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Purcell: The Complete Fantazias / Fretwork


Release Date: 05/12/2009 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 907502   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 50 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gramophone's Baroque Instrumental Record of the Year for 2009!

3332460.az_PURCELL_Fantasias_I_III.html

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: Read more I–III, in 3 Parts; IV–XIII, in 4 Parts; upon 1 Note. In nomine: in 6 Parts; In 7 Parts. 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
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasia for 3 Viols in D minor, Z 732 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2.
Fantasia for 3 Viols in F major, Z 733 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
3.
Fantasia for 3 Viols in G minor, Z 734 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
4.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in G minor, Z 735 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
5.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in B flat major, Z 736 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in F major, Z 737 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
7.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in C minor, Z 738 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
8.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in D minor, Z 739 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
9.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in A minor, Z 740 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
10.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in E minor, Z 741 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
11.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in G major, Z 742 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
12.
Fantasia for 4 Viols in D minor, Z 743 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
13.
Fantasia upon One Note in F major, Z 745 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
14.
Fantasia in Nomine a 6 in G minor, Z 746 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
15.
Fantasia in Nomine a 7 in G minor, Z 747 by Henry Purcell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1680; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 

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