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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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Lawes transforms the pavan into a hieratic procession of mourning, out of which strident voices issue orders and tearful elegies are recited. Claims are asserted and demands made, because the instruments refuse to relinquish the tell-tale note which begins their points (1:50–1:53). Another incomplete cadence (at 4:43) gives way to a vehement upsurge (4:45–4:58), creating a poignant curtailment all the more striking because anyone can supply the missing notes. It’s as if the thought is too painful to be uttered in full.
Surely the most brilliant piece in the collection, this fantasy is infused with the daemonic driving rhythms which propel the consort breathlessly forward. Still inhabiting the dark world of the preceding pavan, Lawes adds brutality to his affective pedal points (0:42–0:54), with each viol vying for supremacy amidst rancorous disorder. An unexpected organ outburst outmanoeuvres two raucous bass viols (0:54–1:08) and introduces a regal set of voices demanding to be heard. The treble viols react angrily (1:08–1:12) as if to silence impudence. This is tragic, theatrical music, even if subject and plot remain mysterious. Pairs of viols in alternation (1:18–1:26) proclaim their control, but succumb to conflict and confrontation. Only lament and resignation remain (1:53 to the end), with pathos weighing heavily in the repeated note figures and dissonant-rich harmonies.
Lawes’s obsessional behaviour figures in the angry repeated points (0:17–0:20) of this companion piece, which are answered imperiously by the false relations of the treble viols (0:20–0:24). Strife and the diffuse sounds of battle abound in the B section, and one senses the smell of muskets and roar of canons. In the greatest of Lawes’s mad pedal points (1:01–1:24), the two bass viols alternately strike their low D strings nine times in succession (1:14–1:23) amidst a hyperventilated fracas of dissonant false relations. Far from a glorification of war, there is only anguish about its inevitable discord.