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In this new recording Phantasm make no excuses for arranging some of Bach’s remarkable keyboard music for a consort of viols. Led by director Laurence Dreyfus they go on a conscious mission to uncover the hidden riches concealed behind the more neutral resources of the harpsichord and organ so as to liberate the fascinating characters lurking in the shadows and behind the scenes within Bach’s individual polyphonic lines. In the process of fugal confrontation among three to six musicians, they come face to face with the astounding psychological insights of Bach’s most radical inventions. Drawn chiefly from the two books of the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Musical Offering and the Clavier-Übung III, the repertoire chosen for this recording has an uncanny way of forging Bach’s links with the old English traditions of the Fantasy and In nomine as much as leaping forward into a chromatic twelve-tone world where the raw emotions of expressionist modernism become not only audible but adventurously relevant. A second instalment of The Well-Tempered Consort is already planned for 2021.

"It is a fascinating and intriguing exercise ... and the results from Phantasm are beautifully expressive and highly engaging."
Planet Hugill, 19 January 2020
"They make the point that a viol consort can put human flesh on the bones of counterpoint in really interesting ways ... I enjoyed it a lot."
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review', 8 February 2020
"A delight throughout ... you can certainly sit back and relax into some hauntingly beautiful sounds and superb musicianship with this recording."
MusicWeb International, 27 February 2020
"Attention to beauty of sound and balance is paramount ... a very persuasive account ..."
Classical CD Choice, 7 February 2020
"Beautifully shaped, deftly articulated and warmly captured, it's no wonder Phantasm is already planning a second volume ..."
Only The Music, 18 February 2020
"... the most compelling reason to play Bach's most densely wrought instrumental music on the viol is because it sounds fresh and appealing. Bach's contrapuntal achievements sparkle in the hands of Phantasm."
American Record Guide, 6 April 2020
"This wonderful disc transports the counterpoint of Johann Sebastian ... the viol consort Phantasm breathe into well-known Bach a breath of newborn liveliness."
Gramophone, March 2020 issue
"“For a taster listen to track 12, and the clarity and innate reciprocity of the fugal movements (in particular will demonstrate how apt this medium is for giving us both a domestic-scaled and yet rich and sensuous performance.”"
Early Music Review, 25 February 2020
"Performance 5* / Recording 5* / Chamber Choice: A rich, innovative interpretation of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier ... The Consort sound is a balm of well-tempered, flowing sweetness."
BBC Music Magazine, April 2020
"4.5* : ... the music itself retains interest primarily through the counterpoint, and it is quite easy to accept the smooth string sonorities in music that benefits from the clarity of this group’s lines."
All Music, 10 March 2020
"A wonderful new disc ... It’s like coming afresh to these works and one hears them in a completely new light."
BBC Music Magazine Podcast, February 2020
"Keyboard works joyfully and successfully adapted to viol consort … the players present Bach’s intricate lines as the most sophisticated kind of chamber music."
The Strad
"Transferring Bach’s keyboard works to a viol consort reveals the sensitivity of timbre possible with bowed string instruments rather than a plucked or wind-blown one."
Andrew Benson-Wilson blog