The Lyra-viol in Consort
17th Century English chamber music centred around the viola da gamba. With compositions by John Jenkins and Christopher Simpson performed by gamba player Robert Smith and friends.
The Lyra-Viol, an instrument, a way of playing
For those who embrace the quirks of the lyra-viol, a rich and resonant repertoire awaits to take us into the sound world of early 17th century England.
The lyra-viol is a chordal way of playing the viola da gamba that, despite its popularity in the 17th Century, is largely forgotten today. The features that make it a fascinating instrument have also contributed to its oblivion. The 6 strings of the viola da gamba may be tuned in many ways (scordatura) – perfect for an evening’s entertainment at home, but impractical for today’s concert life. Some instruments even had an additional set of sympathetic strings. The music is written down in tablature, often by hand, and the difficulties in deciphering and reading it are a barrier to many people who try to explore the repertoire.
The lyra-viol in consort
England’s most outstanding musicians wrote music for the lyra-viol – John Jenkins, Christopher Simpson, Alfonso Ferrabosco II – and it flourished there from 1600 until the end of the century. This concert features remarkable works written by these composers for the lyra-viol in combination with other instruments such as the lute, violin, harpsichord and “normal” bass-viol. Next to the dance music of the time, we will also present programmatic pieces on the subjects of echos, bells, mourners, lamentations and ballads. Robert Smith is a prominent gamba player in the Netherlands and has spent much of the last two years focused on the history and repertoire of the lyra-viol.
Ticket sales are at the door, doors open at 3:30 PM
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