This is a wonderful disc of viol music from the 16th Century by four English composers: Tallis, Ferrabosco, Parsons and Byrd. The conceit of the disc is that each composer represents one of Hippocrates's four temperaments, and while this is a bit tenuous (as Laurence Dreyfuss recognises in his excellent notes), the pieces here do show the great variety of composition for viol consort at the time and form a delightful and engaging programme. They are tuneful, rich and a real source of pleasure. I particularly enjoyed the rather bold stroke of playing the movements from Byrd's magnificent Mass for Four Voices on viols, interspersed with the other pieces. The Mass is a true masterpiece and the music works wonderfully when played in this context.
Phantasm themselves are fantastic. They are now well established as a world-class ensemble and their technical brilliance, beauty of tone and obvious love of and empathy with this music makes their performance a joy. The recorded sound is excellent, beautifully capturing the full range of tone from deep resonance to ethereal lightness.
In short, this is a cracking disc which has given me huge pleasure and I recommend it wholeheartedly.