A wonderful recording
Unsurprisingly, this is absolutely brilliant. Phantasm have yet to make a recording which is anything other than excellent and this disc of Christopher Tye's complete consort music is a wonderful achievement which sits alongside their best.
I knew Tye as a Tudor composer of choral polyphony, but I had no idea that he wrote consort music, too – and it is extraordinary. Almost always original, sometimes quirky and occasionally just plain odd, I find it fascinating and rewarding to listen to. It's anything but an anodyne musical experience, but the fabulous sound of the viol consort makes it a lovely disc to listen to and means that there is no sense of it being forbidding.
Phantasm are simply superb. Technically, they are flawless and their consort sound is magnificent: rich and beautiful while having the slight edginess at times which this music demands. They bring out all the character of the music while melding it into a coherent, listenable whole and for me this exemplary playing from a truly great ensemble.
With Linn's outstanding recorded sound, fascinating and readable notes from Laurence Dreyfuss and very attractive presentation, this is an outstanding disc all round. I would expect it to feature strongly in Awards lists next year, and I can recommend it very warmly.