Amandine Beyer and colleagues have recorded various ayres for the violin and continuo on Zig-Zag Territories by composer N. Matteis. I've run across Matteis' in small doses over the years, one or more of his dance movements appearing in compilations (such as those by Florilegium with Rachel Podger), but this is my first album dedicated to Matteis altogether. Despite his name (which looks French to my eyes), he was an Italian who found success in his career in England. Ayres are good names for the pieces, all short by just a few minutes in length, organized loosely in mini suites. Having watched a promotional video that was made for this album, I learned violinist Beyer plays "off the shoulder," to mimic the professed playing style by Matteis, who seemed to be a sort of virtuoso fiddler. The ensemble assembled here has a richness about their sound, with Beyer standing in the front with a leading, affective virtuosity about her playing. These are therefore performers who like the music they're playing, exploring the music's emotional and affective depths. While the length and severity of Matteis' music may be unusual, the music nevertheless is engaging and sensitively performed--representing several diverse ranges of mood. Warmly recommended.