Related Reviews
tommanoff.com
'...the conductor is an exceptional interpreter of [Purcell's] music.'
more >>
Klassik.com
4 Stars
'Eine wertvolle, in vieler Hinsicht überzeugende Einspielung.'
more >>
Star-Ledger of New Jersey
"...a lyrical, hypnotic marvel."
more >>
Listen
"The performances...are first rate"
more >>
Opus Musica
"...el gran dominio, virtuosismo y pasión que sienten por sus instrumentos..."
more >>
Sempre Audio
"Bereits unter dem Namen „The King‘s Consort" hatte sich die Formation der Musik..."
more >>
Scotland on Sunday
5 Stars
"...performed with polish and grace."
more >>
Gramophone
Editor's Choice: "ripe emotional tension...impeccable technique"
more >>
Ensemble
5 Stars
"Diese CD ist ein überaus wertvoller Beitrag zum 350 geburtstag von Purcell"
more >>
Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
Retrospect "throw themselves into the music with enthusiastic expert glee that makes listening a delicious, almost indecent pleasure"
more >>
International Record Review
"Highly recommended."
more >>
ClassicsToday.com
5 Stars
10/10: "Outstanding!"
more >>
HMV Choice
"...a wonderful debut"
more >>
Classic FM Magazine
4 Stars
"The ornaments slither dangerously and the dances tread with guilty lightness."
more >>
BBC Online
"Wonderfully performed, fascinating...Bravo."
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
"Retrospect's Purcell makes a release of the three-part sonatas a mouthwatering matter of urgency."
more >>
The Observer
"...this first release is superb..."
more >>
Sunday Times
5 Stars
Classical CD of the Week: "The playing is immaculate..."
more >>
Nottingham Evening Post
4 Stars
"...melodic invention, rich polyphony and bitter-sweet harmony."
more >>

Purcell: Ten Sonatas in Four Parts - SA-CD.net


17 December 2009
SA-CD.net
John Broggio
5 Stars

This is the first of a two volume account of Purcell's sonata's in Four Parts (the second volume is to be recorded in May 2010). On the evidence presented here, we are in for a treat in the not too distant future. It is also the Retrospect Trio's recorded debut on disc and also for Linn Records - they are a key chamber ensemble from the Retrospect Ensemble (previously The King's Consort).

This volume contains the second set of sonatas published after Purcell's death and bare witness to the degree of experimentation that he undertook in adopting and adapting the various Italian composers of the day who were becoming increasingly influential in England at the time. Because of this, we find many Canzona's as well as multiple movement works. The one exception to this rule is the 6th sonata in G minor, an extended (for the time) Adagio of 7 minutes in duration. In the main, the works are in the minor keys. On this disc, they are presented in numerical order which prevents a more dramatic distribution of the different tone colours - we can obviously change this with the aid of a remote control however.

The two violinists Sophie Gent and Matthew Truscott divide the honours equally as to who takes the first and second violin parts in these works. They are both highly accomplished players and it would be difficult to pick a favourite from either one given how quicksilver their runs are and how singing they render a cantilena. These characteristics and more help to give thrilling accounts of these works with their rich polyphony and interplay of the two swirling violin lines. Ably supporting this duo are the violist Jonathan Manson and the Ensemble's Music Director, Matthew Halls (on organ or harpsichord) who provide a rich, deep but subtle accompaniment that never weighs the musical progress down.

The recording captured in East Woodhay, Berkshire is also very fine and compliments the playing in every way - resonant without ever tipping into a boomy excess. The seperation and positioning of each participant is tangible and adds greatly to the enjoyment.

Highly recommended on every account.
Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Retrospect TrioRetrospect Trio
Henry Purcell: Ten Sonatas in Four PartsHenry Purcell: Ten Sonatas in Four Parts