Musicke & Mirth

Music beyond text

What distinguishes singing from an instrument?

How important is text?

Does virtuosity mean the same thing for singers and instrumentalists?

Unusual, virtuoso, sonorous music of the Golden Age during the reign of Elizabeth I of England 1558-1603

5 viols, 5 singers

English lyre viol music of the 17th century

From sad pavans to highly virtuosic galliards to wild goose chases, with trumpets, nightingales or bagpipes – the program presents the full colourfulness of the exciting repertoire for the lyra viol.

Two viols

John Baldwin and his Commonplace Book – music from England around 1600

“A store housse of treasure: this booke maye be saiede:-

of songes most excelente and the best that is made:-

collected and chosen: out of the best autours :-

bothe stranger and englishe borne…”

“You might call this book a treasure trove,

It contains the best and most beautiful songs,

Collected and selected by the best composers,

Who were born in England and abroad.”

(John Baldwin, London 1591)

4-5 viols, 1-4 singers

“Newe deutsche Gesänge nach Art der welschen Madrigalien” – German-language madrigals and dance suites by Balthasar Fritzsch, Leipzig 1608

4 viols, 1 singer

A journey into the Old English world of virtuosity, the improvised and composed art of diminution, music by Christopher Simpson and John Jenkins and others, England 17th century

2 viols, 1 violin, 1 harpsichord/virginal/organ

or ‘The unfinished search for the soul of the viola da gamba’

We take you on a musical journey through time, music for viol duo from England and Germany in the 17th century

2 viols

Gallant music at the Berlin court around 1750

The secret focus of this program is the virtuoso gambist Ludwig Christian Hesse (1716-1772), some of his countless arrangements for him and his viola da gamba pupil Friedrich Wilhelm II are on the program alongside music by Christoph Schaffrath and Carl Friedrich Abel, among others.

2 viols, optionally 1 cello and/or harpsichord/fortepiano

The heyday of the viola da gamba in France in the 17th/18th century, music by Le Sieur de St. Colombe, Marin Marais and others.

2 viols, optionally with harpsichord

Music from the first printed music, Nuremberg in the 16th century

The musical collections include Franco-Flemish chansons, Italian madrigals, old and new “teutsche” Liedlein, virtuoso fantasies and light dances

3 viols, tenor, renaissance lute

“…so the player has pleasure, you have pleasure in it…”

Virtuoso, entertaining chamber music by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

2 viols, transverse flute, harpsichord

‘Songs and sweet aires that give delight and hurt not’

An hour of experienced Shakespeare: you listen to some of his enchanting sonnets

sonnets, framed and accompanied by melancholy songs by John Dowland and cheerful, virtuoso viola da gamba music by William Young, Christopher Simpson and Matthew Locke, in exciting contrast to a contemporary setting by Jeremy Dale Roberts (1934-2017)

2 viols, soprano

Melancholy Musicke in the Musick-Room

A celebration of melancholy! Pavans, dances and English songs by John Dowland (1563-1626) and others.

5 viols, soprano, renaissance lute