Fretwork Delivers with Matthew Lock’s Little Consort

You could consider Matthew Locke a transitional composer. He followed the great Elizabethan composers, like William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons. And he was succeeded as Charles II’s Composer of Violins by Henry Purcell. 

But there’s more to the story than that. Locke set the standard for operatic music during the Restoration Period. And he was a friend and mentor to you Purcell. He was respected among his peers, and among those who came after. 

This release continues Fretwork’s exploration of Locke’s instrumental music. In this case, they present a set of 10 suites by Locke from “The Little Consort.”

As always, Fretwork turns in some impeccable performances. It’s easy to hear how Locke influenced Purcell. Like his friend, Locke had a facility for counterpoint. And his melodic lines are fluid and flow smoothly from one idea to the next.

As performed by Fretwork, these suites have a distinctly English character. And that’s part of their charm. I’m sorry I missed volume one. I’ll add that to my want list. Don’t miss this one. 

With the hindsight of history, Locke may appear to be a transitional figure. But in his day, he was the innovator who pointed the next generation in the right direction. 

Matthew Locke: The Little Consort
Signum Classics SIGCD728

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