Classical and contmeporary releases this week

CONCORDIA | Orlando Gibbons - Royal Fantasies ACADEMY OF ANCIENT MUSIC | Haydn - Symphonies, Vol 10 BJORNSTAD & DARLING | Epigraphs
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CONCORDIA | Orlando Gibbons - Royal Fantasies (Metronome)

CONCORDIA | Orlando Gibbons - Royal Fantasies (Metronome)

The blackened Jacobean elegance of Orlando Gibbons' powerful motets has always been core cathedral repertoire, but until recently his instrumental music has been largely overlooked. Under the direction of Mark Levy - a member of chamber music supremos The Cambridge Musick - Concordia have begun their project to record Gibbons' complete music for viols with this collection of fantasias from 1621. Concordia tend to a more polite approach than the heavy sound favoured by continental viol players but their measured calmness is ideally suited to the contemplative In Nomines that start the disc. This is a fine follow-up to Crye, their excellent disc on the cult of melancholy. Anna Picard

ACADEMY OF ANCIENT MUSIC | Haydn - Symphonies, Vol 10 (L'Oiseau Lyre)

As record industry cut-backs continue to cut a swathe through many a conductor's desire to be completist, it's nice to see another addition to Christopher Hogwood's collection of Haydn Symphonies finally released. Volume 10 (which covers Symphonies 62, 63, 70, 71, and 73 to 75) has all the verve and panache that have characterised this elegant series. The Academy of Ancient Music have a classically brisk neatness of sound and their deft phrasing gives the delicate energy of Haydn's writing an easy, fluid quality. The performance of Symphony 74 is a particular highlight, and confirms Hogwood's pre-eminence in this field. If a few corners are rather hazardous it only adds to the general excitement. AP

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