Philip Pickett - Alchemist - BBC Music Magazine
06 February 1995BBC Music Magazine
Most of the works come from the medieval or Rennaisance periods, and have been revamped to provide a vehicle for Phil Pickett's imagination and the skills of the performers.
The dreamy tingles are provided by Du Prez's Celtic Dawn and by the virtuosic vocal and electronic manipulation of a viol fantasia by the Elizabethan composer Willian Daman. For the foot-tapping, we must turn to the folksy Balkan dance melodies, the bumpy 'New Age' arrangement of a passamezzo by Mainerio and Pickett's bongo-enhanced version of a chanson by Le Jeune.
Alchemy, of course, was principally concerned with turning base metal into gold, and the version here of Monteverdi's Ave maris stella (sung almost throughout to a soupy and soporific 'oooo' sound) made me wonder, fleetingly, what the reverse process might be called - but this is a fastidious niggle by a pompous critic.
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