The Excellency of Hand: English Viola da Gamba Duos

The Excellency of Hand: English Viola da Gamba Duos

Regular price $16.74
Total playing time [73:52]

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Robert Smith (viola da gamba)
Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba)

Following on from his critically acclaimed recording of solo English viola da gamba works (Tickle the Minikin), founder member of Fantasticus, Robert Smith, returns with this album of English works for viola da gamba duo. Smith is joined in this collaboration by the prolific and celebrated gambist Paolo Pandolfo.

Featuring a selection of seventeenth-century repertoire from Christopher Simpson, John Jenkins & Simon Ives, this album is packed with divisions for duo, which are often intensely virtuosic. Also featured are a selection of preludes from Christopher Simpson’s The Division Viol and an additional Prelude in A minor by gambist Robert Smith.

Album Booklet (PDF)

Tracklist

Christopher Simpson (c. 1605-1669)
1. Divisions for Two Viols in G major

2. Prelude No. 2 in D minor

John Jenkins (1592-1678)
3. Divisions on a Ground in D major

Christopher Simpson
4. Prelude No. 5 in A minor

John Jenkins
5. Divisions on a Ground in A minor

6. Divisions on a Ground in C major,

Simon Ives (1600-1662)
7. Ayre for Two Bass Viols No. 1

Christopher Simpson
8. Prelude No. 4 in F major

9. Division for Two Viols in F major

John Jenkins
10. Air with Divisions in C major

11. Divisions on a Ground in A minor

Christopher Simpson
12. Prelude No. 11 in B-flat major

John Jenkins
13. Divisions on a Ground in A major

Christopher Simpson
14. Prelude No. 7 in G minor

John Jenkins
15. Divisions on a Ground in G minor

Simon Ives
16. Ayre for Two Bass Viols No. 2

Robert Smith (b. 1980)
17. Prelude in A minor

Christopher Simpson
18. Division for Two Viols in A minor

John Jenkins
19. Air with Divisions in C major

20. Ayre for Bass Viols and Basso Continuo
in D minor

Christopher Simpson
21. Prelude No. 3 in F major

22. Division for Two Viols in F major

'[...] gamba demons Paolo Pandolfo and Robert Smith (early music's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) have concoted an intoxicating brew of pieces that would surely convert the most hardened sceptic [...] Smith and Pandolfo enjoy a terrific rapport sharing an acute sensitivity to balance, ensemble, phrasing and nuance'

- BBC Music Magazine (5 stars)

'These are performances of refinement and subtlety [...] Throughout the duo make a beautiful sound perfectly captured on the Resonus label'
Yorkshire Post (5 stars)

'[...] gamba demons Paolo Pandolfo and Robert Smith (early music's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) have concoted an intoxicating brew of pieces that would surely convert the most hardened sceptic [...] Smith and Pandolfo enjoy a terrific rapport sharing an acute sensitivity to balance, ensemble, phrasing and nuance'
BBC Music Magazine (5 stars)

'Voor wie de Viola da gamba nog niet kent, kan er geen betere kennismaking zijn' ('For those who do not know the Viola da gamba, there is no better introduction')
De Telegraaf

'The gambists aren’t afraid to produce robust sonorities in the most extroverted passages, or to whisper to one another when the mood turns austere. In many of the divisions, they share and interweave phrases with a seamless dexterity that rivets the attention. The end result, with a nod to Simpson, is “delight” that can only elicit an active listener’s bountiful “admiration.”'
Early Music America

'A delightful surprise […] their interplay is absolutely wonderful throughout […] a huge smile on my face listening to that again this morning'
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

'This cd is a delight throughout, bringing together 22 pieces of early music, most of which will be unknown to the majority of listeners. There are works by Christopher Simpson, John Jenkins, Simon Ives plus the gentle intervention of a single work by Robert Smith which is totally in keeping with the seventeenth century surroundings. The sheer grace and delight here speak for themselves – just hear it for yourself!'
Lark Reviews

Credits
© 2017 Resonus Limited
Ⓟ 2017 Resonus Limited
Catalogue No. RES10186
Producer, engineer & editor: Adam Binks
EAN: 5060262790915
Cover image by Eva Gans