Hyperion Records

The Broken Consort I
composer
1661

Recordings
'Locke: The Broken Consort' (CDH55255)
Locke: The Broken Consort
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55255  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Details
Suite No 1 in G minor. Movement 1: Fantasy
Track 1 on CDH55255 [3'56] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 1 in G minor. Movement 2: Corant
Track 2 on CDH55255 [1'26] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 1 in G minor. Movement 3: Air
Track 3 on CDH55255 [2'34] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 1 in G minor. Movement 4: Saraband
Track 4 on CDH55255 [0'34] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 2 in G major. Movement 1: Fantasy
Track 5 on CDH55255 [2'30] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 2 in G major. Movement 2: Corant
Track 6 on CDH55255 [1'03] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 2 in G major. Movement 3: Air
Track 7 on CDH55255 [2'30] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 2 in G major. Movement 4: Saraband
Track 8 on CDH55255 [1'05] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 3 in C major. Movement 1: Fantasy
Track 15 on CDH55255 [3'34] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 3 in C major. Movement 2: Corant
Track 16 on CDH55255 [1'14] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 3 in C major. Movement 3: Air
Track 17 on CDH55255 [1'46] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 3 in C major. Movement 4: Sarabande
Track 18 on CDH55255 [0'37] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 4 in C major. Movement 1: Fantasy
Track 19 on CDH55255 [1'41] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 4 in C major. Movement 2: Corant
Track 20 on CDH55255 [1'09] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 4 in C major. Movement 3: Air
Track 21 on CDH55255 [3'01] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 4 in C major. Movement 4: Sarabande
Track 22 on CDH55255 [0'36] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 5 in D minor. Movement 1: Fantasy
Track 29 on CDH55255 [3'11] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 5 in D minor. Movement 2: Corant
Track 30 on CDH55255 [1'34] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 5 in D minor. Movement 3: Air
Track 31 on CDH55255 [1'55] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 5 in D minor. Movement 4: Saraband
Track 32 on CDH55255 [0'49] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 6 in D major. Movement 1: Fantasy
Track 33 on CDH55255 [2'34] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 6 in D major. Movement 2: Corant
Track 34 on CDH55255 [1'49] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 6 in D major. Movement 3: Air
Track 35 on CDH55255 [1'52] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Suite No 6 in D major. Movement 4: Saraband – Conclusion
Track 36 on CDH55255 [1'18] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

The Broken Consort I
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In planning The Broken Consort, Locke drew partly on the fantasia suite tradition. Coprario and Lawes used a fixed sequence of fantasy–air–galliard, which Jenkins and others modified by replacing the galliard with the more modern corant. Locke added a second triple-time movement, so that duple-time and triple-time, grave and light, movements alternate. Earlier collections of fantasia suites had mostly been in sets of eight, often grouped by key in four pairs. Locke tightened the structure by reducing the number to six, by giving the odd-numbered suites imposing ‘slow introductions’, and by providing the Saraband of No 6 with an imposing duple-time conclusion or ‘drag’ to round off the set in a satisfying way. Thus, it can be performed as six individual suites, as three pairs (G minor/major, C major and D minor/major), or as a whole, providing about an hour’s music with the necessary pauses for tuning, conversation and refreshment.

Locke’s Broken Consort fantasias are largely conventional in structure, using a succession of unrelated contrapuntal ideas, though the provision of ‘slow introductions’ seems to have been his idea, and in the Fantasy of Suite No 4 he largely abandons counterpoint in favour of a freer madrigal-like idiom, which he doubtless thought particularly appropriate for violins. Locke’s part-writing is often delightfully angular and his harmony quirkily dissonant, though the feature of his music that most remains in the memory is his wonderful melodic sense, deployed most tellingly in the slow Airs of suites Nos 2, 4 and 6. Many of the elegant corants are memorable for the same reason—Locke was particularly fond of the dance and wrote that he ‘never yet saw any Forain Instrumental Composition (a few French Corants excepted) worthy an English mans Transcribing’—while most of the sarabands (still a fast and furious dance in Restoration England) exploit exuberant cross-rhythms.

Locke’s consort music has too often been thought of as an imperfect and immature version of the idiom perfected by Purcell. In fact, it is more useful (and certainly more historically appropriate) to see it as the culmination of a great tradition, started nearly a century before by William Byrd and his contemporaries. According to the writer Roger North, Charles II had ‘an utter detestation of Fancys’ and preferred music he could beat time to. As a result, the Broken Consort was soon superceded in the king’s private apartments by a detachment from the Twenty-four Violins, and its fine contrapuntal repertory passed into history.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1995

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDH55255 track 36
Suite No 6 in D major, Movement 4: Saraband – Conclusion
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-95-72736
Duration
1'18
Recording date
25 February 1994
Recording venue
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Locke: The Broken Consort (CDA66727)
    Disc 1 Track 36
    Release date: March 1995
    Deletion date: December 2005
    Superseded by CDH55255
  2. Locke: The Broken Consort (CDH55255)
    Disc 1 Track 36
    Release date: June 2006
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
   English   Français   Deutsch