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Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, May 2014

Rachel Barton Pine plays on a replica of a Renaissance violin where the neck and fingerboard are shorter than later models. Byrd’s Sellinger’s Rownde…heard in an arrangement by the trio and it sounds, as intended, as an attractive consort opener, though cleverly it retains its keyboard origins via some extended passages for David Schrader’s harpsichord. Tobias Hume’s Captain Hume’s Lamentation was written for an instrument popular at the time, the lyra viol, and continuo. Its transformation here is done with expressive intensity…It is inevitable that William Lawes should be explored in a disc of this kind. His well-known Fantazia receives a fine performance, as do the two brief companion works by him. John Jenkins was a less personalised composer than Lawes but one still very much worth getting to know. His own Fantasia is less complex than Lawes’ but it is more obviously refined. The three Jenkins pieces are particularly well-chosen in the interests of maximal contrast.

…Christopher Simpson[’s]…The Little Consort Suite in G minor offers seven very brief dance movements. Composed for treble viol or violin, lyra viol and basso, this is in point of fact something of a composite performance with pieces taken from both books of Simpson’s consort music. But this enables us to hear the fluid Pavan, a fleet Saraband and a delightful sequence of deftly performed miniatures…Baltzar’s John Come Kiss me now has been adapted by Barton Pine to play in the high positions of her instrument. The ingenious series of variations on the song are resourcefully performed and prove highly diverting.

This delightfully played recital, very well recorded…will appeal strongly to those who have followed the trio’s earlier European jaunts. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Maria Nockin
Fanfare, November 2013

What a joy to hear many of these selections for the first time, played to perfection by these fine artists. Listening to them you feel as if you are transported back in time to hear these catchy tunes and their interesting variations. If you have any interest in musical history, you will love this disc. © 2013 Fanfare



Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, July 2013

…stylistically speaking, England absorbed more than it contributed to the music of the period, it…gave the world top-notch baroque music of its own by the likes of Matthew Locke, William Lawes, and (most of all) Henry Purcell. All of those composers are represented on this delightful selection of suites and airs for violin, viola da gamba, and keyboard. The Trio Settecento (featuring violinist Rachel Barton Pine) has released a series of geographically-themed baroque collections over the past few years, and this is one of the best of them. © 2013 Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist Read complete review



Ben Finane
Listen: Life with Classical Music, April 2013

Highlights include William Lawe’s rewarding Suite No. 8 in D Major; Thomas Baltzar’s sunny set of variations, John Come Kiss Me Now; and Purcell’s Ayres for the Theatre, the Overture of which reveals the tasty dissonances and pitfalls of chromatic harpsichord playing. In all, there are eighty minutes of labyrinthine delights here in which to lose yourself. © 2013 Listen: Life with Classical Music Read complete review



James A. Altena
Fanfare, March 2013

…all of the pieces are…given exemplary performances. The recorded sound is bright and forward; the booklet provides detailed notes…I look forward to further releases by this excellent ensemble; warmly recommended. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review



Ardella Crawford
American Record Guide, March 2013

I really love this program!

This is a charming selection of pieces, charmingly played, and so very English! © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, February 2013

There is much here to enjoy.

All in all this is a fascinating and worthwhile collection excellently documented. It offers a varied but consistent over-view of the chamber music available to the 17th Century English house and court.

Each of the three performers is a star and it’s good that David Schrader has had a chance to play solo for one of the Purcell pieces: the Overture from the little known Bonduca. John Mark Rozendaal, whose detailed and clear notes I have already mentioned, is no mere supporter on the gamba. The whole enterprise on this generously filled disc is cleverly played and cleanly recorded. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Ken Smith
Gramophone, February 2013

While you might be able to find similar surveys so densely packed, historically informed or stylistically varied, you’re much less likely to find another collection so palpably connected to the music’s social roots. It’s not just that you can move to the various dance forms in Christopher Simpson’s Little Consort Suite, you can practically hear the theatre in Henry Purcell’s Ayres for the Theatre and see the ‘friends’ in Matthew Locke’s suite For Several Friends.

…its strengths are much the same. First, a partnership of musicians who prove that period performance need not be sonically thin and bloodless, and second, a frontal recording quality that eschews a distancing ‘cathedral’ acoustic and hauls the listener directly into the middle of the dance floor. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, January 2013

This is the fourth and last volume in the Trio Settecento’s admirable chamber trip through Europe; previous volumes having taken us to Italy, France, and Germany.  All are worthwhile, even exceptional, but I think that this latest is my favorite.

