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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent viol playing, 3 July 2013
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Division-Musick (Audio CD)
This is an excellent disc of music for two viols from 17th century England by some of the finest English composers of the time, including William Lawes, Christopher Simpson and John Jenkins. It's a very enjoyable programme played by the viol duo Musicke & Mirth consisting of Jane Achtman and Irene Klein, joined here by Amandine beyer and Johannes Strobl on violin and keyboard, who are very good indeed.

In case, like me, you weren't familiar with the term Division-Musick, Jane Achtman explains in her excellent notes that, "Division-Musick is a term used by Christopher Simpson (c. 1605-1669) during the 17th century to describe a typically English improvisatory style of diminution. Musicians generally used short bass melodies called grounds as the basis for their diminutions, beginning with simple and slow melodies over that ground, and ending with very fast, intricate and virtuosic diminutions after a varying number of repetitions of the bass sequence." This improvisatory feel makes for an extremely enjoyable experience when played as well as this. Achtman and Klein are very fine musicians who make this music glow and sparkle; they have a real feel for the repertoire and produce something rather special here.

The recorded sound is very good, capturing the resonant depth of the viols very well and the notes are scholarly, readable and very interesting. All round, I think this is an excellent disc and I recommend it very warmly.
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Division-Musick by Musicke & Mirth (Audio CD - 2012)
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