Again, I find I must write a review in two parts, one for the connoisseur of Baroque instrumental music, and one for the person who has come to this page not knowing very much about this sort of music at all. Part A is for the former, and part B, the latter.
A) Buy this disc without hesitation. Savall and his company of musicians are on first class form and you'd be hard pressed to find a better recording of this repertoire anywhere. The remastering is excellent, and the notes, while suffering slightly in translation, are illuminating. You will rate this as one of the best purchases you've made in a long time.
B) Buy this disc without hesitation. If you're not yet familiar with the sound of a viol consort (even in Purcell's day it was old-fashioned), you'll love this. It is much mellower than a string quartet, and even the fast, dance-like sections are not aggressive or strident, but beautiful and - with this ensemble especially - magically warm. What is remarkable, too, is the inventiveness of the music: the Fantasia upon one note, for example, has a single note held through the whole piece, yet it weaves and twists around it, creating an incredible effect. The Fantasias themselves are varied, at times plangent and sorrowful, at others dancing and joyful, and they reward listening to many times.
This really is a wonderful CD, and it will fit into almost any collection. If you're looking for music that is beautiful, reflective and inspiring, you can do no wrong with this.