“Tobias Hume was a professional soldier and a 'gentleman' (read amateur) composer, and virtuoso of the bass viol. His Musicall Humors (1605), a large collection of solo pieces, is the first publication devoted to the lyra viol, a style of playing that treated the instrument polyphonically, like a lute. Hume reveals himself as a distinct, even eccentric, personality, and an inventive composer, expanding the viol's normal range with such unusual devices as col legno ('Drum this with the backe of your Bow').
Jordi Savall's cultivated, elegant style is very appropriate for much of the music; occasionally he adopts a more earthy manner to great effect – for example in A Souldiers Resolution, with its trumpet and drum imitations. When Captain Hume's Humors become more reflective, in a piece like Beccus an Hungarian Lord, Savall uses varied bow strokes and dynamic shadings with great artistry, to bring out the music's dignified, sombre character.
In characterising the music so strongly, Savall's rhythms are often very free; the rushing scalic divisions and lingering approaches to cadences balance one another, and prevent the music ever seeming stiff or mechanical. It's a finely produced disc, too, with a fascinating essay about the composer by David Pinto.”