The versatility of Nashville’s historically informed musicians has made them flexible, even delightfully heretical, in their approach to performing early music. It’s a scene that has been ebbing, flowing, and growing for nearly 20 years.
The only known extant works for viola da gamba in British Colonial America are found in the James River Music Book, a manuscript that has resided in Virginia since the 1730s and contains 15 works for solo viola da gamba, among other musical items. The earliest layer of the JRMB holds music by Lully, Purcell, and Handel, nearly doubling the page count of surviving instrumental music from the period and contributing repertoire for viola da gamba, organ, harpsichord, violin, and voice to the music now known to have been played in colonial Virginia. This article was first published in the May 2020 issue of EMAg.
Celebrating International Women’s Day: The careers of Viennese composer Marianna Martines and Roman composer Maria Rosa Coccia mirrored one another in key respects. But the differences are fascinating, and revealing: While one was born into privilege and carefully cultivated her public image, the other seemed to suffer from fewer social connections and a more bold approach to her public persona.