by Daniel Hathaway
Oberlin Conservatory viola da gamba and cello professor Catharina Meints has invited former and current students to join her in performing Henry Purcell’s 15 fantasias for consorts of three to seven viols on Friday, September 13 at 7:30 pm in Oberlin’s Kulas Recital Hall.
The seven gambists will play instruments from the collection assembled by Meints and her late husband James Caldwell, most of them having been made during Purcell’s own lifetime (he died in 1695).
People who take up the viola da gamba, that Renaissance and Baroque instrument that comes in different sizes, looks like a cello, has frets like a guitar, and which inspired the film Tous les Matins du Monde, quickly fall in love with the instrument and its repertoire.
“It’s relatively easy to play, there’s a massive amount of accessible but intellectually interesting music that’s been written for it, and most of that is consort music to be played with friends,” Meints said in a conversation in her Oberin studio. “ [Read more…]