WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org
Welcome to ArkivMusic, the retail store for WFMT!

Purcell: Fantasias For Viols / Les Voix Humaines


Release Date: 04/28/2009 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 2591   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Henry Purcell
Performer:  Margaret LittleSusie NapperElin SöderströmFelix Deak,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews



PURCELL Fantasias: I–III, in 3 Parts; IV–XII, in 4 Parts; upon 1 Note. In nomine: in 6 Parts; In 7 Parts Fretwork (period instruments) HARMONIA MUNDI 907502 (49: 50)


PURCELL Fantasias: I–III, in 3 Parts; IV–XIII, in 4 Parts; upon 1 Note. In nomine: in 6 Parts; In 7 Parts. Read more The Fairy Queen: Dance for the Green Men; Monkey’s Dance. Dido and Aeneas: Dido’s Lament Les Voix Humaines (period instruments) ATMA 2591 (53:15)


First an explanatory word: the title of Fretwork’s new disc is “The Complete Fantazias,” yet Les Voix Humaines features all 12 known Fantasias and the two In nomine plus a 13th Fantasia. That piece was left incomplete and is here finished by Matthias Maute. To those pieces, Les Voix Humaines adds two dances from The Fairy Queen and an arrangement for viols of “Dido’s Lament.” These instrumental works are typically described as products of Purcell’s youth, though it’s perhaps misleading to talk of the youth of someone who died at 36. Complex, difficult to play let alone imagine, they seem to have been written in a burst in 1680, when the composer was 20. He may have been attempting to revive a moribund genre last visited by Matthew Locke in Purcell’s birth year (1659). They never became popular—until today, perhaps.


There are already fine recordings of the pieces by Jordi Savall and by the Rose Consort. These new recordings are welcome additions to the catalog. If I were to choose based on the performances alone, I would go with Fretwork’s renditions, which are lighter: there’s less of the early-music groan in their playing. But then the 13th Fantasia is worth hearing, and many listeners might want to hear the two dances and the transcription of “Dido’s Lament.” Both discs are recorded closely, and warmly. These are emotional as well as technically challenging pieces, and they are played well by both these groups.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Fantasia for 3 Viols in D minor, Z 732 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Margaret Little (Bass Viola da gamba), Susie Napper (Bass Viola da gamba), Elin Söderström (Viola da gamba),
Felix Deak (Viola da gamba), Mélisande Corriveau (Viola da gamba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
2. Fantasia for 3 Viols in F major, Z 733 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
3. Fantasia for 3 Viols in G minor, Z 734 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
4. Fantasia for 4 Viols in G minor, Z 735 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
5. Fantasia for 4 Viols in B flat major, Z 736 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
6. Fantasia for 4 Viols in F major, Z 737 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
7. Fantasia for 4 Viols in C minor, Z 738 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
8. Fantasia for 4 Viols in D minor, Z 739 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
9. Fantasia for 4 Viols in A minor, Z 740 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
10. Fantasia for 4 Viols in E minor, Z 741 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
11. Fantasia for 4 Viols in G major, Z 742 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
12. Fantasia for 4 Viols in D minor, Z 743 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
13. Fantasia upon One Note in F major, Z 745 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
14. Fantasia in Nomine a 6 in G minor, Z 746 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
15. Fantasia in Nomine a 7 in G minor, Z 747 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
16. Fairy Queen, Z 629: Dance for the Green Men by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
17. Fairy Queen, Z 629: Monkeys' Dance by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
18. Dido and Aeneas, Z 626: Thy hand, Belinda...When I am laid in earth by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; England 

Sound Samples

Fantasia a 3 No. 1 in D minor, Z. 732
Fantasia a 3 in F major, Z. 733
Fantasia a 3 in G minor, Z. 734
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in G minor, Z. 735
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in B flat major, Z. 736
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in F major, Z. 737
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in C minor, Z. 738
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in D minor, Z. 739
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in A minor, Z. 740
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in E minor, Z. 741
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in G major, Z. 742
9 Fantasia a 4: Fantasia a 4 in D minor, Z. 743
Fantasia a 4 in A minor, Z. 744
Fantasia a 5 in F major, Z. 745, "Upon 1 Note"
In Nomine a 6 in G minor, Z. 746
In Nomine a 7 in G minor, Z. 747, "Dorian"
The Fairy Queen, Z. 629: Act I: Dance for the Green Men, "Monkey's Dance"
Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: Act III: When I am laid in earth, "Dido's Lament"

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook