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English Music For Viols Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Performer: Fretwork
  • Composer: John Jenkins, William Lawes, Matthew Locke, Henry Purcell
  • Audio CD (15 Sept. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B001BSH0YO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,976 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Fantasy a 5 No. 16 in D major
  2. Fantasy a 6 No. 8 in A minor
  3. Fancy
  4. Ayre
  5. Fantasy a 4 No. 6 in F major
  6. Fantasy a 5 No. 7 in C minor
  7. Pieces for lyra viol (Prelude - Almain - Corant)
  8. Fantasy a 4 No. 12 in D major
  9. In nomine a 6 No. 2 in E minor
  10. Pavan for 2 bass viols in A minor
  11. Fantasy a 4 No. 5 in F major
  12. Fantasy a 6 No. 3 in C minor
  13. Fancy
  14. Almain
  15. Corant
  16. Pavan a 6 No. 2 in F major
  17. Divisions for 2 bass viols in D major
  18. Fantasy a 5 No. 8 in C minor
  19. In Nomine a 6 No. 1 in G minor

Disc: 2

  1. I. Fantazy
  2. II. Aire
  3. III. Fantazy
  4. IV. Aire
  5. I. Fantazy
  6. II. Fantazy
  7. III. Aire
  8. Countrey Coll for lyra viol (VdGS 421)
  9. Jigg for lyra viol (VdGS 422)
  10. I. Fantazy
  11. II. Paven
  12. III. Almaine
  13. I. Fantazy
  14. II. Paven
  15. III. Aire
  16. I. Fantasie (VdGS 573)
  17. II. Humor (VdGS 568)
  18. I. Fantazia
  19. II. Fantazia
  20. III. Inominy
  21. IV. Aire

Disc: 3

  1. I. Paven
  2. II. Fantazy
  3. III. Aire
  4. I. Fantazy
  5. II. Aire
  6. III. Paven
  7. IV. Aire
  8. Almaine for lyra viol (VdGS 430)
  9. Corant for lyra viol (VdGS 431)
  10. Saraband for lyra viol (VdGS 432)
  11. I. Fantazy
  12. II. Fantazy
  13. III. Aire
  14. I. Fantazya
  15. II. On the Playnsong
  16. III. Aire
  17. Aire for lyra viol (VdGS 462)
  18. Aire for lyra viol (VdGS 463)
  19. I. Fantazia
  20. II. Aire
  21. III. Inominy

Disc: 4

  1. I. Fantasie
  2. II. Courante
  3. III. Ayre
  4. IV. Sarabande
  5. I. Fantasie
  6. II. Courante
  7. III. Ayre
  8. IV. Sarabande
  9. I. Fantasie
  10. II. Fantasie
  11. III. Courante
  12. IV. Fantasie
  13. V. Fantasie
  14. VI. Sarabande
  15. I. Fantasie
  16. II. Courante
  17. III. Ayre
  18. IV. Sarabande
  19. I. Fantasie
  20. II. Courante
  21. III. Ayre
  22. IV. Sarabande
  23. I. Fantasie
  24. II. Fantasie
  25. III. Courante
  26. IV. Fantasie
  27. V. Fantasie
  28. VI. Sarabande
  29. I. Fantasie
  30. II. Courante
  31. III. Ayre
  32. IV. Sarabande
  33. I. Fantasie
  34. II. Courante
  35. III. Ayre
  36. IV. Sarabande

Disc: 5

  1. Fantazia 4 in G minor (10 June 1680)
  2. Fantazia 5 in B flat major (11 June 1680)
  3. Fantazia 6 in F major (14 June 1680)
  4. Fantazia 7 in C minor (19 June 1680)
  5. Fantazia 8 in D minor (22 June 1680)
  6. Fantazia 9 in A minor (23 June 1680)
  7. Fantasia 10 in E minor (30 June 1680)
  8. Fantazia 11 in G major (19 August 1680)
  9. Fantazia 11 in D minor (31 August 1680)
  10. Fantazia 1 in D minor
  11. Fantazia 2 in F major
  12. Fantazia 3 in G minor
  13. Fantasia in A minor (incomplete)
  14. Fantasia in F, 'Upon one note' Z745
  15. In Nomine in G minor Z746
  16. In Nomine in G minor Z747, 'Dorian'

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Consort music, born out of a combination of instrumental parts for madrigals and of more free-form and improvisational-style instrumental music untied to the constraints of vocals, was a genre more intended for the pleasure of the performers themselves than for any listeners. This five disc set of reissues presents consort music for viols by four of the greatest English musicians of the 17th century, John Jenkins, William Lawes (considered the foremost composer in the land, and whose death at the siege of Chester in 1645 led the King to declare mourning for the 'Father of Musick'), Matthew Locke and, leaving the best till last, Henry Purcell.

By Purcell's time the form was moribund, firstly from the strictures of Puritanism banning public performance of music leading to a decline, and then King Charles II's preference for French music and his court following suit meant than his consort pieces, the last ever composed, would never have a significant audience and were never published. Yet he showed himself to be the master of the form. From what I have read elsewhere, Fretwork have since re-recorded the Purcell pieces in what is said by some to be a superior recording, but to my untrained ear there is nothing whatsoever wrong with these, nor with those by Jenkins, Lawes and Locke for that matter. It's a bargain set and a great introduction to 17th century English consort music.

