The Excellency of Hand


Robert Smith & Paolo Pandolfo (violas da gamba)
Following on from his critically acclaimed recording of solo English viola da gamba works (Tickle the Minikin), founder member of Fantasticus, Robert Smith, returns with this album of English works for viola da gamba duo. Smith is joined in this collaboration by the prolific and celebrated gambist Paolo Pandolfo.

Featuring a selection of seventeenth-century repertoire from Christopher Simpson, John Jenkins & Simon Ives, this album is packed with divisions for duo, which are often intensely virtuosic. Also featured are a selection of preludes from Christopher Simpson’s The Division Viol and an additional Prelude in A minor by gambist Robert Smith.

EoH ImageThe brilliant cover art work is by Amsterdam artist, Eva Gans. You can find out more about her here





‘These are performances of refinement and subtlety […] Throughout the duo make a beautiful sound perfectly captured on the Resonus label’
Yorkshire Post (5 stars)

‘Voor wie de Viola da gamba nog niet kent, kan er geen betere kennismaking zijn’ (‘For those who do not know the Viola da gamba, there is no better introduction’)
De Telegraaf

‘The gambists aren’t afraid to produce robust sonorities in the most extroverted passages, or to whisper to one another when the mood turns austere. In many of the divisions, they share and interweave phrases with a seamless dexterity that rivets the attention. The end result, with a nod to Simpson, is “delight” that can only elicit an active listener’s bountiful “admiration.”’
Early Music America

‘This cd is a delight throughout, bringing together 22 pieces of early music, most of which will be unknown to the majority of listeners. There are works by Christopher Simpson, John Jenkins, Simon Ives plus the gentle intervention of a single work by Robert Smith which is totally in keeping with the seventeenth century surroundings. The sheer grace and delight here speak for themselves – just hear it for yourself!’
Lark Reviews

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