Henry Purcell: Complete Fantasies for Viols


Winner of the 1997 Gramophone Award - Best Baroque (Non-Vocal) Recording
Diapason d’Or (April 2003)
Choc du Monde de la Musique (April 2003)

Joanna Levine (Tracks 13-15), Susanna Pell (Tracks 14-15) Catherine Finnis (Track 15).

Recording Date: 8-11 August 1995
Recording Location: St Bartholomew's Church, Orford (Suffolk)
Producer: Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Recorded by: Arne Akselberg
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood and Laurence Dreyfus
Editor: Arne Akselberg
Photo: Anthony Crickmay


The music has a deep expressiveness, even emotionalism, and a dramatic tension created by chromaticisms and bold harmonies that makes itself felt even by those unconscious of, or indifferent to, such intellectual considerations... There have been other excellent recordings of these masterly works, but that by Phantasm has a sense of commitment, a vital impetus and a variety of articulation that puts it to the fore.

Lionel Salter, Mar 1997 - published in Gramophone

Phantasm's performances of these fantasias are transparently clear, timbrally attractive, and, through their consistently well-considered balances, texturally inventive. The notes by Laurence Dreyfus are among the most illuminating ever to accompany a disc, bringing to the reader almost as many insights as the performance itself brings to the listener. The recorded sound is a model of clarity and presence, once again nearly as revelatory as the performances themselves. If I were pressed to identify the greatest string music of all time, these youthful fantasias by Purcell would come as readily to my mind as Beethoven's late string quartets. This is music that seems to open the seals of the great book of life. The dearth of recordings of the fantasias need no longer plague devotees of these magnificent works. (In the same breath should be mentioned Jordi Savall's with Hesperion XX, more reflective but less straightforward timbrally and interpretively than Phantasm's.) Happy days are indeed here again, because Phantasm's excellent recording also deserves a high commendation."

Robert Maxham, Mar 1997 - published in Fanfare

David Skudlik