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Locke: Consort of Fower Parts Import, Original recording remastered

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, February 8, 2000
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ste I in d: Fant
  2. Ste I in d: Courante
  3. Ste I in d: Ayre
  4. Ste I in d: Saraband
  5. Ste II in d-D: Fant
  6. Ste II in d-D: Courante
  7. Ste II in d-D: Ayre
  8. Ste II in d-D: Saraband
  9. Ste III in F: Fant
  10. Ste III in F: Courante
  11. Ste III in F: Ayre
  12. Ste III in F: Saraband
  13. Ste IV in F: Fant
  14. Ste IV in F: Courante
  15. Ste IV in F: Ayre
  16. Ste IV in F: Saraband
  17. Ste V in g: Fant
  18. Ste V in g: Courante
  19. Ste V in g: Ayre
  20. Ste V in g: Saraband
  21. Ste VI in G: Fant
  22. Ste VI in G: Courante
  23. Ste VI in G: Ayre
  24. Ste VI in G: Saraband

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 8, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Astree
  • ASIN: B00004R7PC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,218 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Wonder of wonders, there are three complete recordings of these "string quartets" by the little-known English 17th C composer Matthew Locke, performed by Hesperion XX, Fretwork, and Phantasm ensembles. All three are well worth hearing. Just as performances of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" quartet by various ensembles are interestingly different, these three CDs of Locke all have their strong points.

The most "polished" of the three is that of the English ensemble Fretwork, whose entire career together has been dedicated to this specific repertoire. Fretwork's strengths are its unity of technique (the definition of ensemble) and its resonant oak-barrel-chardonnay tone. Hesperion XX, led by the great gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall, has less unity and, on this CD, less polish. Some attacks could be tighter, some chords could be more exact. But there are strengths in this performance also, a bolder interpretation, a fearless attitude toward Locke's deliberate dissonances, a fiercer interaction between bow and string. The performance by Phantasm lies right in the middle and would be my third choice. I've reviewed both Fretwork and Phantasm elsewhere. Any of the three would be excellent additions to a music-lover's collection.

If you are completely unfamiliar with the viola da gamba and its repertoire, you might want to do a little research beyond the scope of this review. The most salient differences between the gambas and the violin/viola/cello family are the larger number of strings and the presence of frets like those on a guitar. Hence the name of the ensemble Fretwork. Gamba consorts were especially popular in Renaissance England, and the most impressive repertoire of the instrument comes from English composers like Locke, Jenkins, Mico, and Lawes. Their quartets, quintets, and sextets for gambas have a musical and emotional sophistication not rivaled until the works of Mozart more than a hundred years later.
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By OM on August 25, 2011
Superb recording and performance of Tye's lovely works. Savall and Hesperion XX are always an excellent combination. Deeply musical, moving, and timeless works. Highest recommendation.
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