'Fantasticus makes an impressive recording debut with this programme [...] Its vigorous, dramatic and highly extrovert readings make for compelling listening, demonstrating not only versatility and flexibility but also intimacy and incisiveness.' The Strad ('The Strad Recommends')
'This is music-making of maturity, its evident free spirit and exuberance of line allied to control and expressed in impeccable ensemble-playing. [...] A striking and enjoyable debut.' Gramophone
'[...] more impressive than its sheer fantasy is the careful consideration in its delivery [...] a most impressive debut from a group well worth following.' International Record Review
'The performances are superlative - consistently energetic, vibrant, communicative and full of stimulating detail. Each of the three musicians is excellent in technique [...] This is, quite simply, a release not to be missed.' Classical Ear
'This is an absolutely outstanding recording [...] Throughout the recital, the playing is top notch - the individual musicians are superb and they blend so naturally in consort.' Early Music Review
'Lovers of baroque instrumental music are well served and others may well start here [...] The performances are assured, matching the style of the music and the recording is excellent.' MusicWeb International
'A pleasant collection of works.' Lark Reviews
'This group, which trained in Amsterdam, concentrates on the extravagant style of chamber music playing in the late 17th Century. Improvisation around given notation is axiomatic and provides many moments to relish. The recording (engineered by Adam Binks at
Bunnik, Holland in April 2012) is of the highest standard.' Musical Pointers
Inspired by the gloriously virtuosic music from the end of the 17th century, from which the name Stylus fantasticus came, the aim of the ensemble is to recreate repertoire from the early seicento until the late-Baroque searching and exploring the extravagance that flourished when composers and instrumentalists dared to traverse the established limits of the normal.
From the florid excesses of Biber, through the unrestrained harmonic richness of Rameau and the ravishing melodic imagination of Pandolfi Mealli, to the vividness and passion of the forerunners of romanticism as depicted by the generation after Bach, Fantasticus makes no compromises with regard to authentic performance, fearlessly trespassing on the borders of correctness.
The three members, Rie Kimura, Robert Smith and Guillermo Brachetta (Japan, UK and Argentina) all came to the Netherlands to profit from the fertile early music scene. They spent time learning from the pioneers of the early music movement at the conservatoires of The Hague and Amsterdam before themselves becoming a part of the thriving Baroque music life in Holland. As individuals and as an ensemble, their music takes them all over the Netherlands and indeed all over the world.