Hille Perl is widely regarded as one of the leading viola da gambists in the world. Because of the prominence of her instrument in the Baroque era, her repertory is rich in works from that period, with the names, J.S. Bach, Telemann, Marin Marais, Sainte-Colombe, and other 17th and 18th century composers headlining her concert programs and recordings. Perl also plays the treble viol, the seven-string bass viol, Baroque guitar, Lirone, and Xarana.
Why Not Here is not the title of this disc, although from a casual glance it might look like it is so. The device "Why not here" is actually the name of the duo formed by gambists Hille Perl and Friederike Heumann; they are joined on many pieces by lutenists Lee Santana and Michael Freimuth, and the latter pair even have several pieces to themselves. The "lyra viol" is not a special instrument like a viola da braccio, but refers to a specific way of playing the viol, as an instrument capable of harmony and melody rather than melody only, or used in a purely basso context.
…Begleitet wird Dorothee Mields auf Basis all jener "Verzierungstechniken, Improvisationsstile und Variationsmöglichkeiten", die Hille Perl und Lee Santana laut Beihefttext gleichermaßen musikalisch wie auch beziehungstechnisch aufbieten, um die Liebe interessant zu machen. Kreativ akkompagnieren sie bald zu zweit, bald allein, immer voller Leidenschaft nach jener Ausdrucksfülle strebend, die Mields' Gesang mit so selbstverständlicher Leichtigkeit zu bieten vermag. Ein Genuss sind außerdem die eingestreuten Solostücke der Instrumentalisten, in denen sie sich noch mehr als Meister des Emotionalen präsentieren, stets getragen freilich von unbestechlich vollkommener Fingertechnik.
[…] Per la viola da gamba is a solid, entirely satisfying, and authoritative-sounding hour of Bach. In particular, the gamba and lute transformation of Bach's "doubtful" Violin Sonata, BWV 1025, utilizing Sylvius Leopold Weiss' original lute part and transposing the Bach's violin part down an octave, sounds more natural and authentic than the familiar "doubtful" version. The Sonata BWV 1029 is played as a trio with continuo, and this approach lends a concertato effect to the sonata, which works well due to the obviously close relationship between this work and Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. (Uncle Dave Lewis, All Music Guide)
Perl is an exceptionally smooth player, and she executes the dances of these French suites with the lightness they deserve. In performing the variation sets that Marais would have used to display his own virtuosity, she's got power in reserve. And the music throughout has that elusive meshing of mutually familiar personalities that is the mark of effective chamber music. Marin Marais: Pour la Violle et le Théorbe, in short, comes off as something personal - an impression intensified by the elegant dedication, written in the old-fashioned style of the French court, of the music to the public by the performers. One solo theorbo piece, by Robert de Visée, is also included. - James Manheim, allmusicguide.com