Phantasm's Lawes counted among the 168 Best Classical Music Recordings




OCTOBER 12, 2015




This selection of the finest classical recordings available, which first appeared in 2009, is the most authoritative and entertaining guide of its kind. However, after five years any guide needs sprucinhttp://maginsight.com/the-168-best-classical-music-recordings/ I didn’t want to compromise the inimitable style of the original, so rather than revise it, I’ve added some ideas of my own.

There are now two new suggestions in each category, and three brand-new categories. The result is an even fuller map of classical music recordings. There are more landmarks, while whole areas which were blank are now filled in. Time to go exploring in this rich area of musical experience. Ivan Hewett (2014)

71) William Lawes – Consorts to the Organ (Phantasm) - Linn Records 

William Lawes, who died in a Civil War battle, composed these pieces for five or six viols and organ in the 1630s. They’ve been described as a peak of chamber music, worthy to stand alongside Bach’s Musical Offering and Haydn’s string quartets Op. 33. Phantasm make them sound phantastic, appropriately.

Lawes Royal Consort -CD of the Day - Austrian Radio - 6 October 2015


16 minutes of a programme devoted to Phantasm's recording of Lawes Royal Consort


Die wilde Tanzmusik des William Lawes


Er war am englischen Hof in der Sektion "Lutes, Viols and Voices" angestellt. Dort, also inmitten von Lauten und Gesangsstimmen, spielte er die Gambe: William Lawes, 1602 bis 1645. Seine Suitensammlung "The Royal Consort" liegt nun zum ersten Mal komplett auf Tonträger vor. Die Gruppe Phantasm lässt keinen Zweifel daran, wie tänzerisch diese Musik gemeint war - und wie weit Lawes sich von traditioneller bzw. höfisch fixierter Tanzmusik entfernt hatte. Die Musik atmet, hechelt, keucht, sie springt, schreitet und kriecht, jedes Mal anders, mit fließenden Übergängen ebenso wie harmonischen Stolpersteinen. Großartig.... Fantastische Musik gespielt von Phantasm!

The wild dance music of William Lawes

The group Phantasm leaves no room for doubt how dance-like this music was intended to be - and how far Lawes distanced himself from traditional and courtly norms of dance music. This is music that breathes, pants, and gasps; it leaps, strides and creeps along, every time in a different way with flowing transitions as well as shocking harmonic stumbling blocks. Magnificent! ... Fantastic music performed by Phantasm.


Albert Hosp




WQXR New York - Lawes Royal Consort featured as 'New and Noteworthy'


WQXR introduces New and Noteworthy, an ongoing feature that helps keep you plugged into the hottest new and recent classical recordings.

Sept. 21, 2015

William Lawes: The Royal Consort - 10 Suites
Linn Records
Available at Arkivmusic.com

This 2-SACD set explores the unique creative output of English Renaissance composer William Lawes. "The Royal Consort" brings together a collection of what were at the time strikingly innovative and unconventional dance tunes, comprised of 10 sets (or "setts" in 17th century lexicon). They are recorded here for the first time in their complete original versions for four viols and theorbo.



Phantasm - Lammermuir festival review – lyrical mystery


Whisper it, but this must be one of the best-kept secrets in the UK classical calendar. The Lammermuir festival takes place in churches and stately homes around East Lothian, the part of Scotland with the softest contours and most hours of sunlight per annum. There’s a quiet class about the whole thing that generates a special kind of listening; for all the dark arts of conjuring festival ambience, Lammermuir tends to simply programme right and let the music do the talking.

A late-night concert at St Mary’s in Haddington – a riverside church, staunchly gothic and moodily floodlit – featured the viol quartet Phantasm delving into some of the most searching music ever written. JS Bach never finished his epic contrapuntal masterpiece The Art of Fugue: the final passage, in which he enigmatically encrypted his own initials, simply cuts out mid-sentence and nobody quite knows why. The manuscript doesn’t specify instruments, and Phantasm made it their own, spinning each line with a sense of lyrical, wide-eyed storytelling that summed up Bach’s love of song and dance as much as the formidable mathematics of his counterpoint. I only wish they hadn’t played an encore: sure, their Purcell Fantasia was gorgeously lissome, but I wanted to leave with Bach’s mystery still hanging in the dark.

Phantasm/Danny Driver at Lammermuir festival review – lyrical mystery and dauntless cool


St Mary’s Parish & Holy Trinity Churches, Haddington
One of the UK’s classiest classical festivals saw viol quartet Phantasm excel in an unfinished Bach masterpiece





Lawes Royal Consort in the UK Classical Charts


To Phantasm's amazement, Lawes's Royal Consort (Linn Records) is #2 in the UK Specialist Classical Charts for the week of 23-30 May 2015, and - what's even more startling - #9 in the Classical Artist Albums. 

Hurrah for Lawes and English Consort Music! 



Official Specialist Classical Chart Top 30 | 24-05-2015 - 30-05-2015 | Official Charts Company

Compiled by the Official Charts Company, the UK's biggest specialist classical albums of the week, based on sales of digital bundles, CDs, vinyl and other formats, across a seven day period.






Austrian Radio (ORF1) broadcast 25 March 2014

On Tuesday 25 March at 7.30p (CET), Austrian Radio (ORF1) broadcasts Phantasm's concert from the 2014 Resonanzen Festival at the Vienna Konzerthaus.


The Festival's theme this year was Oddballs (Querköpfe).Modifying the Wagnerian logo visible on the Konzerthaus portals, Phantasm sought to 'conjure up goodly spirits' by 'honouring' some wonderfully eccentric English 'masters' - Lawes, Tomkins, Jenkins, and Gibbons.

Videos of Phantasm at 2013 BRQ Vantaa Festival Finland

Byrd Fantasia a6 (II)



Byrd Pavan and Galliard a6



Lawes Sett in F a5 - Fantazia



Lawes Sett in F a5 - Pavan



Lawes Sett in F a5 - Aire



Gibbons Galliard a6 


Lawes - Sett in g a6 Aire 




Best heard with decent audio playback!



Front page feed abonnieren