The disc features what the Trio, rightly, considers the primary force of English musical chamber form, that of the Fantasy, or even fancy, a free form not always devoid of stricter formal elements but often serving as a springboard for all sorts of instrumental imaginary exploits like, as the notes so descriptively tell us, “melody, harmony, counterpoint, decoration, instrumental techniques, gestures, colors, combinations, and even spiritual exploration”. This last is something that should not go unnoticed as the music offered is exceptional in its fecund melody and sometimes heart-wrenching affectedness.

The sound is terrific, as in all of the discs in this series, and the 80 minutes offered provide only moments of exquisite beauty and great interest, not one second letting the attention flag. Now that they have finished this particular series I can’t wait to see what comes next. © Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Marvin J. Ward
Classical Voice of North Carolina (cvnc.org), December 2012

ITALIAN SOJOURN (AN) CDR90000-099
Chamber Music (Baroque) - SCHOP, J. / SCHMELZER, J.H. / MUFFAT, G. / KRIEGER, J.P. / BUXTEHUDE, D. / BACH, J.S. / ERLEBACH, P.H. (Trio Settecento) CDR90000-114
Chamber Music - LULLY, J.-B. / COUPERIN, F. / MARAIS, M. / REBEL, J.-F. / RAMEAU, J.-P. / LECLAIR, J.M. (A French Soiree) (Trio Settecento) CDR90000-129
ENGLISH FANCY (AN) CDR90000-135

This is the finest recorded set of historically-informed Baroque period recitals that I have ever encountered, for its selection of works, their arrangement within each program and across the series, and for the instrumentation and the simply stunning performances. © Marvin J. Ward & CVNC. Reproduced with permission. Read complete review




Mary Kunz Goldman
The Buffalo News, November 2012

This is a great collection of popular, secular music of the Elizabethan era. We hear so much about the serious side of that time period, and this disc toasts its lighter side. You can tell from the titles: Matthew Locke’s “For Several Friends”; Christopher Simpson’s “The Little Consort”; a great set of theme and variations by Thomas Baltzar called “John Come Kiss Me Now.” Henry Purcell’s “Ayres for the Theatre” are a delight. If you are new to early music, this is a nice disc to start with. It’s all entertaining and listenable, not to mention beautifully performed. Plus, it’s fun to hear earlier forms of the jigs, allemandes, sarabandes and courantes that resurface in the suites of Johann Sebastian Bach. Trio Settecento comprises John Mark Rozendaal on viola da gamba; David Schrader on harpsichord and organ; and violinist Rachel Barton Pine. © 2012 The Buffalo News Read complete review



John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, October 2012

The music includes short pieces by William Byrd (1539–1623), Tobias Hume (1569–1645), William Lawes (1605–1645), John Jenkins (1592–1678), Christopher Simpson (1605–1669), Tomas Baltzar (c. 1631–1663), Matthew Locke (c. 1621–1677), and Henry Purcell (1659–1695). As always, the playing of Trio Settecento is first-rate, and the disc sounds superb.

The opening number, Byrd’s Sellinger’s Rownde, has a nice ebb and flow to it, with each musician getting a moment in the spotlight. The second item couldn’t be more different, a mournful dirge by Hume called Captain Hume’s Lamentation in which the viola da gamba provides a melancholy underpinning. The positive organ introduces and holds sway in the Suite No. 8 in D Major by Lawes, a three-movement work odd in nature that comes across with a fascinating beauty.

And so it goes. There’s another suite that follows, again a three-movement affair, the Suite No. 2 in G Minor by Jenkins, that casts a sorrowful air, yet it’s played with such affection and the whole thing is so melodic…

…“John Come Kiss Me Now” by Baltzer…has a wonderfully infectious folklike swing to it.

…the Purcell selections are fun throughout, and Trio Settecento play them with a casual ease that is most welcome.

Cedille’s chief engineer Bill Maylone recorded the music in Nichols Concert Hall at the Music Institute of Chicago…I tell you, if Maylone did the audio, I’m behind it all the way; he does some of the best work in the business. The balance among the instruments is as ideal as one could want, with none of them overshadowing the others…Moreover, there is a wonderfully agreeable ambient glow around the notes, a natural-sounding hall resonance that enhances the music and our listening pleasure. Midrange detail is excellent; dynamics are fine; and a moderately distanced miking arrangement gives the whole affair a feeling of realism.

You get your money’s worth here, along with a lovely album cover. © 2012 Classical Candor Read complete review






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