The Consorts to the Organ, written in the 1630s at the court of Charles I, are reckoned the pinnacle of Lawes's artistic achievement, intended not for court spectacle but for performance in the king's private apartments. They are also, as Phantasm's director Laurence Dreyfus puts it in a sparky programme note, an acquired taste: hushed, alienating, restless, zany, combative and melancholy. Yet once you embark, it's hard to resist the pastoral airs, anguished pavans and ever-unravelling fantasies of which each set consists. This internationally acclaimed viol ensemble, with organist Daniel Hyde, bring all to shadowy life, the immediacy and intimacy captured expertly by the Linn engineers. Give this music your full attention – and be astonished.
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