8th session: Tuesday 5th April

Resuming today we went back to our roots, with a look at some early repertoire, beginning with a suite by the guitarist-composer Robert DeVisée 1655-1733, full of Versailles elegance. DeVisée was a court musician for both Louis XIV and XV and was given the title “Guitar Master of the King” (Maître de Guitare du Roi) in 1719.

deVisee

Representing contemporaneous Ireland, we played a couple of tunes by harpist-composer Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738): Planxty Browne, and Carolan’s Farewell to Music. These pieces are of course written as single-line melodies but they have plenty in common with the Versailles repertoire above, and can very successfully be given very similar arrangement. OCarolan

[Carolan’s memorial in St.Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin]

Taking ourselves back to the early 17th century we enjoyed playing a Romanesca by violinist-composer Biagio Marini (1594-1663) who travelled widely but is most associated with Venice. The Romanesca was one of the popular chord sequences from the mid 16th- century; Greensleeves is an example.

Finally we looked at a piece by Marini’s German contemporary Johann Schop (1590-1667) [pictured below]. His Lachrimae Pavane consists of quite extraordinary divisions (variations) on a melody by John Dowland (1562-1622).
Johann_SchopDowland is believed to have been born in Dalkey and is commemorated with a mosaic in Sorrento Park.

  • Malachy 5/4/16
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