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Simpson: The Seasons Vol 1 / Watillon, Heumann, Et Al


Release Date: 11/08/2005 
Label:  Alpha Productions   Catalog #: 88   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Christopher SimpsonMarin Marais
Performer:  Friederike HeumannLuca GuglielmiSophie WatillonMatthias Spaeter,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Son of a shoemaker, Simpson composed pieces for the viol in all the styles prevalent in English viol music in the 17th century. He was also a revered theoretician. His book “The Division-Violist” (London 1659) was highly praised. The Late Sophie Watillon conveys the fantasy and imagination of the improvising violist in seventeenth-century England.

R E V I E W S:

Although it may be next to impossible to discern the programmatic aspects of the works presented here--with titles such as "The Winter", "The Spring", "January", "April", etc.--it's not at all difficult to appreciate the stylish and highly refined instrumental writing that produced these excellent pieces for viols,
Read more plucked strings, and keyboard. Christopher Simpson was one of England's finest composers of viol music in the 17th century, and his treatise on viol technique, which included discussion of the prized art of improvisation, was an important contribution to the compendium of essential instructional works for the instrument. As shown in this collection, the viol was highly versatile and enormously expressive, which often (and rightfully) was compared to the human voice for its range of inflection, dynamic modulation, and timbral variety. And the instrument's ability to blend so agreeably with others in its "family" creates a sound that falls sweetly on the ear.

Simpson exploited the viol's numerous bowing techniques and didn't hesitate to ask his performers to take off in increasingly faster or more complex "divisions" on a theme, spicing them with ornamentations and changing rhythms. The best examples of these techniques are found here in The Spring and in the month of "June", near the end of the program. Needless to say, if you enjoy viol consort music, you'll be happy and impressed with the music and the ensemble musicianship on this first-rate release. The sound is very complementary--richly resonant and full-bodied.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasia-Suites (4) "The Seasons": The Winter by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Luca Guglielmi (Harpsichord), Luca Guglielmi (Organ),
Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba), Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo), Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
2.
Division in A minor by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Sophie Watillon (Bass Viola da gamba), Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
3.
Fantasias (12) "The Monthes": January by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo), Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba), Matthias Spaeter (Archlute),
Luca Guglielmi (Organ), Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
4.
Fantasias (12) "The Monthes": February by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Luca Guglielmi (Organ), Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba),
Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba), Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba), Matthias Spaeter (Archlute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
5.
Fantasias (12) "The Monthes": March by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo), Matthias Spaeter (Archlute), Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba),
Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba), Luca Guglielmi (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
6.
The Division Viol: Prelude by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Sophie Watillon (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1659; England 
7.
The Division Viol: Divisions in E minor by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Luca Guglielmi (Organ), Sophie Watillon (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1659; England 
8.
Fantasia-Suites (4) "The Seasons": The Spring by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Luca Guglielmi (Organ), Luca Guglielmi (Harpsichord), Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo),
Matthias Spaeter (Archlute), Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba), Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba),
Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
9.
The Division Viol: Divisions in G major by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Luca Guglielmi (Harpsichord), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo),
Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
10.
Fantasias (12) "The Monthes": April by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Luca Guglielmi (Organ), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo),
Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba), Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
11.
Fantasias (12) "The Monthes": May by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba), Luca Guglielmi (Organ),
Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba), Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
12.
Fantasias (12) "The Monthes": June by Christopher Simpson
Performer:  Brian Franklin (Bass Viola da gamba), Sophie Watillon (Treble Vla da gamba), Luca Guglielmi (Organ),
Matthias Spaeter (Theorbo), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
13.
Sujet à divertir by Marin Marais
Performer:  Sophie Watillon (Bass Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 

Sound Samples

4 Fantasia-Suites, "The 4 Seasons": I. Fantasia
4 Fantasia-Suites, "The 4 Seasons": II. Ayre
4 Fantasia-Suites, "The 4 Seasons": III. Galliard
Divisions in A minor
12 Fantasias, "The Monthes": No. 1. January
12 Fantasias, "The Monthes": No. 2. February
12 Fantasias, "The Monthes": No. 3. March
Prelude in D major: The Division-Violist: Prelude
Prelude in D major: The Division-Violist: Divisions in E minor, "Minuritiones septimae"
4 Fantasia-Suites, "The 4 Seasons": I. Fantasia
4 Fantasia-Suites, "The 4 Seasons": II. Ayre
4 Fantasia-Suites, "The 4 Seasons": III. Galliard
Divisions in G major
12 Fantasias, "The Monthes": No. 4. April
12 Fantasias, "The Monthes": No. 5. May
12 Fantasias, "The Monthes": No. 6. June
Pieces de viole, Book 1: Pieces a 1 et 2 violes, Book 1: Sujet ... "a divertir"...

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