Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
'...the consort's percussive energy brings a contemporary feel to proceedings and the result, beautifully recorded in Boxgrove Priory, turns out to be very convincing.'
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All Music
4½ Stars
'Phantasm demonstrates that Tye was capable, assured, and even daring in his contrapuntal invention...'
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Presto Classical
Editor's Choice: '...vibrant, full-blooded performances - the music really dances...'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'It’s hard to imagine Tye’s complexities and idiosyncrasies being laid before us by a viol consort with more beauty than this...'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'Sometimes plangent, often ebulliently uplifting, these are ever unpredictable pieces...all are exquisitely played by Phantasm...'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'...what strikes me about this recording is its suaveness, its evenness, its consistent beauty.'
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Phantasm - Tye - Gramophone


01 October 2017
Gramophone
Alexandra Coghlan

A contemporary of Tallis and Sheppard, Christopher Tye was a composer apart. His ear for harmony, his eye for a musical line, seem to have been guided by a different logic to those around him. There’s no doubting his architect’s instinct for musical form but his architecture is more Frank Gehry than Inigo Jones – wilful, playful, iconoclastic and often as baffling as it is beautiful. This collection of his complete consort music throws up surprise after surprise – a revelation of a recording that offers a startling perspective on a familiar musical landscape. Other recordings of this music do exist – notably Fretwork’s ‘In nomine’ (Amon Ra, 3/88) and the rather lovely ‘Crye’ by Concordia Viols (Metronome, 12/97) – often pairing Tye’s works for viol consort with those of Taverner, Tallis and Byrd. But to hear these pieces back to back, one after another as here, is to really get inside this extraordinary imagination, to be caught up short by musical blind alleys and hairpin bends of a composer who not only invented the characteristically English genre of the In nomine but who also took it further than almost any of his later imitators.

Phantasm’s craggy, deep-dug performances follow the composer’s instructive titles – ‘Hold fast’, ‘Follow me’, ‘Believe me’ – to the letter, gamely celebrating the oddities as well as the felicities of works whose fixation with 54 notes of plainchant by John Taverner (taken from the Benedictus of his Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas) has never fully been explained. Discovering the unexpected sensuality of the In nomine ‘Round’, the yelping, insistent plaints of the In nomine ‘Cry’ and the provocative dramatics of the In nomine ‘Re la re’, Phantasm are skilled musical tour guides to Tye’s challenging terrain. 


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Tye: Complete Consort MusicTye: Complete Consort Music