The Rose Consort of Viols add this to their previous impressive recordings of Dowland and Lawes Consort music. Viols,for the unaware, sound like a fairly earthy, and more stately/leisurely cello. At this point in Purcell's career, they were being largely replaced by the 'livelier/more spirited' violin. This beautifully played collection of Fantasias tends to reflect this, with a mostly stately and leisured approach (though there are also livelier pieces here), through this endlessly inventive, although brief series, of musical adventures and explorations. The two In Nomine included have a gentler, more meditative air than the Fantasias. This is complex, though accessible music, with an addictive richness of tone, though more earthbound and pedestrian than most of Purcell's other work, perhaps because it was not intended for performance. If you already enjoy 'early music', or enjoy the sound of 'lower register' instruments, you can still add this to your collection with confidence.
on 4 May 2013
I enjoy Purcell's music and this CD did not disappoint me. What makes this music such a wonderful treasure is not only its compositional cleverness, amazing though it often is, but its power to encapsulate a world of kaleidoscopic variety in every short piece: here indeed is a composer whose fantasy still communicates with great power over the centuries.