1. Locke: The Flat Consort / Fretwork - ArkivMusic

Locke: The Flat Consort / Fretwork

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Matthew Locke was born 400 years ago in 1622, and while he is often ranked as one of England’s finest composers, he is still unaccountably neglected: his music may not be as immediately appealing as his immediate successor, Henry Purcell, nor as wide-ranging as William Byrd, yet his forceful musical personality and luxuriant technique place him in the first echelon of English composers, with his works described by Richard Boothby of Fretwork as having a "quixotic, capricious restlessness that is constantly challenging the listener to follow his argument ... a thrilling musical ride". Accompanying Fretwork on continuo for this recording are David Miller (archlute and theorbo) and Silas Wollston (harpsichord). The cover of the album bares an inscription in the walls by the choir stall of Exeter Cathedral, thought to have been carved by the composer during his time as a member of the choir there. In 2021, Fretwork celebrated its 35th anniversary. In the past three and a half decades they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged. Their recent critically-praised releases with Signum include If and Lamento – both with countertenor Iestyn Davies – and In Nomine 2 (BBC Music Magazine).

Pieces include: 

  1. Suite for 3 parts & continuo No. 5 in A minor (The Flat Consort No. 5)
  2. Suite for 3 parts & continuo No. 4 in B flat major (The Flat Consort No. 4)
  3. Suite, for 2 bass viols No. 2 in D major (Duos for 2 bass viols No. 2)
  4. Suite for 3 parts & continuo No. 3 in D minor (The Flat Consort No. 3)
  5. Suite for 3 parts & optional continuo No. 2 in B flat major (The Flat Consort No. 2)
  6. Suite, for 2 bass viols No. 4 in C major (Duos for 2 bass viols No. 4)
  7. Suite, for consort No. 1 in C minor (from Flat Consort for My Cousin Kemble)


Product Description:


  • Release Date: January 14, 2022


  • Catalog Number: SIGCD696


  • UPC: 635212069622


  • Label: Signum Classics


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Matthew Locke


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Fretwork