Sunday 13 November 2016

Simpson - The Four Seasons - Sirius Viols/Perl

Rating: 5/5

A lovely disc

This is absolutely excellent.  Hille Perl is a very fine gamba player who has made a lot of really good recordings (and some that I haven't liked).  This is one of her best – thoughtful, superbly played and very enjoyable.

Simpson was a great English gamba player of the early 17th Century and The Seasons is his best-known work.  It's easy to see why; it is varied and very involving with a fine variety of moods and some lovely melodic and harmonic invention.  Perl and her ensemble play it superbly, I think, with intelligence, insight and a remarkable beauty of sound in many places – the opening movement of Spring, entitled Fan, held me absolutely spellbound by it's sheer loveliness, for example.

I have fine recordings of this work by Les Voix Humaines and by Sophie Watillon, of which this is at least the equal.  It's a musically rewarding and very lovely disc – beautifully recorded by DHM.  Warmly recommended.

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