Hille Perl was the first viol player I became a fan of, buying her recordings, looking for information online. In those early days there was not much to find, but thankfully that situation has changed. She remains for me the most soulful of gambists, and if you have not listened to her playing before, I… Continue reading 15. Hille Perl
Coming to an ear near you (it deserves to), this beautiful recording celebrates the talents of Robert Jones, John Dowland, Alfonso Ferrabosco II, and Tobias Hume. The Ensemble Près de votre oreille (near to your ear) consists of mezzo-soprano, Anaïs Bertrand, bass, Nicolas Brooymans, and lute, Thibaut Roussel, directed by Robin Pharo on bass viola… Continue reading 14. CD Review: “Come Sorrow” Ensemble Près de votre oreille
"Curs'd be the wretch, from whence soe'er he come; Accurs'd his eyes, but more accurs'd his bum"! Here's a very amusing poem written by a Scotsman, included in a 1760 collection of poems by "Rev. Mr Blacklock, and other Scotch Gentlemen". The author of the poem is unidentified, though is most likely Blacklock. But, lo,… Continue reading 13. Lament for a broken viol!
Being a seasoned lute player, I have no problem reading tablature, and it was of great interest to learn that there is a fairly substantial body of viol music written in what is known as French tablature, pretty much exactly like most of the lute music I have played. But for those viol players who… Continue reading 12. Review: Alphabet Soup by Carol Herman
A couple of decades ago I recorded a CD of the Twelve Divertimentis for Guittar by James Oswald, on an original "guittar" from c.1765. The guittar was an 18th-century cittern with four double courses and two single-course basses, all wire strings. The repertoire for the guittar was a mixture of traditional music and classical works,… Continue reading 11. Sultana, anyone?
Italian publisher, Ut Orpheus, have fifty seven (and counting) editions of viol music from the Renaissance period through to newly-composed works from our own time. It's encouraging to see such commitment, and equally impressive is the print quality of their editions. Chief among their viola da gamba editions is the two-volume "Complete and Progressive Method… Continue reading 10. Review: Ut Orpheus “Complete and Progressive Method”
I will keep this post active while I add updates. Latest playing at the top of the page. September 15, 2019 https://youtu.be/kTM-CTe7SQI I've had a disruptive time over July and August, but now I should have a clear run to Christmas, and will hopefully make more progress. Yesterday I made my first public performance! It… Continue reading 9. My Progress – UPDATED
Another overview in my Performers series, this time a youngish player with great taste and technique, Robin Pharo. Robin is a founder member of the coolest baroque ensemble on the planet at the moment, Nevermind, and has also been working with jazz musicians, while also being a fine composer. I first encountered his playing in the… Continue reading 8. Robin Pharo
Seven string bass after Michel Collichon 69cm string length with carved lions head, made by Anthony Edge at West Dean in 1999. Figured maple back and sides, spruce top, ebony fingerboard. Bow made by Roger Rose for this viol. Anthony now lives in Penicuik near Edinburgh. Small theorbo by Jiri Cepelak. 11 July… Continue reading 7. My Bass Viol – UPDATED
https://youtu.be/z-F4YwMwYNs The world is not yet quite ready for my bow technique, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, here are two Scottish lute pieces played without the bow. I hope you like them. A Port is a Scots Gaelic tune, port meaning air or music not danced to. It's a kind of… Continue reading 6. Two Scottish Lute Pieces played sans bow