Fretwork

The Flat Consort

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212069622
Catnr: SIGCD 696
Release date: 14 January 2022
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212069622
Catalogue number
SIGCD 696
Release date
14 January 2022

"“The Flat Consort” by Fretwork on the Signum Classics label. Sublime!"

Stretto, 24-12-2021
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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EN

About the album

Matthew Locke was born 400 years ago in 1622, and while he is often ranked as one of England’s finest composers, he is still unaccountably neglected: his music may not be as immediately appealing as his immediate successor, Henry Purcell, nor as wide-ranging as William Byrd, yet his forceful musical personality and luxuriant technique place him in the first echelon of English composers, with his works described by Richard Boothby of Fretwork as having a "quixotic, capricious restlessness that is constantly challenging the listener to follow his argument ... a thrilling musical ride". Accompanying Fretwork on continuo for this recording are David Miller (archlute and theorbo) and Silas Wollston (harpsichord).

The cover of the album bares an inscription in the walls by the choir stall of Exeter Cathedral, thought to have been carved by the composer during his time as a member of the choir there.

In 2021, Fretwork celebrated its 35th anniversary. In the past three and a half decades they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged. Their recent critically-praised releases with Signum include If and Lamento – both with counter-tenor Iestyn Davies – and In Nomine 2 (★★★★★ BBC Music Magazine).

Artist(s)

FRETWORK
Asako Morikawa, Emily Ashton, Joanna Levine, Sam Stadlen & Richard Boothby

In 2021, Fretwork celebrates its 35th anniversary. In the past three and a half decades they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged.

In addition to this, Fretwork have become known as pioneers of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned over 40 new works.The list of composers is like the role call of the most prominent writers of our time: George Benjamin, Michael Nyman, Sir John Tavener, Gavin Bryars, Elvis Costello, Alexander Goehr, John Woolrich, Orlando Gough, Fabrice Fitch, Peter Sculthorpe, Sally Beamish, Tan Dun, Barry Guy, Andrew Keeling, Thea Musgrave, Simon Bainbridge, Poul Ruders, John Joubert, Duncan Druce and Nico Muhly. The group now frequently presents programmes consisting entirely of contemporary music.

They made their Carnegie Hall debut in February of 2010, and now tour the United States most years. In that year, they also curated a week-long concert series of concerts at Kings Place.The culmination of this week was the world premier of The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough, a 70-minute piece describing in musical terms Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80.

In 2011, The National Centre for Early Music, in collaboration with the BBC, hosted a competition for young composers to create a four-minute piece for Fretwork.They workshopped

the shortlisted pieces at the NCEM inYork in October,and then the winning entries were premiered in Kings Place in December 2011.

The following year, they premiered Nico Muhly’s My Days for The Hilliard Ensemble and Fretwork in Wigmore Hall; while 2013 was their busiest year for a decade: they played no fewer than ten concerts in London’s major chamber music halls:Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall and the Royal College of Music.

They celebrated their 30th anniversary with a star-studded concert at Kings Place in June of 2016; and recorded four new albums, including The World Encompassed, and later that year they made their longest tour of America, taking in the USA, Canada & Colombia.

In 2018 they performed and recorded a programme celebrating the music of Michael Nyman – who was 75 in 2019 – with the exceptional counter-tenor, Iestyn Davies; and in 2019 they toured North America with this programme. That year they also began a series of concerts at Wigmore Hall, called ‘Musick’s Monument’, presenting the greatest English consort music from the Golden Age – six concerts ranging from Cornyshe to Purcell.

Their recordings with Signum Classics have resulted in several notable releases: The World Encompassed, John Jenkins Four Part Fantasies, If (with Iestyn Davies), In Chains of Gold: Orlando Gibbons’ consort anthems, & The Silken Tent, with Clare Wilkinson, including the music of Debussy, Grieg, Byrd, Purcell, Nyman, Goehr,Wolf, Britten, Shostakovich and Stephen Wilkinson; and then In Nomine II, concluding a survey of English In Nomines started with their debut album in 1987, including Nico Muhly’s Slow and music by Ferrabosco, Bull,Tye, Baldwin, Parsons and Purcell.

The 2020 pandemic curtailed most groups plans and activities, and Fretwork saw its fair share of cancellations; but it was fortunate to receive £30,000 from Arts Council England’s Emergency fund, and then to be able to present a live-streamed concert with Iestyn Davies from the National Centre for Early Music in York, a programme of Dowland’s Lachrimae from Wigmore Hall and premier a new work by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones in the Early Music Festival in Blackheath.They also pressed ahead with more recording, once lockdown restrictions were eased.

In 2021, they have been at Wigmore Hall twice, including a performance on Good Friday, the first from Wigmore for many decades, of Johann Sebastiani’s St Matthew Passion.They have also been awarded a substantial grant from Arts Council England to continue and maintain the continuity of their work.

In 2022 they celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of one of England’s greatest composers for viols, Matthew Locke; and plans visits to Germany, Spain and France.There will also be a collaboration with The Kings Singers and new works from Sir James MacMillan and Roderick Williams.

Composer(s)

Press

“The Flat Consort” by Fretwork on the Signum Classics label. Sublime!
Stretto, 24-12-2021

Play album
01.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: I. Fantazia
03:13
02.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: II. Courante
01:25
03.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: III. Fantazia
02:21
04.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: IV. Saraband
00:37
05.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: V. Fantazia
01:37
06.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 1 in C Minor: VI. Jigg
01:01
07.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: I. Fantazia
01:36
08.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: II. Fantazia
01:39
09.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: III. Courant
01:35
10.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: IV. Fantazia
01:26
11.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: V. Fantazia
01:33
12.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in C: VI. Saraband
00:54
13.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: I. Fantazia
02:56
14.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: II. Courant
01:42
15.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: III. Fantazia
03:04
16.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: IV. Saraband
00:52
17.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: V. Fantazia
02:31
18.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 2 in B-Flat Major: VI. Jigg
01:16
19.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: I. Fantazia
03:36
20.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: II. Courante
01:34
21.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: III. Fantazia
03:01
22.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 3 in D Minor: IV. Saraband
01:49
23.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: I. Fantazia
01:26
24.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: II. Fantazia
01:13
25.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: III. Courant
01:11
26.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: IV. Fantazia
01:15
27.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: V. Fantazia
01:14
28.
Duo for 2 Bass Viols in D: VI. Saraband
00:54
29.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: I. Fantazia
03:06
30.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: II. Gaillard
01:21
31.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: III. Fantazia
03:37
32.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 4 in B-Flat Major: IV. Saraband
01:35
33.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: I. Fantazia
03:18
34.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: II. Gaillard
01:18
35.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: III. Fantazia
02:50
36.
The Flat Consort, Suite No. 5 in A Minor: IV. Saraband
01:42
show all tracks

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