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W Lawes: Consort Sets in Five & Six Parts /Hesperion XXI * Savall

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Jun. 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Alia Vox
  • ASIN: B000065VX6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,854 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Consort Sets In Five And Six Parts - Over 30 Tracks On 2 Discs - Various Composers

Product Description


Trust the indefatigable Jordi Savall to spot an intriguing 2002 anniversary--400 years since the birth of the English composer William Lawes, one of Charles I's most prized musicians. Lawes fought for his king in the English Civil War, and was killed during the struggle for the city of Chester. How Lawes' music must have chimed in with the lavish surroundings of Charles' court, being elaborate and complex, rich and passionate, yet poised and dignified. David Pinto's intriguing sleeve-note on these three- and-four-movement sets traces the influences--Italian madrigals and popular songs of Lawes' day, sacred music written as much as a century earlier, and most haunting of all, material that links to the turbulent times he witnessed. The last of the Consort Sets à 6 breathes the agonies so many experienced and in the final Aire, suggests the call to arms. Too often repertoire such as this is relegated to being background music. But these are glorious inspirations to immerse oneself in--which also bring history alive. As ever, Savall and his players offer consummate musicianship, the lines wondrously spun and interwoven, the balance and weight of sound immaculate. A vivid recording, too. --Andrew Green

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Format: Audio CD
W Lawes: Consort Sets in Five & Six Parts /Hesperion XXI * Savall

Subtle. introspective, dark, brooding, perplexing, complex. Not suitable for light-weights or as background music but a real jewel. Fabulous. Listen to it again and again!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8c3a7e64) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8be7f8c4) out of 5 stars A wonderful genius 10 Nov. 2004
By Andrzej Kozlowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is truly moving and profound music by the wonderful but still not very well known genius William Lawes. You can find here both the highest level of contrapuntal skill, on par with such masters of polyphony as Byrd, Gibbons or Bach, and a unique "cavalier' spirit, quite unlike anything I have ever heard elsewhere. The performance is superb. I have two other versions of these works, performed by Fretwork and Phantasm, which are both excellent but don't quite move me the way Savall and Hesperion do. Out of well over 2000 "classical" CDs I own this certainly is one of my 10 "desert island" favorites.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x981124e0) out of 5 stars A music that -almost- changed the world 16 Feb. 2003
By A. Enochsson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
William Lawes was Charles I favourite musician. Charles was a big fan of the music of his time and a highly accomplished gambo player. He was not however a politician. Spending lawisly sums on partys and patronising the arts seemed like a good idea to the court that sourronded him, but the puritan mercant class hated him, his catolic ways and above all his spending. This tension ended with the king abolishing the parlimeant and going to Oxford with his men.
Admist this lived William Lawes. He inhabited a musical enviroment. The music he constructed was understood and appriciated by a few but the king. Lawes is deep and highly original. His very diffrent music more reasemblens 20Th century art music than 'classic' classical music. What one must have in mind when confronting the music is that this was a higly experimental time. Everything in this time was new and unproven and the music there and then was in a state of explosion. William Lawes went far benoyd the avantgarde of early barock however. His music concentrates on several harmonis rather than one, and this creates a deep, diffrent music: somewhat like a full bodied wine. Lawes music contrastes against how the western classical music later developed. One reason was that it was too complicated for the mainstreem listners. The other reason has to do with the situation Lawes lived in.
He spend a year or so in Oxford while the king waged a civil war. He was 43 years old and in a creative bloom. His best freind wrote in a diary, that was preserved, about Lawes. In it he tells in a often annoyed tone of voice about Lawes who braveld over: 'I have a musical world that will change this world, inside this head.' Lawes followed his king in a major battle soon after. Having been forbidden to show his face anywhere near the fighting, he anyhow rushed out on the feilds to show his king his patriotism, and got shot in the head after a minute or two. Lawes friend writes that the king couldn't belive his ears when he heard that Willam Lawes was dead and Charles where deeply saddend by it. Charles I was beheaded not long after by Oliver Cromwell, who began his military dictatorship by outlawing music performing and theatrical plays. Music got back, eventually, but Willam Lawes was forgotten. Untill now. The epithet on his urn in England (Salisbury Cathedral) tells a lot about him "Concord is conquered, in this urn there lies The Master of great Musick's mysteries: And it is a riddle, like the cause, Will Lawes was slain, by those whose wills were Lawes".
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bdae948) out of 5 stars THE GENIUS OF WILLIAM LAWES. 29 Dec. 2007
By r.b. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As these beautiful pair of cd's demonstrate, William Lawes was probably the greatest and most original composer during the first half of the 17th century.His style of composition is totally unique and clearly far more advanced than his contemporaries - only John Jenkins can be regarded in the same league.William Lawes consorts of 5 and particularly of 6 parts are sumptuous,highly devoloped and incredibly wonderful works that in Jordi Savall's opinion deserve to be known as among the greatest chamber music of all time.I could not agree more with him.The Lawes consort setts are magical works indeed.Together with Matthew locke's consort of 4 parts and the fantasias and sonatas for strings by Henry Purcell they represent the rich tradition of 17th century baroque music at it's finest.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3a10d8) out of 5 stars starter kit for English consort music 21 Aug. 2006
By David I. Cahill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the great recent recordings of English consort music by the leading ensemble of viol musicians, Jordi Savall and Hesperion. For a time this was my favorite recording in my 2,000+ collection of classical music from all periods, until it was supplanted by Savall & Hesperion's recording of John Jenkins' awesome "Consort Music for Viols in Six Parts" (now sadly and inexplicably unavailable). Also unfortunately no longer available are two more recordings (if you can find them) I'd recommend for those entranced by Lawes and Jenkins, by the divinely inspired Christoper Simpson, "The Monthes" (Sonnerie, Veritas 7243 5 45281 2 5) and "The 4 Seasons" (Les Voix Humaines, Atma ACD 2 2182). Simpson's music, along with Purcell's, shows the growing spell cast on the English by the Italian trio sonata, but his music flows out of the same consort tradition.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c35d270) out of 5 stars Lawes and Savall=Magnificent Experience 1 Sept. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Magnificent music, superbly played!
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