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Baroque Instruments

Catherine Bott explores some of the more curious instruments of the baroque era, including the viola d'amore, much loved in for its distinctive tonal colours.

The Baroque era saw some of the most significant developments in the history of western musical instruments, not least the appearance of the modern violin family which superseded the viols as the dominant string group. Not all the developments were as long lasting as the violin though. Catherine Bott looks back on the story and the music of the viola d'amore - or the "love viol" - an instrument much loved in the baroque for its distinctive tonal colours.

58 minutes

Music Played

  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto for two recorders, oboe, chalumeau, violin, two viole all'inglese, two violins 'i

    Performers: Rebecca Miles (recorder), Emma Murphy (recorder), Katharina Spreckelsen (oboe), Colin Lawson (chalumeau), Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin), Katherine McGillivray (viola all'inglese), Jane Norman (viola all'inglese), James O'Donnell (harpsichord), James Johnstone (harpsichord), The King’s Consort, Robert King (conductor)

    • HELIOS.
    • CDH 55439.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    St John's Passion: No 31 Arioso "Betrachte, Meine Seel" & No 32 Arie: "Erwage,wie sein blu

    Performers: Klaus Mertens (bass), Gerd Turk (tenor), Andrew Manze (viola d’amore), Jane Norman (viola d’amore), Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ton Koopman (conductor)

    • ERATO.
    • 4509 94675-2.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: Partita no 7 for 2 Violas d'amore and Basso Continuo

    Performers: The Purcell Quartet: Catherine Mackintosh (violin), Catherine Weiss (violin), Elizabeth Wallfisch (viola d'Amore), Richard Boothby (viola d'Amore), Robert Woolley (organ)

    • CHANDOS.
    • CHAN 0576.
  • Johann Christoph Graupner

    Suite for Flute, Viola d'Amore and Chalameau in F, GWV.450: Air en Gavotte

    Performers: Bell’arte Salzburg, Annegret Siedel

    • BERLIN CLASSICS.
    • 0016712BC.
  • Johann Christoph Graupner

    Suite for Flute, Viola d'Amore and Chalameau in F, GWV.450: Hornpipe; Air en Polonaise; Ai

    Performers: Bell’arte Salzburg, Annegret Siedel

    • BERLIN CLASSICS.
    • 0016712BC.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto for two recorders, oboe, chalumeau, violin, two viole all'inglese....

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    'Betrachte, Meine Seel' from St John's Passion

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    'Erwage, wie sein blutgefarbter' from St John's Passion

  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: Partita No.7 for 2 Violas d'amore & Basso Continuo

  • Johann Christoph Graupner

    Suite for flute, viola d'amore and chalameau in F, GWV.450: Air & Gavotte

  • Johann Christoph Graupner

    Suite for flute, viola d'amore and chalameau in F, GWV.450 (excerpts)

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