Gibbons: Go From My Window; The Silver Swan; Fantasias

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LABELS: Metronome
WORKS: Go From My Window; The Silver Swan; Fantasias
PERFORMER: Rachel Elliott (soprano); Concordia/Mark Levy
One of the greatest English musical talents to emerge after the Protestant-Catholic strife of the 16th century was Orlando Gibbons. Recently finding myself face to face with his beautiful marble monument in Canterbury Cathedral, I felt an urge to extend my knowledge of his music beyond the expressive riches of the songs, verse anthems and services. In this quest Concordia, which, to quote its director Mark Levy, was founded in 1997 ‘to explore music involving viols of all shapes and sizes’ is proving a stimulating companion. The present release is the second volume of a projected complete survey of Gibbons’s music for viols. In addition, Concordia performs some of the composer’s consort songs. The programme features the fantasias for two- and six-part consort, a six-part pavan and galliard and four songs, among them ‘The Silver Swan’, a morceau favori. Rachel Elliott sings them with lightly articulated refinement, highlighting subtleties of text and music alike. As in its preceding disc of Gibbons’s fantasias, Concordia plays with energy and expressive depth, maintaining a pleasing balance of ensemble. A richly rewarding programme. Nicholas Anderson