Related Reviews
Diapason
Diapason d'or: Prises de son d'exception
more >>
BBC Radio 3 'Building A Library'
First Choice Recommendation: 'This recording stands out for its sheer lyricism combined with moments of heightened emotion...'
more >>
Gramophone
2017 Early Music Award Winner: 'Freshly informed performances of the highest calibre.'
more >>
Diapason
5 Stars
Diapason d'or: '...moins somptueuse et impressionnante, préférant aux graves encens doloristes une transparance virtuose, profitable à l'écoute continue : chaque pavane, par le relief de ses détails, apparaît comme une étude caractérisée.'
more >>
Crescendo
'Phantasm reveals all the contrapuntal and harmonic richness...An irreproachable interpretation.'
more >>
Iowa Public Radio
'Their passionate yet subtle and alert playing is captured in warm, rich sound.'
more >>
MusicWeb International
'For many people this will be self-recommending: possibly the first great instrumental work by an English composer, performed by the premier viol ensemble of our day with the support of a notable lutenist. This lovely recording deserves every success.'
more >>
American Record Guide
'The present recording upholds that dazzling standard.'
more >>
SWR2 Treffpunkt Klassik
Recommendation: 'The longer you immerse yourself in this CD with the "Lachrimae", the more you fall under its spell...'
more >>
MusicWeb International
'Everything to which Phantasm turn their hands is well worth hearing and this Dowland release is no exception. With very good sound, especially in 24/96 format, and a very fine booklet, this could well be the version of choice...'
more >>
Fanfare
'I'd rank this version of Lachrimae above my previous favorite...it's a joy to hear.'
more >>
Fono Forum
5 Stars
'An exemplary interpretation.'
more >>
Ouverture Blog
,,Diese Klagegesänge sind unbeschreiblich; schöner kann man wohl nicht trauern - und Phantasm musiziert gemeinsam mit Elizabeth Kenny, Theorbe, in einer solchen Ausdrucksstärke und Homo- genität, dass man nur staunen kann. Unbedingt anhören!''
more >>
Huffington Post
'The sounds are laid down like cat's paw across velvet...'
more >>
The Strad
The Strad Recommends: 'Subtle and intimate performances of Dowland’s tear-stained viol cycle.'
more >>
Süddeutsche Zeitung
„Phantasm hat diesen Einstünder ihrem Namen entsprechend phantastisch eingespielt" /'Phantasm have rendered this hour of music in a manner befitting their name – fantastically...'
more >>
AllMusic
5 Stars
'...their expert interpretations have the characteristic mix of poetic melancholy and courtly elegance that define Dowland's music...Highly recommended.'
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
Chamber Choice: 'Despite the brooding nature of the music, their sound is luminous and tempos are fluid, highlighting Dowland's lyricism...'
more >>
Der Spiegel
"Consortmusik von 1605, perfekt dargeboten von Elizabeth Kenny (Laute) und der Viola-Gruppe Phantasm." / 'Consort music of 1605, perfectly performed by Elizabeth Kenny (lute) and the viol group Phantasm.'
more >>
Gramophone
Choice: 'These are poignant performances of music steeped in melancholy and given a deep beauty by Elizabeth Kenny and Phantasm, led by Laurence Dreyfus: a really wonderful Dowland recording.'
more >>
Der Neue Merker
'An manchen Tagen ist dies wohl das Größte, was Kunst zu leisten vermag.'
more >>
The Sunday Times
'The performances are elegant, rich-textured and beautifully phrased. Affecting.'
more >>
Andrew Benson-Wilson Blog
'gorgeous'
more >>
The Observer
5 Stars
'...played by Phantasm with their expressive warmth and exquisite subtlety.'
more >>
The Irish Times
5 Stars
'a gripping performance'
more >>
Early Music Review
5 Stars
'The organic development of motifs, the constant attention to melodic beauty, the stomach-churning harmonic volte faces make the complete publication a masterpiece...a valuable addition to our understanding of this remarkable publication, and Dreyfus and Kenny's excellent programme notes give us further valuable players' insights into this extraordinary music.'
more >>
Nottingham Post
'The composer's collection of dance music for five bowed instruments and a lute is expertly recreated here by viol consort Phantasm and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, revelling in the tuneful melancholy which became Dowland's artistic trademark.'
more >>
Messenger Newspapers
'...[a] splendid new Linn CD.'
more >>
Financial Times
4 Stars
'This set of seven pieces for viols and lute still sounds as sensuous and beguiling as it must have done then. The melancholy of the music touches a nerve. Phantasm and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny offer heartfelt playing.'
more >>
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'An absolute pleasure. The recording is a beauty as well: rich and intimate...'
more >>

Phantasm - Dowland: Lachrimae - Audiophile Audition


08 October 2016
Audiophile Audition
Laurence Vittes
5 Stars

Phantasm just keep doing excellent recordings of early music.

This new audiophile recording, featuring lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and Phantasm, directed by Laurence Dreyfus, takes listeners on a refreshingly varied Dowland soundscape in which sublime sadness, grief, anger and melancholy is consoled by moments of joy and gladness. Dowland's exceptional melodies combined with Phantasm's luxuriantly rich sound really is a match made in heaven.

Half in jest, I asked Phantasm why they need a director on a recording by five musicians. Here is Phantasm's wonderful answer:

"Some viol consorts are more democratic groupings, but Laurence Dreyfus founded and has directed Phantasm since they were first formed in 1994 and he's been called director on each of their 17 or so recordings since then. The idea was first to develop a unified approach to sound and ‘interpretation' - Dreyfus also works on all editions and manuscript sources when needed as Phantasm make their way through the entire tradition of English viol music along with Bach's Art of Fugue (and still to come, some French and Italian repertoires), and it shows, we think, in the concentrated way Phantasm plays where one person still has the final say and has an overview and oversight on the entire artistic project of the group."

"The other Phantasm players have over the years certainly become far more involved and there is very much a chamber music feel to the group but Dreyfus still has the scholarly and musical expertise to formulate the overall approach. Some famous late 19th-century string quartets - Joachim or Hellmesberger - for example - were ‘led', i.e. directed from the first violin, and there were only four players, and the group bore the name of the first violinist, so there's a precedent also lurking in the background."


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Elizabeth KennyElizabeth Kenny
PhantasmPhantasm
Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven TearsDowland: Lachrimae or Seven Tears