Phantasm - Tye - MusicWeb International
Laurence Dreyfus’s substantial booklet notes provide sterling service in bringing Christopher Tye’s character and music into something more three-dimensional than usual. He usefully refers to past critics of Tye’s music in pointing out its idiosyncrasies, and quotes Anthony à Wood’s amusing summing-up of this eccentric figure: “Dr Tye was a peevish and humoursome man, especially in his latter dayes, and sometimes playing on the organ in the Chapel of Queen Elizabeth which contained much musick but little delight to the ear, she would send the verger to tell him that he play’d out of tune: whereupon he sent word that her eares were out of tune.”
I greatly admired Phantasm’s recording of William Lawes on Linn (review), and this release of Tye’s complete consort music has an attractively clean and breezy feel, the buzz of the viols nicely captured in Boxgrove Priory’s fairly intimate acoustic. Phantasm’s playing is very beautiful, and the melodic expression and detail in articulation and harmonic balance makes for fascinating listening.