English Harpsichord Music

David Pollock
Music & Media MMC112
Music by Blow, Byrd, Croft & Purcell

David Pollock has recorded his personal choice of music from Byrd, Blow, Purcell and Croft, covering 150 years or so of the pre-Handelian English keyboard tradition, showing both the continuity and diversity of the music written over the period. The picture might have been further enhanced by the inclusion of something by Gibbons but what we have is very illuminating and played with great clarity and good sense of style and swing. Pollock plays on a copy by Anne and Ian Tucker of the Ruckers-Hemsch instrument in the Cobbe Collection which gives a very bright sound, emphasised by close miking. This works better in the later music than perhaps in the Byrd whose four variation sets are the most substantial pieces here. Pollock uses quarter-comma meantone throughout which works very well and adds to the richness of the sound. There are informative liner notes and the recording makes an admirable introduction to the English keyboard repertory.

Noel O’Regan