Phantasm: Gibbons: Consorts for Viols - BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
Sitting somewhere between L’Achéron’s warmth and Fretwork’s fiery agilty are Phantasm, whose director Laurence Dreyfus described hearing Gibbons’ six-part viol fantasias as “like peering into a kaleidoscope”. It’s an apt image for Phantasm’s own performances, which are bright with expressive colour. Listen out for Gibbons’ rhythmic trickery at the start. Is the music in two or three, both or neither?
Phantasm, with Susanna Pell, and Asako Morikawa, performing Gibbons’ Fantasia for 6 viols no. 5. Phantasm’s muscular approach and swift speeds are well suited to the Gibbons fantasias and also make a strong case for both the dances and the wordless anthems they include in their programme. Here’s the lively Hosanna to the Son of David.
Who needs sung text when players can say it all so vividly without words?