BBC Music Magazine

Phantasm's artistic policy to 'dwell in the here and now' rather than to recreate the past has resulted in some of the most vital and unashamedly passionate viol-playing around today. Here, the four instruments are optimally balanced - conversing, articulating and breathing in quasi-vocal fashion. Intonation and ensemble are near impeccable; rhythms are keenly buoyant in the dance-inspired pieces, sinuous in the more reflective ones. The same policy has presumably led to their choice of two singers whose voices are a far cry from what has been decried as the 'whitewashed' early music sound. Ian Partridge will be known to many readers - particularly as a Lieder and opera singer - and here he is in fine form. Geraldine McGreevy's lustrous, bell-like voice and intelligent delivery are most appealing. And while the members of Phantasm certainly imbue their playing with Romantic spirit, they are nonetheless deeply grounded in period style.

 

Date: 

Aug 2000

Author: 

Kate Bolton

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