Viola da Gamba Society Meeting, Autumn 2015
Saturday 31st October, 10.30am – 5pm
Peacock Room, Trinity Laban Conservatoire
King Charles Court, Royal Naval College,
Greenwich, London SE10 9JF
Christopher Simpson and the Division Viol
10.30 Arrival and coffee (in college café)
11.00 The Division Viol - an overview
presented by distinguished Israeli academic Dr. Myrna Herzog.
Every viol player is familiar with the term division viol, widely understood as a kind of English viol described by Christopher Simpson (c.1602-1669) in his important treatise of the same name. The presentation attempts to give an overview of this instrument, assembling the information available from first hand sources. What are its roots? How and when does it appear in contemporary sources? Do we read Simpson's book accurately? Is the six-string violin-shaped division viol portrayed in Simpson's book one and the same instrument as the six-string bass violin described in James Talbot's manuscript? As we shall see, not everything one is used to hearing or reading today about the division viol finds validation in the early sources.
Heart to heart: a short viol solo recital - to be performed upon a British viola da gamba made circa 1680 by the famous Edward Lewis.
The Lewis, with its peculiar back, round, with a fold - is a piece of British viol history. Brian W. Harvey, in his book The Violin Family and its Makers in the British Isles (Oxford: 1995), says : "Lewis is one of a group of distinguished English makers the absence of whose better work from any museum in Britain is a national tragedy".
The recital will display a diversity of genres, revealing the viol's amazing palette of colours.
12.30 Lunch (light refreshments available in café, or bring packed lunch)
1.30 Chelys Consort of Viols (Ibi Aziz, Ali Kinder, Emily Ashton, Jenny Bullock) will give two presentations, with live examples provided by the consort :
1. Simpson and his contemporaries : evaluating Simpson's standing as player, teacher and composer.
2.45 Short tea-break
3.15 2. Graces and continuo in consort music: performance issues relating to Simpson's Ayres and other music for viols.
4.30 Tea (in college café)
4.30-5pm Elementary Consort Session (in Peacock Room) - an opportunity for beginners or less
confident players to play through some straightforward consort repertoire in a mutually supportive setting, doubling up on parts. If you would like to take part in this, please email or phone the Meetings Organiser, Rhiannon Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org, 01865 245248), stating what size(s) of viol you play, so we can find suitable music for the group.
19 March 2016 in Oxford : AGM. Topic to be confirmed
11 June 2016 in Chichester : with Rose Consort, including evening concert. Topic to be confirmed
October 2016 in London : date and topic to be confirmed
Our meetings are free to members, but a small charge or donation is requested from non-members.