The Rose Consort of Viols: Reviews


Adoramus Te: music by William Byrd & Peter Philips
The Rose Consort of Viols with Clare Wilkinson (mezzo-soprano)
Deux-Elles DXL 1155

Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone: Editor’s Choice, October 2014:
'These are impressive interpretations. The Rose Consort’s tone is placid and soft centred but they cope very well with energetic passagework. This isn’t faint praise, for there’s surely room for a more relaxed approach than the exhilarated calisthenics of Phantasm. Clare Wilkinson turns in perhaps the finest performances I can remember from her in this repertory.'

'The programme and the performances on this disc are superb. In particular the tempi are judicious throughout, allowing all that this fine music has to offer to make its impact.'
Richard Turbet, Early Music News

‘These are sensitive and flawless performances, captured on the recording with great clarity and a little warmth. This is a disk that amply repays repeated listening, allowing the listener to discover more variety and to delight more in the understated delicacy of the phrasing of singing and playing on each hearing.
Andrew Fowler, The Viol

Serenissima:music from Renaissance Europe on Venetian viols
Rose Consort of Viols
Delphian DCD34149

‘The Rose Consort is well-nigh flawless, and these restrained, refined readings, informed by a deep understanding of the viol and its repertoire, evoke the finesse and grace of the celebrated Renaissance courts.’
Kate Bolton, BBC Music Magazine, December 2014: Chamber Choice ***** performance ***** recording

’The Rose Consort of Viols offer lively and resonant but always intimate interpretations, executed with precision and piquancy. John Bryan’s admirable notes serve as the listener’s Baedeker.’
Julie Anne Sadie, Gramophone

'… an album that's a pleasure to listen to. Praise, too, for the intelligently chosen program. … The ensemble's precision and rhythmic clarity are noteworthy features of these performances. All in all, then, this is a most attractive release.’
Barry Brenesal, Fanfare

'This lovely recital was inspired by the work of viol maker Richard Jones, whose painstaking reconstructions of instruments based on the last surviving example of an original by Venetian maker Francesco Linarol are played by the Rose Consort. A real pan-European treasure-trove.’
Mark Walker, Classical Ear

"An Emerald in a Work of Gold" DCD34115 www.delphianrecords.co.uk

'... a programme of music sourced from the Dow Partbooks of the 1580s, and containing beautiful examples of music by Byrd and Tallis alongside less familiar names, elicits performances that glow with golden purity and soul.'
- The Scotsman, 10 December 2012

'The Rose Consort need no introduction and their choice of material includes some rather fine and rarely heard In Nomines by Robert White and Nicholas Strogers (respectively staid and quirky), lighter fare being represented by Vincenzo Ruffo's jaunty La gamba.'
- Gramophone, February 2013

'All the viol consort pieces are fine works, played to perfection by the Rose Consort.'
- Audio CD

'... immaculate tuning and clear diction – complemented by the Rose Consort’s own gloriously rich yet transparent sound.' - International Record Review, March 2013

"Four Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal" CD DXL 1129 2008  www.deux-elles.co.uk

'... an attractively varied selection of vocal and instrumental music ... that all works extremely well'
- Goldberg

'The Rose Consort, one of our top viol consorts, is in expressive and elegant form'
- www.musicweb-international

'The viol playing is good ... delicately shaped ... a musical and experienced ensemble'
- BBC Music Magazine

'...the Rose Consort play in a sublimely unfussy, unfettered manner worthy of the music'
- Gramophone

Andrew Mellor The Filter^ Review Spitalfields Winter Festival Rose Consort of Viols/Kirkby

The Rose Consort of Viols was joined by soprano Emma Kirkby for a performance of songs by sixteenth century Italian Luca Marenzio and seventeenth century Englishman John Ward amongst others. The consort lived up to the reputation established by their exemplary discography – the performances were meticulous and exuded musicality throughout. Kirkby's snow-like soprano voice settled neatly into the ensemble, and her communication struck an appropriate balance between the frank and the declamatory, never better than in Marenzio's Dolorous mournful cares, which drew an extraordinarily moving performance from her. The nature of the programme suited the Spitalfields format of a one-hour performance from 7pm to 8pm down to the ground.

