Fantasticus: Baroque Chamber Works

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bertali,Buxtehude,Mealli,Muffat & Jenkins,Schelzer,Stradella
LABELS: Resonus
ALBUM TITLE: Fantasticus: Baroque Chamber Works
WORKS: Baroque Chamber Works
PERFORMER: Fantasticus
CATALOGUE NO: RES10112 (2012)

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When Amsterdam-based Fantasticus made this first recording for Resonus last year it lived up to its name with a programme exploring the 17th-century ‘stylus Fantasticus’ – a style described by one theorist as ‘instituted to display genius and teach the hidden design of harmony’. Here was a group in thrilling harmony with itself, and with genius to spare. Ensemble is laser-sharp and the music-making oozes insight and vitality. From the swaying stateliness of the variations animating Pandolfi Mealli’s Sonata La castella to double helpings of supremely debonair Buxtehude, the sheer freshness and fiery joie de vivre of the playing recalls the young Andrew Manze and his collaborators. Each instrument bags its moment in the spotlight, with Robert Smith’s thrilling visceral yet expressive account of the gamba Sonatina by Augustinus Kertzinger shining particularly bright.

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Paul Riley