Monday, 27 June 2016

Pamela Thorby & Andrew Lawrence-King - The Garden of Early Delights

Rating: 5/5

A real delight

This is a real gem of a CD. I tried it because of the two performers whose work I have loved for a long time, and I am very glad that I did.

The music presented here is from the 16th and 17th centuries for various types of recorder with continuo - here provided by Andrew-Lawrence King's harp - and there are also some pieces for solo recorder and solo harp. It is a well-chosen, varied and interesting programme; there are vigorous, sparkling pieces allowing Pamela Thorby to display her amazing virtuosity, through to beautiful, melancholy pieces by John Dowland. It is a disc you can listen to straight through because it never becomes same-y, but each piece stands up very well on its own merits.

The musicianship is fantastic. Pamela Thorby already has a wonderful body of work with the Palladian Ensemble and other ensembles, and is well established as one of the world's finest performers on the recorder. Andrew Lawrence-King has played with too many great soloists and ensembles to list and is simply brilliant. His harp sounds like a full chamber ensemble at times and a delicate solo instrument at others. Together they make a wonderful sound, excellently recorded by Linn, and they bring this lovely music to life.

The notes are very good and the presentation is attractive, making this a really cracking disc all round, and I recommend it very warmly.

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