A 2 Violes Esgales

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Jonathan Dunford and Sylvia Abramowicz met at the Schola Cantorum in Basel where they studied under Jordi Savall. In 1985 they established the ensemble A Deux Violes Esgales, named after the celebrated manuscript of M. de Sainte Colombe. The aim of the ensemble is to showcase the important heritage of the repertoire for viola da gamba, which includes such a wealth of manuscripts (many of them mislaid and forgotten), and thereby to present this novel repertoire afresh to today’s audiences. It is a family adventure, since the two viol players are sometimes joined by their son Thomas Dunford, one of the most gifted lutenists of his generation.

The programmes assembled by A Deux Violes Esgales take us to Charles I’s England or Louis XIV’s France, not forgetting the Italy of Veronese of the Germany of Frederick the Great. They do not focus exclusively on the viola da gamba repertoire but are also keen to feature vocal works such as Couperin’s Leçons de Ténèbres or Les Surprises de L’Amour, a Rameau opera in a period transcription for two viols!

A Deux Violes Esgales is pleased to be able to collaborate with some inspired singers, an approach that serves only to emphasise the viola da gamba’s intimate side and makes for concerts that are rich in discoveries and rediscoveries in all genres.

Recordings on Musica Ficta

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