The works for viola da gamba of Elizabethan soldier and composer Tobias Hume are wonderfully eccentric, highly entertaining, and often deeply moving, but not often recorded, so new recordings are always welcome. This 2009 Hyperion disc by German gambist Susanne Heinrich may not be the most poetic, soulful Hume recording ever made -- that honor would go to the incomparable Jordi Savall -- but it is nevertheless a fine addition to the composer's catalog. With her warm but penetrating tone, polished but passionate technique, and acute sensitivity, Heinrich is a first-class player and interpreter, and her performances are wholly sympathetic to the music. Her account of the bleak "I am Melancholy" is as effective as that of the droll "Tickell, tickell," and her reading of the cheerful "Life" is as moving as that of the grim "Deth." Recorded in transparent and present digital sound, this disc deserves to be heard by all admirers of music for viola da gamba.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|The First Part of Ayres|