Good, but could have been better
scott | Calgary, Canada | 05/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This disc of Tomkins features some of my favourite performers, and I thought they would really dig into this music, but it didn't quite meet my expectations. Fretwork can't be faulted, and they play the consort pieces very well. It is nice to have more of these fantasias recorded. I was expecting great things from the singers, what with some of the best there are included (Kirkby, King, Daniels, Wistreich). The sound they make is very good, individually and together, but it comes off sounding a bit too gentle for my taste. The tempos tend to be a little on the slow side, and the sound isn't as close as I like.
For a comparison, have a listen to the Tomkins disc with Red Byrd and the Rose Consort of Viols on Naxos. They possess an energy and drive that is somewhat lacking in this disc. There is a fair amount of overlap between the two, so unless you need both, I would opt for the Naxos one. That being said, I don't regret buying this, for it is good, but it could have been just a bit more engaging."