Le Nymphe Di Rheno

Susie Naper and Margaret Little, violas da gamba

The best German duets for violas da gamba!

“The benefits of this ensemble’s approach are great – exquisitely tender moments, rousing allegros played with gusto, and everything in between.
Patricia Halverson, Early Music America, September 2015

“Music is comprised of a mixture of pathetic, flattering, happy, sublime, and humorous gestures; so that one must be able to feel one’s self different passions in every bar, as it were: now grief-stricken, now elated, now serious, etc. This ability [to transform one’s feelings] is vital in music. The musician who can master this art will not fail to win the approval of his auditors, and his expression will always be moving. [Such mastery] is not to be looked for in younger people, who are usually too speedy and impatient. It develops only along with deeper sensibilities and judgement.”
Johann Joachim Quantz, 1751

This programme of virtuoso German viol music spanning a century of political and artistic upheaval encapsulates the musical changes over the period. Kühnel’s earlier Italianate one-movement pieces are characterised by constantly changing affects while Schenk embraces the French influence in his dance suites and Schaffrath encompasses the Sturm und Drama in his formal rococo sonatas. Since much of Bach’s chamber music was lost after his death, we can only surmise that perhaps there were some gems for viols amongst his manuscripts which we have attempted to replace!

Each piece in this programme encompasses Telemann’s  musical ideal: pathos, humour and the sublime!