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Each Lovely Grace: Corkine's 2nd Book of Ayres - Cantar Alla Viola

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“Cantar Alla Viola: Nadine Balbeisi (soprano) & Fernando Marín (viola da gamba, lyra-viol)
CANTAR ALLA VIOLA, the art of accompanying the voice with the viola da gamba, is the largely-forgotten technique of using a bowed instrument to play polyphony and harmony as an accompaniment to the voice. The rediscovery of these methods inspired Nadine Balbeisi, soprano, and Fernando Marín, viola da gamba, to create their duo of the same name.

Detailed descriptions of the practice of this delicate manner of accompanying the voice are found in sources such as “Regola Rubertina” by Sylvestro Ganassi (1542) and in “Il libro del cortegliano” by Baldassare Castiglione, Venezia (1528). As suggested by Ganassi’s instructions, Fernando Marín adapts madrigals and songs from the Renaissance and early Baroque for the voice and viol.

The duo researches and makes use of the different kinds of violas da gamba used to accompany the voice, such as the Spanish Vihuela de arco, the bowed version of the Vihuela de mano (plucked), and the English Lyra-viol. Both have been reproduced following the shapes and dimensions as well as building techniques of original instruments. Historical bows and strings are just as carefully researched and selected. The harmonies of the instruments are sustained by using a special bowing technique which creates a sound that mixes well with the human voice.

"This music is truly lovely, focused and - perhaps most noticeably - reflects many moods...But this is emphatically not a collection of historical curios. Nadine Balbeisi and Fernando Marín obviously have a great deal invested in the music, its emotional impact, the purposeful tension between text and music, at which we can safely say Corkine was expert. They present the rounded and mature resultant blend to us with neither fuss nor apology.” MusicWeb International, January 2012

1 Prelude (1) (Lyra-viol) 1:39 2 Shall a smile 2:14 3 Fly swift my thoughts 1:23 4 Pavin (Lyra-viol) (2nd tuning) 5:14 5 Downe, downe proud minde 3:44 6 Away, away 1:46 7 Mounsiers Almaine (Lyra-viol) 3:30 8 Prelude (2) (Lyra-viol) 0:33 9 Goe heavy thoughts 4:37 10 Almaine (Lyra-viol) (2nd tuning) 4:59 11 Coranto (2) 1:26 12 Two Lovers sat lamenting 3:58 13 T’is true, t’is day 4:10 14 If my Complaints (Lyra-viol) 3:08 15 Coranto (1) 1:29 16 Man like a Prophet of ensuing yeeres 2:41 17 Shall I be with joyes deceived? 1:11 18 Each lovely grace 2:50 19 The Punckes delight (Lyra-viol) 1:44 20 Beware faire Maides 5:39 21 Come live with me and be my Love (Lyra-viol) 3:54 22 My deerest Mistrisse 0:54 23 Walsingham (Lyra-viol) 2:45 24 As by a fountaine chast Diana sate 1:15 Total Playing Time 66.45