Hidden World of the Viola d'Amore

Welcome to Viola D'Amore Updated Aug. 2016 The latest updates are my effort to try to catch up with recent developments in repertoire and understanding of the history of the viola d'amore, and early music. Where these updates are esp. new, different and interesting, I have put them in red. For example, all of the CD booklets for my Bis recordings, the nearly complete recording of Ariosti's music for the viola d'amore, have now been updated.

 


* Georgi's playing is consistently brilliant; he draws an uncommonly warm sound .... Carlos Maria Solare, The Strad, May 2009

This website was set up with the purpose of fostering a wider understanding of the viola d'amore and its repertoire. This site is offered with the understanding that the music downloaded is for personal or educational use only, and is not to be reproduced for profit. Furthermore, the information I present here is the best I was able to assemble, but I am sure there is more to learn about this beautiful but complicated instrument.

 

There is now a Romanian translation summary of this page.

 

For viola d'amore in the news, see my facebook page.

 

You could also read about the viola d'amore on wikipedia, but please keep in mind that what is written there is mostly repeats of what was written elsewhere, and a lot of it is wrong.

 

This site is here document the more unchanging aspects of the viola d'amore, as well as to promote my recordings, Bis 1535, Bis 1555, Bis 1675, my 3 volume set of Attilio Ariosti's complete music for viola d'amore, and partly for other efforts on behalf of the viola d'amore. Now you can download those recordings here. You can order (as of October 2016) a physical copy of the CD directly from .

 

Especially important to me is helping musicians overcome two of the big stumbling blocks to the wider use of the viola d'amore, finding instruments, and obtaining viola d'amore music together with the knowledge needed to decipher it.


Have a listen to a recent video of a rare duet for two violas d'amore by a 19th century composer named Kral: Kral Nocturne

This is a very interesting recent discovery, that I am still working on integrating into my understanding: 


It is HS 4806 from the Benediktinerstift Goetweig. I have started a page devoted to this Manuscript, and am also doing updates to other points in my site. You can get the new edition here. Don't forget to download your parts, which are separate from the edition, which is a score.

Some years ago I made couple of very short video clips, helped by a colleague, posted them on this website. Then deleted  them, but they found a life of their own on youtube. For the record, this video was shot in the back courtyard of Kloster Irsee. I am playing the first ritornello and first solo from Vivaldi's concerto for viola d'amore (minus the orchestra!) Vivaldi Concerto for Viola d'amore in D.

Youtube has been a boon to the viola d'amore. I have posted a few videos of my own, and tried to favorite some very interesting and unusual work connected to the viola d'amore here.

While you are at youtube don't miss Garth Knox's channel!

For another website devoted to the viola d'amore see The Viola d'amore Society of America site.

In time for St John Passion season, see Leon's site for free scordatura parts for the two Bach arias with viola d'amore.

Here are a number of libraries where you may download free facsimiles of viola d'amore music. I used to try to provide links, but I can not keep up with the changes. Do look for these great sources on library websites.

 

For Mauro Righini's viola d'amore blog: Blog

Several makers make violas d'amore based on the Thomas Eberle violas d'amore you can hear on the Bis recordings, here is the website of one of these makers: Eberle copies. Here is another maker, who makes the North German type of viola d'amore without sympathetics strings. A Canadian maker of violas d'amore is Olivia Pelling. There are many more such makers. Another maker is Ivano Conti. In Spain there is Luiz Fernandez. There are many others, of course. 

 

You may e-mail questions about the history and repertoire of the viola d'amore, comments about particular pieces of music for viola d'amore, to thomasgeorgi (at) rogers.com. Thanks to all of the many visitors who have contributed questions and comments. I have been amazed at the depth of knowledge of the repertoire I have found on the web. Thomas Georgi