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Robert Smith, Paolo Pandolfo The Excellency of Hand: English Viola da Gamba Duos

Robert Smith, Paolo Pandolfo — The Excellency of Hand: English Viola da Gamba Duos

 Robert Smith, Paolo Pandolfo — The Excellency of Hand: English Viola da Gamba Duos
★   Paolo Pandolfo is an Italian virtuoso player, composer, and teacher of music for the viola da gamba.
★   Notes and Editorial Reviews: The term division refers to a particular type of improvisation or composition that flourished in England in the middle of the seventeenth century. Simply put, division music involves splitting longer notes into shorter ones and larger intervals into smaller ones. In order to ‘divide’ you need a subject, or theme, and this was most often a pre~existing vocal melody or a repeating ground~bass. Following on from his critically acclaimed recording of solo English viola da gamba works (Tickle the Minikin), founder member of Fantascus, Robert Smith, is joined by the prolific and celebrated viola da gambist, Paolo Pandolfo, for this album of English duos for the instrument. Featuring a selection of seventeenth~century repertoire from Christopher Simpson, John Jenkins and Simon Ives, this album is packed with divisions for duo, which are often intensely virtuosic. Also featured are a selecon of preludes from Christopher Simpson’s The Division Viol and an addional prelude by Smith himself.
Location: Roma, Italy
Album release: 04/28/2017    
Record Label: Resonus
Duration:     73:52 
Tracks:
01 Divisions for Two Viols in G major, VdGS 28      6:29 
02 Prelude No. 2 in D minor      0:18 
03 Divisions on a Ground in D major, VdGS 21      4:19 
04 Prelude No. 5 in A minor      1:00 
05 Divisions on a Ground in A minor, VdGS 19      5:47 
06 Divisions on a Ground in C major, VdGS 13      4:56 
07 Ayre for Two Bass Viols No. 1      2:50 
08 Prelude No. 4 in F major      0:16 
09 Division for Two Viols in F major, VdGS 26      3:07 
10 Air with Divisions in C major, VdGS 11      5:55 
11 Divisions on a Ground in A minor, VdGS 20 5:19 
12 Prelude No. 11 in B~flat major      1:25 
13 Divisions on a Ground in A major, VdGS 18      4:07 
14 Prelude No. 7 in G minor      1:01 
15 Divisions on a Ground in G minor, VdGS 23      4:02 
16 Ayre for Two Bass Viols No. 2      2:46 
17 Prelude in A minor      0:59 
18 Division for Two Viols in A minor, VdGS 25      3:52 
19 Air with Divisions in C major, VdGS 12      5:48 
20 Ayre for Bass Viols and Basso Continuo in D minor, VdGS 32      3:21 
21 Prelude No. 3 in F major      0:35 
22 Division for Two Viols in F major, VdGS 27      5:26
Credits:
Composer:  Christopher Simpson,  John Jenkins,  Simon Ives,  Robert Smith
Performer:  Robert Smith,  Paolo Pandolfo
© 2017 Resonus Limited
Ⓟ 2017 Resonus Limited
¡   Catalogue No. RES10186
¡   Producer, engineer & editor: Adam Binks
¡   Cover image by Eva Gans
About:
★   He began his research in the field of renaissance and baroque musical idioms around 1979 together with violinist Enrico Gatti and harpsicordist Rinaldo Alessandrini. Studied then with Jordi Savall at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis  in Switzerland.
★   In 1982 he became a member of J.Savall’s ensemble Hesperion XX and played with him until 1990 throughout the world, and making dozens of recordings (among them Bach’s Kunst der Fuge, J.Dowlands Consort music, Neapolitan Renaissance Music , etc. etc.).
★   In 1990, after the huge success of his first recording as a soloist (C.P.E.Bach’s Sonatas for Viola da Gamba), he was nominated as Professor of viola da gamba at his alma mater, the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel.
★   Since this appointment, he concentrates his teachimg activities in Basel, whilst his performing carrier takes him all over the world, playing with artists such as Emma Kirkby, Rolf Lislevand, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Mitzi Meyerson, Jose’ Miguel Moreno and many others.
★   Since 1992 he directs Labyrinto, a group of four or five viola da gambas, which is dedicated to the huge “consort music” repertoire.
★   Paolo Pandolfo has recorded for radio and television stations world wide, and for record companies such as Astree, Emi, Philips, Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Tactus, Simphonia. Since 1997 all his recordings are by the spanish leading record company GLOSSA. He started his collaboration with them in 1997 recording the first world integrale of A.Forqueray’s “Pieces de Viole“, followed by “The Spirit of Gambo“(music by T. Hume with Labyrinto and Emma Kirkby). His first  unaccompained recital, A Solo, was pointed as one of the best releases of the year 1998 by Gramophone . He dedicated two releases to the M.Marais’:  “Le Labyrinthe et autres histoires“, dedicated to charachter music by the great french composer and “Le Grand Ballet”, focused on his gestures  and dance music. His  trancription  of J.S.Bach’s  six Solo Suites, released in 2000, has been beyond its great success an important musical event.  All his recordings have received amazingly positive reviews as well as many  awards by the most important musical magazines (Gramophone, Le Monde de La Musique, Goldberg Scherzo, Diapason, etc.). The Abel Cd “The Drexel Manuscript” is presently running for the Best Year’s Cd in the category “Instrumental” for the BBC Music Magazine.
★   He is invited to perform an to give masterclasses all over the world. He has been described as the Yo Yo Ma of the viol. Paolo Pandolfo builds bridges between the past and the present, bringing spontaneous and immediate life in the perfomance of baroque and renaissance music using medias such as improvisation, transcriptions and composition of modern pieces, being conviced that the patrimony of ancient music can be a powerful inspiration for the future of the western musical tradition.
Reviews
★   ‘These are performances of refinement and subtlety [...] Throughout the duo make a beautiful sound perfectly captured on the Resonus label’ — Yorkshire Post (5 stars)
★   ‘[...] gamba demons Paolo Pandolfo and Robert Smith (early music’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) have concoted an intoxicating brew of pieces that would surely convert the most hardened sceptic [...] Smith and Pandolfo enjoy a terrific rapport sharing an acute sensitivity to balance, ensemble, phrasing and nuance’ — BBC Music Magazine (5 stars)
★   ‘Voor wie de Viola da gamba nog niet kent, kan er geen betere kennismaking zijn’ (‘For those who do not know the Viola da gamba, there is no better introduction’) — De Telegraaf
★   ‘The gambists aren’t afraid to produce robust sonorities in the most extroverted passages, or to whisper to one another when the mood turns austere. In many of the divisions, they share and interweave phrases with a seamless dexterity that rivets the attention. The end result, with a nod to Simpson, is “delight” that can only elicit an active listener’s bountiful “admiration.”’ — Early Music America
★   ‘A delightful surprise […] their interplay is absolutely wonderful throughout […] a huge smile on my face listening to that again this morning’ — BBC Radio 3 Record Review
★   ‘This cd is a delight throughout, bringing together 22 pieces of early music, most of which will be unknown to the majority of listeners. There are works by Christopher Simpson, John Jenkins, Simon Ives plus the gentle intervention of a single work by Robert Smith which is totally in keeping with the seventeenth century surroundings. The sheer grace and delight here speak for themselves — just hear it for yourself!’ — Lark Reviews 
★   http://www.resonusclassics.com/
Website: http://www.paolopandolfo.com/
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Robert Smith, Paolo Pandolfo The Excellency of Hand: English Viola da Gamba Duos

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