Early Music

  1. Johann Schmelzer's Sonata Quarta in D Major from Sonatae Unarum Fidium (1664). Live video from the Voices of Music Great Artists Series in San Fransisco. Featuring Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; William Skeen, viola da gamba; Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ, and David Tayler, theorbo. One of the finest examples of the early baroque German sonatas for violin and continuo, the Sonata Quarta of Johann Schmelzer combines florid passagework with harmonic and contrapuntal ingenuity. A ground bass connects each of the varied movements, and the work concludes with a virtuosic cadenza over a pedal point. Considered one of the finest violinists in world in 1660, Schmelzer published a collection of his solo sonatas of 1664; these are some of the most important works for the violin in the 17th century. The sonatas are Italianate in style, and set the stage for subsequent works of Biber and Bach.

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  2. Purcell's ground in C Minor Z. T681 combines a ritornello in style brisé with a song melody spun over a ground bass. Performed by harpsichordist Hanneke van Proosdij as part of the HD Video "Purcell Project" by the San Francisco based Early Music ensemble Voices of Music. Double manual harpsichord by Joop Klinkhamer of Amsterdam based on the Ruckers-Goujon in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Temperament: Meantone. Visit us on the web at voicesofmusic.org.

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  3. The invocation to the musical instruments of the Muses, "Strike the viol, touch the lute," from Henry Purcell's "Come ye Sons of Art." HD Video from the Purcell Project by the San Francisco based Early Music ensemble Voices of Music. Featuring Thomas Cooley, tenor; Lisa Grodin & Carla Moore, baroque violins; Elisabeth Reed, viola da gamba; Hanneke van Proosdij, harpsichord; David Tayler, archlute.

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  4. The Gavotte from J.S. Bach's suite No. 6 for baroque cello, BWV 1012, performed by William Skeen on an original five-string baroque cello . HD video from the Voices of Music Great Artists Series, San Francisco, 2011. The late-17th century Italian cello in this video, in original condition, is one of the rarest of instruments that survives from the baroque period. Less than ten such instruments remain, and less than five from the late 17th century--rarer than Stradivarius violins. The five string cello was very popular in the baroque period, and a number of important works make use of the extended upper register of the instrument, including Bach's sixth cello suite.

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  5. Voices of Music would like to raise funds to make a high definition video of our upcoming concert featuring the music of Henry Purcell. Please consider making a donation at

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Early Music

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