After two pandemic years, the Viola da Gamba Society of America returned to an in-person Conclave, and almost 200 viol enthusiasts attended. One satisfied gambist filed an one-the-scene report.
The music of Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, perhaps the most prolific and important composer in Spanish Colonial America, has been remarkably well preserved. He’s our best source on the role of the vernacular ‘villancicos’ in New Spain’s Christmas celebrations.
Timothy Olmsted found his voice as a fifer and bandsman in the Revolutionary War, and he would go on to pioneer musical freelancing in the young Republic.
With this new publication of François Couperin’s celebrated ‘Pièces de clavecin’ (Book III) together with his ‘Concerts royaux,’ we now have a chance to compare the keyboard composer with the chamber musician in a single volume. The introduction alone is invaluable scholarship on this period of the composer’s life and world.
Massachusetts is full of lovingly preserved homes from the 17th century. But what did life in these homes sound like? The latest essay in ‘Early Music: the Americas’ explores the world of a Puritan reverend who left us tantalizing clues.