Early Music Forum

Just the sort of bitter-sweet repertoire for a snowy day in February, this CD opens a window on the full gamut of Elizabethan and Jacobean musical sensitivity. From the heroic to the genial, from the hilarious to the tragic, from the deeply sonorous to the lightly deft, the range of Gibbons' writing is unparalleled, and Phantasm capture the every nuance in a simply superb account of this powerfully evocative music. In addition to the three- and six-part Fantasies, we are also given two lovely In Nomines as well as adaptations of madrigals ('The Silver Swan' has never sounded more poignant), anthems and keyboard music. Contrary to expectation the intricate divisions in the latter come off extremely well on the viols, a testimony to the great skill of the members of Phantasm. But ultimately it is the carefully wrought rich musical tapestry of the six-part Fantasies which impresses most. Highly recommended.



May 2004


Early Music Forum of Scotland News

Published in: