded her own chamber Ensemble Fleury which recorded Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concerts for Sony Classics on a ‘golden’ viola da gamba with eight strings. In collaboration with Johannes Weiss, she is artistic and executive director of the Musikfest Eichstätt (http://www.musikfest-eichstaett.de), an annual summer festival in her home town, where Phantasm makes its debut in 2018.
Since 2011 Heidi teaches viola da gamba at the Frankfurt Music Conservatoire and makes her home in Berlin, where she is especially fond of bespoke cocktails, even those concoted in smoky bars. Summers find her giving regular masterclasses in the "Vielklang" in Tübingen and directing her treasured summer courses held in the beautiful Schloss Seehaus in Franconia, southern Germany, where she invited Phantasm director Laurence Dreyfus to join her spreading the blessings of serious viol consort playing.
We look forward to many years of fruitful collaboration and joyous music-making with Heidi!
Having been named Diapason d'or by French Diapason music magazine in October, Phantasm's CD of Dowland's Lachrimae was awarded the prestigious annual prize in the category Early Music - the Diapason d'or de l'année on 22 November 2017. Director Laurence Dreyfus was in Paris to receive the award at a ceremony broadcast live on the radio station France-Musique where he was interviewed by journalists on air about Phantasm's approach to this marvelous collection. Phantasm's disc engineered by LINN Records producer Philip Hobbs was also awarded a prize by Diapason in its December issue for its exceptional sound quality.
Phantasm's CD of Dowland's Lachrimae with Elizabeth Kenny, lute, has been awarded the 2017 Gramophone Award for Early Music. Since their founding in 1994, Phantasm's discs have been nominated for 11 Awards and have been winners for the recordings of Henry Purcell and Orlando Gibbons. The Award for the Dowland disc is their third.
These are poignant performances of music steeped in melancholy and given a deep beauty by Elizabeth Kenny and Phantasm, led by Laurence Dreyfus: a really wonderful Dowland recording. http://www.gramophone.co.uk/feature/best-new-classical-albums-august-2016