David Vernier - www.classicstoday.com   John Ward Consort Music (c.1589 - 1638) 'Upon a Bank with Roses' cpo 999 928-2

The Rose Consort of Viols was created to play music like this, and the collective and individual virtuosity of the six performers on this disc are on full display throughout the generous (72-minute) program. Particularly satisfying are the selections with organ, whose unique colours add another, very sonorous dimension to the viols' already warm, ear-pleasing consonance. The sound, from the very complementary acoustics of Forde Abbey, is appropriately full-bodied yet intimate. If you enjoy music for viols, don't hesitate to add this excellent disc to your collection.

Christoph Wagner, Die Tageszeitung, 25.7.03.  review of the Ferrabosco CD cpo 999 859-2 ....

"The Rose Consort of Viols is one of the most experienced ensembles in this genre, which for more than two decades has been exploring the English consort repertory. They play the music of the Ferraboscos with such perfection and elegance that one feels directly transported back to the English Renaissance." (Die Tageszeitung)

Anna Picard, The Independent on Sunday, 20.7.03. CD review cpo 999 859-2 , Alfonso Ferrabosco Consort Music.

The Rose Consort of Viols. John Bryan, Alison Crum, Sarah Groser, Roy Marks, Susanna Pell, Peter Wendland ...."Theirs is a light, smooth sound; ideally suited to the gentle intricacies of both composers. Excellently programmed, this disc displays an astonishing range of sonorities. For those with a taste for musicology, the progress from Renaissance to Baroque style is subtly mapped. For those who simply like the sound of a viol consort in perfect harmony, a dip into any of the 22 works will be most rewarding."

The Yorkshire Post....

"The Rose Consort of Viols is certainly amongst the finest early music groups working in Europe. . .. Their choice of works demonstrated their exquisite tonal quality and the balance between the five instruments so perfectly judged."

The Gramophone.....

"In their concept and projection of tone, they present an interesting contrast to other groups. . .. Their bow strokes are softly articulated, enabling them to blend their instrumental timbres while maintaining a certain independence. . . the ensemble colours that emerge are pastel and translucent. . .. Indeed, they wear very well."

Early Music News....

"The performance was superb. It is not often one has the chance to hear such a breadth of works by Jenkins played with so much skill, style and understanding. . . the expressive playing and overall light touch gave them an appropriate elegance and style."

Musical Times....

"The profound melodic contours and secret motivic associations were completely satisfying in the sweet-toned Consort. . . robust and mellifluous renderings revealed nothing less than a still far-too-neglected master."

CD Review....

"The Rose Consort combine an entrancing ear for line and texture with great beauty of sound and suppleness of phrase, transporting us at once back to an era which. . . gave a premium to grace, refinement and civilised discourse."

Early Music News....

"This was the most expressive and carefully thought-out performance of Lacrimæ that I have ever heard; the players all showed a commitment to the music and to the purpose of the pavan cycle which took the audience on a journey. . .. The Rose Consort play with an uncompromising clarity and discipline, characteristic of English viol consorts at their best."

BBC Music Magazine....

"With their beautifully shaped readings, at once introspective and passionate, the Rose Consort captures the darker side of Lawes perhaps better than any other ensemble."

Early Music Review...

"Of the items [at the London Coffee House Exchange] I thought outstanding - the Rose Consort's sequence of viol music by the two Alfonso Ferraboscos, beautifully played to a raptly silent audience - spoke to the listener with unfamiliar directness."


Design -  Ted Copper. Graphics - Roy Marks. Last modified 02 Apr 2015
Copyright © 1999-2012 Ted Copper. www.roseconsort.co.uk