Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Phantasm, Laurence Dreyfus|
John Jenkins: Five-Part Consorts
Listen to Samples
The New Kid on the Block
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 11/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are precious few fully-skilled professional gamba consorts on the planet these days. The British ensemble Fretwork virtually owned the repertoire over the past three decades, and their mellow, meditative style of performance has dominated our audience expectations of what a closed consort of four to six violas da gamba should sound like.
Phantasm is the "new kid on the block" of such gamba consorts, and they have a different sound - more incisive, brisker, closer to the bridge. To my ears, they bring the timbre of the gamba closer to that of the modern string quartet, and for that reason perhaps they will appeal to modern sensibilities. I like their sound, though at first I wondered why they didn't play more like Fretwork. Hey! The good news is that there's room in the CD catalogue for two (or more) excellent gamba ensembles.
The music of John Jenkins ranks close to that of William Lawes and Matthew Locke in complexity of voicing and sonorous elegance. Never heard of Lawes or Locke? I'm not surprised. The great wealth of English music of the 17th C lay forgotten from the "continental putsch" of the Hanoverian era until the Early Music revival of our times. The Elizabethan/Jacobian gamba consort repertoire sounds like nothing else before or since. Not until late Haydn and Mozart did any chamber music approach it in emotional expression. This is not difficult music to enjoy. "Try it, you'll like it!" as my Bubbe used to say."