Classical: Gooding/Cerasi/Wilson

Music from the time of Vermeer, Metronome
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The Independent Culture

The not so Olde Worlde of exhibition spin-offs has traditionally been dominated by the kind of gewgaws that would have most great masters spinning in their graves. How nice, then, to find a tie-in disc that not only complements the National Gallery's Vermeer exhibition but adds to our understanding of it. This programme of music from the library of composer and art collector Constantijn Huygens gives some idea of what sounds might have come from the virginals played by Vermeer's serene portrait subjects. But don't expect echt Nederlands dance music – like most of late 17th-century Europe, Holland was led in musical taste by the French. With the talents of soprano Julia Gooding, harpsichordist Carole Cerasi, and lutenist Christopher Wilson vying for attention, it's difficult to pick highlights, though Le reveil de Calliste stands out for luminous intimacy. Forget the mugs, the tote bags and the fridge magnets. Immerse yourself in Vermeer's extraordinary sound-world instead.