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English Fancy
William BYRD (1539-1623)
Sellenger’s Rownde [5.31]
Tobias HUME (c.1569-1645)
Captain Hume’s Lamentation [6:38]
William LAWES (1605-1645)
Suite No 8 in D major [11:37]
John JENKINS (1592-1678)
Suite No 2 in G minor [11.10]
Christopher SIMPSON (c.1605-1669)
The Little Consort Suite in G minor [12.50]
Thomas BALTZAR (c.1631-1663)
John Come Kiss me now [5.01]
Matthew LOCKE (c.1621-1677)
For Several Friends Suite in B flat Major [7.49]
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Ayres for the Theatre: Overture from Bonduca [4.21]
Slow Air from Distressed Innocence [2.04]
Air fromThe Virtuous Wife [0.36]
Hornpipe on a Ground fromThe Married Beau [1.59]
Dance for the Chinese Man and Woman fromThe Fairy Queen [2.38]
Pavan in B flat Major [3.04]
Hornpipe from Abdelazar - Hole in the Wall [3.34]
Trio Settecento (Rachel Barton Pine (violin): John Mark Rozendaal (viola da gamba): David Schrader (harpsichord and positiv organ))
rec. 1-6 August 2011, Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston, Illinois
CEDILLE CDR 90000 135 [79.47]

This is the fourth and last in Trio Settecento’s European Tour which has taken in sojourns in Italy, Germany and France. It’s now the turn of Albion to host the American trio in an album that explores English Fancy via the music of Byrd, Tobias Hume, William Lawes, John Jenkins, Christopher Simpson, Thomas Baltzar, Locke, and Purcell.
 
Rachel Barton Pine plays on a replica of a Renaissance violin where the neck and fingerboard are shorter than later models. It’s held on the arm, not the shoulder, which was a novelty for her but one to which she eventually got used. A = 440 is used in these recordings though the group usually plays at A = 415. Byrd’s Sellinger’s Rownde (or Sellenger’s Rownde) heard in an arrangement by the trio and it sounds, as intended, as an attractive consort opener, though cleverly it retains its keyboard origins via some extended passages for David Schrader’s harpsichord. Tobias Hume’s Captain Hume’s Lamentation was written for an instrument popular at the time, the lyra viol, and continuo. Its transformation here is done with expressive intensity, as befits the rather desolate feelings evoked. It is inevitable that William Lawes should be explored in a disc of this kind. His well-known Fantazia receives a fine performance, as do the two brief companion works by him. John Jenkins was a less personalised composer than Lawes but one still very much worth getting to know. His own Fantasia is less complex than Lawes’ but it is more obviously refined. The three Jenkins pieces are particularly well-chosen in the interests of maximal contrast.
 
A less-remembered composer is Christopher Simpson whose The Little Consort Suite in G minor offers seven very brief dance movements. Composed for treble viol or violin, lyra viol and basso, this is in point of fact something of a composite performance with pieces taken from both books of Simpson’s consort music. But this enables us to hear the fluid Pavan, a fleet Saraband and a delightful sequence of deftly performed miniatures. Published in 1684, long after he had died, Baltzar’s John Come Kiss me now has been adapted by Barton Pine to play in the high positions of her instrument. The ingenious series of variations on the song are resourcefully performed and prove highly diverting. Matthew Locke’s brief dances from For Several Friends, the Suite in B flat Major, fly by though things slow a little for the Purcell sequence, of which the Hornpipe from Abdelazar – ‘Hole in the Wall’ is another arrangement by members of the trio.
 
This delightfully played recital, very well recorded in Nichols Concert Hall at the Music Institute of Chicago, will appeal strongly to those who have followed the trio’s earlier European jaunts.
 
Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Gary Higginson