There is one major annoyance: in cramming five discs into the double jewel case, Virgin have created some infernal construction with a separate detachable plate for mounting the fifth disc. This is a real pain in the backside and almost impossible to reassemble when trying to close the box up again.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fretwork are a brilliant viol consort that make this gorgeous music sound brand new. I saw them recently at King's Place and, despite some personnel changes, they are just as brilliant now. Wonderful stuff. Viol music persisted in Britain long after it had fallen out of favour on the continent (where they prefered the brighter tone of the violin) but these composers were masters of the medium.
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A lovely idea to have all the pieces in a collection BUT I just wish people would really study the pieces together, not give the impression that that they are sight reading them... Okay that they are professional ..... sight readers in this case.. in Spain (se hacen bolos) or one for the money and two for the...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x954488ac) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x954432cc) out of 5 stars Amazing deal on a great introduction to English Consort Music 4 Dec. 2008
By David I. Cahill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
English consort music is the first great body of instrumental chamber music in Western music, 200 years or so before the First Viennese School of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. (some may disagree and award the 17th-century Italian chamber sonata repertory this honors, but I simply find the English composers more inspired). This 5-cd box set by Fretwork presents four later-generation 17th-century composers, Jenkins, Lawes, Locke, and Purcell - each with sublime musical offerings on these cds. At $16.98 this is an amazing deal and a perfect introduction to 17th-century English consort music. One would like to see a companion box set of earlier-generation consort composers such as Byrd, Dowland, Thomas Lupo, Gibbons, Tomkins, or Ferrabosco II (at least the first three of which have been previously recorded by Fretwork). I have my own preferences for other versions than Fretwork's, such as Phantasm's recordings of the Jenkins consorts in 5 & 6 parts and both the Phantasm and Hesperion XXI versions of William Lawes' consorts in 5 & 6 parts. Phantasm's interpretations tend to be more cerebral, tense, and incisive, conjuring up a late Beethoven-like soundscape in these composers. Hesperion brings out a more stately, lyrical, singing quality to the music. The Fretwork recordings (if a bit like the Rose Consort's) achieve something different still - a measured, limpid or pellucid clarity that seems perfectly in character with the Englishness of these composers, in distinction to a more Italian or Mediterranean sound. But all of the Fretwork recordings are highly satisfying in their own right, and the recording quality is rich and lambent (though best brought out with a high-end audio system). Listeners will respond differently according to personal tastes. The more you are drawn into this music, the more you will want to compare different interpretations, and that's surely a measure of great music. I hope to see more bargain-priced releases like this to spread the word about this music.
59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95443518) out of 5 stars FIVE FOR THE CONTENT / 0 FOR THE "BOX" 12 Aug. 2009
By Hank Napkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't add to David Cahill's comments on the value and the music. He's also right about the period and the performances. I've listened to Fretwork since the 1980s, always impressed with their touch and ability. For those of you who do appreciate this period -- with its dense harmonies, drone-like calms and timbral intricacies -- you might also look into Fretwork's take on more contemporary pieces. Their 1997 SIT FAST release presents period works by Tye, Isaac, Ferabosco and Ockeghem along side the works of living composers including Gavin Bryars, Sally Beamish, Elvis Costello and others, all ably demonstrating the timeless qualities of the viol.

What I can add is the fact that this is not really a "Box Set", but a weirdly conceived and executed old-time bulky 2-CD jewel case retrofitted with the most bizarre, built-to-fall-out tray I have ever seen. For the dimensionally impaired, such as myself, the only good news is that the run time of one CD seems just sufficient for me to figure out how to reassemble the case, only to start reassembling it once more, after trying to return the CD to its tray... It makes for a full evening my friends, and frankly, Fretwork deserves a level of packaging that matches the level of their artistry.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x954434dc) out of 5 stars If Musick Be the Food of Love ... 12 Mar. 2009
By Gio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
... then money CAN buy you love after all! In fact, in the current economic turmoil, music is obviously the only luxury (or for some of us, necessity) we can afford. THIS IS AN ASTONISHING BARGAIN! As recently as a year or so ago, you would have needed a lot of 'plata' to build a collection of English Viola da Gamba Consort performances. Now you can buy the heart fo the repertoire, by one of the two dominant ensembles (the other is Phantasm), for about twelve bucks. Don't hesitate! This is the buy of your lifetime!

I've reviewed several of Fretwork's recordings previously. They are superb technicians, pellucid in tone, precise in rhythm, always worth hearing. The only thing that could make this 5-CD package more appealing would be a sixth CD!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By R. Folk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I can't say much more than has already been said, other than this: the works are excellently executed and the recording is very clear. So much for England as "the land without music." The pieces are very sedate, but often creative. And just because Purcell is the one you have probably heard of on this set doesn't mean he is the only one worth listening to: all of the works here are more or less on the same level (though noticeably in different styles). I'm not sure whether the addition of the organ was the idea of the consort or if it is obligato (called for in the score) but it is very effective indeed. It was a worthy addition to my collection.

Also, if you enjoy this kind of music, there are several excellent French viol composers of the 17th century that are worth looking into: their music is, in my opinion, more expressive and ornamental than the English school, though having less counterpoint. Marin Marais is the famous one to look for.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95443cd4) out of 5 stars Early English Baroque viol music 11 Oct. 2010
By Douglas C. Miller MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought these CDs even though I already had other fine performances of the Purcell works which represent the culmination of the historical progression represented on the 5 discs, because I like the Purcell and I wished to expand my musical horizons a bit more by going earlier. I know some of the Locke represented here, and he is a close contemporaroy of Purcell, but Jenkins and especially Lawes are somewhat earlier historically than those two. Lawes borders on late Renaissance music and with the spare string writing represented here is quite different from Purcell. The performances are good and I do indeed feel stretched a bit musically. Highly recommended.
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