A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Stylus Fantasticus & The Gambist
Friday, November 03, 2017


Sam Stadlen, November 3, 2017


Yesterday I braved the rain while driving to New Westminster and managed not to get lost with my confusion of streets, avenues and diagonals.

I went to listen to Paul Luchkow, violin, Michael Jarvis, harpsichord and Sam Stadlen, viola da gamba play a one hour concert at Douglas College.

The folks at Douglas College (the Douglas College Music Department) offer an array of One O’Clock concerts (all free) that feature an eclectic variety of music by wonderful musicians.

It is thus not so unusual to have our Victoria baroque musicians Luchkow and Jarvis playing with the UK group Fretwork's gambist Sam Stadlen in a concert of music of the 17th century. Much of the music of that century was called Stylus Fantasticus. Composers took chances and did most daring stuff. You listen to some odd notes that remind me of Thelonious Monk not quite right wrong notes.

In Vancouver, I must note we had the Pacific Baroque Orchestra many years before New York City could claim having a baroque orchestra all their own. For those who might not understand what a baroque orchestra is here is a shortened explanation. Most of the wonderful Italian string instruments of the 17th and 18th century were modified in the 19th century so they could play more loudly in the bigger venues of that century. By then some kings had lost their heads so concerts in kingly chambers (and funding) stopped. Those string instruments were beefed up so that metal strings could be used under more tension. Also vibratto became popular in the 19th as it is now. So the concerts featuring composers of the late and early baroque suffered uneeded vibrations!

In the late 1950s there was an interest in attempting to play that baroque music with instruments that sounded like those instruments that were beefed up. So many of the baroque string instruments used now are modern reconstructions and with the added use of gut strings. The sound is less loud and more subtle. Those who might notice details will note that baroque violin and viola players do not have chin rest and the baroque cello has no endpin. If trumpets are part of the repertoire they are trumpets without valves (they are difficult to play).

With the advent of internet search and the opening of music libraries in Europe there are composerts of the 17th and 18th century that were pretty well forgotten until the end of the 20th century and in this one. This means that any Early Music Vancouver concert will feature composers you may never have heard of. So neatly you are attending a "new" music concert!


November 2, 2017

In yesterday’s concert I got a slightly reduced in time sample of what I will listen to tonight in Early Music Vancouver’s concert with the same players at Christ Church Cathedral at 7:30.

Of particular interest to me was the Sonata Representativa by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704) which featured the sounds of a nightingale, a cuckoo, a frog, a rooster and a hen, a quail, cats, and a musketeer parade.

I was very disappointed that the trio did not play a chaconne (one of my fave tunes of the 17 th century)  but they somehow made up for it with Marin Marais’s (1656-1728) La Sonnerie du Ste-Genevieve du Mont (1723). It sounds something like a folia (and it does sound sort of obsessively crazy)!

But for Vancouver audiences to be able to listen to three instruments in the intimate location that Christ Church Cathedral is a treat.

And a treat, to experience the sound of cello lookalike (but not related to violins or cellos) viola da gamba which is related to the lute as it has frets.

The bass notes of the viola da gamba have the presence (not quite in my books) to the remarkable bass sounds of those 6 ft 2inch long theorbos.



     

Previous Posts
The White House Novels

Zorro Sent Me

A Stinking Voyeur in the House of the Dead

When Imagination Was Not The Limit

A Double Blue

Sprawled on Black Satin

That Feminist Subtext

A Glock In the White House

A Mona Lisa Called Cheri

of a place bounded like a dream



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8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17

10/22/17 - 10/29/17

10/29/17 - 11/5/17

11/5/17 - 11/12/17

11/12/17 - 11/19/17