Phantasm & Dunedin Consort - Gibbons - The Wee Review (Live Review)

30 March 2017
The Wee Review
Hugh Kerr
5 Stars

To begin, the six players of the Phantasm viol consort create an appropriate mood in the beautiful setting of Canongate Kirk, by playing several Fantasies by Gibbons on their period instruments. They also expertly accompany six singers from the Dunedin Consort, two sopranos two tenors and two basses, in works by Gibbons that celebrate James' visit to (and indeed his birth in) Edinburgh.

The singing, often led by Nicholas Mulroy, is superb throughout, and demonstrates Gibbons' mastery of melody and counterpoint. The first part of the concert celebrates James' return to Scotland, and the second half takes a more religious, High Anglican format.

The concert concludes with a wonderful unaccompanied Hosanna, followed by a fine tenor solo based on a very philosophical poem by Walter Raleigh, What is our life?, ending with a final tribute to King James: Great King of Gods.

Overall, this is a perfect gem of a concert, much appreciated by a full Canongate Kirk audience, and which perhaps demonstrates that even if politics can divide us, music can connect us!

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