Phantasm - Dowland: Lachrimae (Live) - The Arts Desk

The British but now Berlin-based viol consort Phantasm, joined by lutenist Elizabeth Kenny (pictured above), gave a stirring performance of Dowland’s Lachrimae, with every note at once clear and crisp yet beautifully rounded. The constant temperature of the chapel is said to be of particular benefit to period instruments, since it won’t alter the pitch, although quite some time was still spent tuning between numbers. An over-cautious approach to the intonation maybe, but certainly one which paid off as the tuning was impeccably tight throughout. Kenny is a joy both to listen to and to watch. Her intricate ornamentation is as natural as it is detailed, and her leadership of the viols beautifully sensitive to the music. The lush dissonances teased out during the pavans were deliciously wistful and the rhythmic interplay displayed in the dance movements gave an infectious, impish quality with a real swing.

The Arts Desk
03 April 2018