Musickes sweetest joyes ‘For now my soule delights in heavenly noyse of musickes sweetest joyes’* Because of the gentle melancholy which underlies the instruments sound, the viola da gamba was the instrument par excellence for the music which became fashionable in 17th-century England,. Sadness was the prevailing tone in compositions of the period, as can be heard not only in many of the song texts (Go nightly cares, Like hermit poor) but also in the stately beauty of instrumental works like the Pavins. Fortunately, not all of the music of this period is gloomy or melancholy; many of the suites, with their light-footed dance movements, as well as folk song settings or grounds, provide a welcome contrast. As you study the English repertoire, you are quickly overwhelmed by the vast quantity of glorious music written for the viola da gamba, and curiosity spurs you on to continue reading through new pieces. In England, the gamba was used in various ways and in all sorts of different combinations, so that the instruments possibilities and possibilities for tone color were put to their best use……Download booklet
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