Lawes, William - Complete Music for Solo Lyra Viol - Boothby, Richard
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Richard Boothby, viola da gamba
Some of the most famous English composers of the 17th century wrote pieces for the lyra viol, or even entire anthologies. These composers include John Cooper, John Jenkins, Christopher Simpson, Charles Coleman, and William Lawes. Due to the number of strings and their rather flat layout, the lyra viol can approximate polyphonic textures, and because of its small size and large range, it is more suited to intricate and quick melodic lines than the larger types of bass viol.
Employed as “musician in ordinary for lutes and voices” at the court of Charles I, English composer Lawes (1602-1645) is most admired today for his sublime suites for viol consort. His less familiar solo repertoire for lyra-viol is performed here by Richard Boothby, a founder member of Fretwork, on the best preserved instrument of the period (Richard Meares, c. 1647-1725) which is now part of the Kessler Collection in the museum of the Royal College of Music, London.