Life after death : the viola da gamba in Britain from Purcell to Dolmetsch / Peter Holman

  • Peter Holman

Edité par : The Boydell Press. Woodbridge
Collection : Music in Britain
ISBN : 978-1-84383-574-5
1 vol. (394 p.) ; illustrations, extraits de partitions ; 24 cm


It is normally thought that the bass viol or viola da gamba dropped out of British musical life in the 1690s, and that Henry Purcell was the last composer to write for it. Peter Holman shows how the gamba changed its role and function in the Restoration period under the influence of foreign music and musicians ; how it was played and composed for by the circle of immigrant musicians around Haendel ; how it was part of the fashion for exotic instruments in the middle of the century ; and how the presence in London of its greatest eighteenth-century exponent, Charles Frederick Abel, sparked off a revival in the 1760s and 70s. Later chapters investigate the gamba's role as an emblem of sensibility among aristocrats, artists and intellectuals, including the Countess of Pembroke, Sir Edward Walpole, Ann Ford, Laurence Sterne, Thomas Gainsborough and Benjamin Franklin, and trace Abel's influence and legacy far into the nineteenth century. A concluding chapter is concerned with its role in the developing early music movement, culminating with Arnold Dolmetsch's first London concerts with old instruments in 1890.

Contient : "Musitians on the viol da gamba" : professional players in Restoration England. "The noble base viol" : amateur players around 1700. "Per la viola da gamba" : immigrants in early eighteenth-century London. "Awake my cetra, harp and lute" : John Frederick Hintz and the cult of exotic instruments. "A solo on the viola da gamba" : Charles Frederick Abel as a performer. "Composed to the soul" : Abel's viola da gamba music. "The heart of sensibility" : writers, artists and aristocrats. "The art of playing it has nerver died out in this country" : Abel's competitors, followers and successors. "Performed upon the original instruments for which it was written" : the viola da gamba and the early music revival.

Bibliographie pp. 337-374. Index

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