Review on William Lawes Consorts to the Organ by Phantasm

Dreyfus's commentaries on these 23 pieces are as detailed as they are passionate. He maintains that Lawers's inclination to musical rule-breaking - and, indeed, his "zaniness" - puts him high among the great originals. These two beautifully performed sets of fantasies, airs and pavans for viol consort with organ date from 1636-39, and are full of suave angularities and delicious dissonances, captivating for liveliness and melancholy alike. The five-part C minor Pavan (here spelt "paven") is triumphantly mournful and, for Dreyfus, "Lawes's masterpiece". The six-part B flat Fantazy is downright catchy, the first six-part Fantazy in F sternly imposing.


Jun 2012


Paul Driver

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