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William Lawes, A Magnetic Figure

There are some excruciatingly angst-like harmonies and there’s also some very playful stuff!

two viol players

Photo: John Mercier

Co-founders of Les Voix Humaines Susie Napper and Margaret Little share a moment.

“It was just one of those things that we just had to do,” is how Susie Napper described Les Voix Humaines‘ CD William Lawes, the Royall Consort.

William Lawes the Royall Consort
Les Voix Humaines (ATMA, 2012)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Napper and the duo’s co-founder Margaret Little actually met through their children. “We got together over twenty-five years ago,” says Little. “Both our elder girls were about two years old and we would get together so that the girls could play together and we also started playing together.”

Both are enthusiastic about the music on the CD. “Lawes is one of the great viol composers in England in the 17thc, “says Napper “We’ve known this music for as long as we’ve played the viols. And it so happened that we felt that we had the right violinists and pluckers for the project, so we went ahead and did it. And it’s been just a huge pleasure to luxuriate in this fantastic sound.”

“Yes,” agrees Little. “We enjoy the incredible variety in his writing. There are some excruciatingly angst-like harmonies and there’s also some very playful stuff. Some of it sounds like traditional music, some of it sounds incredibly musique savant, very serious music.”

“Right” says Napper. “Lawes was at the end of the great era what we call British-English music of the time.”

 

William Lawes the Royall Consort
Les Voix Humaines (ATMA, 2012)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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