Thursday, March 22, 2018

Voices & Viols Filled The Barn at Flintwoods

By Christine Facciolo

First appearing in Spain in the 15th Century, the viola da gamba — or viol — was a most popular instrument in the Renaissance and Baroque eras, holding an honored position even in the court of the Sun King. But by the mid-18th Century, the viol fell out of favor as concert halls grew larger and the more penetrating sound of the violin family became more popular.

The viol attracts little attention today, even though the 1991 film Tous les Matins du Monde about two of the greatest composers for the instrument, Marin Marais and Saint-Colombe, and a number of contemporary composers have written for it.

But the rich sounds of this once princely instrument were duly showcased in Brandywine Baroque’s March 16-18 concerts, “Voices and Viols.”

Joining Brandywine Baroque Artistic Director Karen Flint on vintage harpsichord were violists Catharina Meints, John Mark Rosendaal, Donna Fournier, and Rebecca Humphrey Diederich, flutist Eileen Grycky, soprano Laura Heimes and tenor Tony Boutte.

Meints pointed out that she and Flint had been friends for a very long time because of their passion for collecting period instruments. Meints then proudly displayed her treble viol, which dates back to 1700 and is, remarkably, in virtually the same condition it was when it was first made.

England boasts a very rich history of viol composition and performance, more than likely inspired and encouraged by the royal patronage of Henry VIII, and that tradition was well-represented in the first half of the program as the consort accompanied songs by William Byrd, Henry Lawes and Thomas Morley.

Songs from the French Baroque made up the second half of the program with selections by Michel Lambert, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Etienne Moulinie.

Heimes delivered the clear, unadorned vocal quality and needle-sharp intonation that has earned her respect and admiration. Here in consort with the viol she offered heartfelt, vibrant performances that effectively portrayed the texts without losing touch with the songs lovely vocal characteristics. Standouts included Byrd’s My Mistress Had a Little Dog and Lambert’s Ombre de mon amant.

Tony Boutte’s tenor was pure and emotional, breathing much life into songs like Byrd’s Though Amaryllis Dance in Green and Moulinie’s Enfin la beaute.

Heimes and Boutte delivered some delightful — and expressive — duets, including Henry Lawes’ A Dialogue Upon a Kiss and The Mossy Bank.

The instrumentalists gave imaginative accounts of William Lawes’ Airs in C, Nos. 113 and 109. Flint and flutist Grycky explored the rich textures and dense tapestry of ornaments in the Prelude, Courante and Gaillard in G minor from Jean Henry D’Anglebert’s Pieces de clavecin (1689). The ensemble concluded the concert with a lively rendering of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Concert pour quatre parties de violes.

See www.brandywinebaroque.org

1 comment:

  1. These articles are exactly what I need. It is very nice of you to share your understanding. I have learned interesting things. I have a liking for your posts. Please, upload more and more posts. money converter app shopify , sales discount on Shopify , Product discount app

    ReplyDelete