Performance Wednesday, February 8, 2012 | 7:30 PM


Weill Recital Hall
This season, viol ensemble Fretwork celebrates its quarter-century anniversary and makes its Carnegie Hall debut. While Fretwork’s repertoire encompasses music that dates from the 16th century to the present day, this concert explores works written specifically for viol by 17th-century English and Italian composers.


  • Fretwork
    ·· Asako Morikawa, Viol
    ·· Liam Byrne, Viol
    ·· Reiko Ichise, Viol
    ·· Richard Tunnicliffe, Viol
    ·· Richard Boothby, Viol


  • W. LAWES Consort Set in Five Parts In F Major
  • J. WARD Fantasia No. 1 in Five Parts, "Dolce Languir"
  • DERING Fantasia in Five Parts
  • WHITE Fantasia No. 3 in Five Parts
  • COPRARIO Fantasia for Five Viols, "Illicita cosa"
  • J. JENKINS Airs in Four Parts
  • MONTEVERDI "Dolcemente dormiva la mia Clori"
  • SIMPSON Airs in Four Parts
  • A. FERRABOSCO Hexachord Fantasy in Four Parts
  • THOMAS LUPO Pavan in Three Parts
  • J. WARD In Nomine in Five Parts
  • W. LAWES Consort Set in Five Parts in C Major


  • In 2011, Fretwork celebrated 25 years of performing music both old and new, and looks forward to a challenging and exciting future as the world's leading consort of viols.

    In these last two-and-a-half decades, Fretwork explored the core repertory of great English consort music and made classic recordings against which others are judged. Its series of discs include CDs by Virgin Classics devoted to William Lawes, Henry Purcell, William Byrd, Matthew Locke, John Dowland, and Orlando Gibbons. With a major focus on works by J. S. Bach, the ensemble has performed and recorded The Art of Fugue to critical acclaim and has more recently released the album Alio Modo on harmonia mundi that features many of Bach's keyboard works, including The Well-Tempered Clavier and Clavier-Übung. Its arrangement of the Goldberg Variations was released in November 2011.

    Fretwork has also become known as a pioneer of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned more than 30 new works by the most prominent writers of our time: George Benjamin, Michael Nyman, Sir John Tavener, Gavin Bryars, Elvis Costello, Alexander Goehr, John Woolrich, Orlando Gough, Fabrice Fitch, Peter Sculthorpe, Sally Beamish, Tan Dun, Barry Guy, Andrew Keeling, Thea Musgrave, Simon Bainbridge, Poul Ruders, John Joubert, and Duncan Druce.

    Fretwork has visited Russia, Spain, France, and Ireland; and now tours the US every year. The ensemble has also performed at the Edinburgh International, Lufthansa, Spitalfields, and Aldeburgh festivals. Fretwork also took part in a Festival of Evensong at five Cambridge colleges-King's, Trinity, St. John's, Gonville and Caius, and Sidney Sussex colleges-as part of a residency at Sidney Sussex College that included teaching and recording a CD of music by Thomas Tomkins.

    In 2010, Fretwork curated a weeklong concert series at London's new Kings Place. The series-which featured performances with Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, and Clare Wilkinson-culminated with the world premiere of Fretwork's latest commission: The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough, a 70-minute piece that narrates in musical terms Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the globe from 1577 to 1580.

    In February 2011, BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show devoted a whole weekend to Fretwork through interviews and performance broadcasts. Also in 2011, The National Centre for Early Music, in collaboration with the BBC, hosted a competition for young composers to compose a four-minute piece for Fretwork. The ensemble premiered the winning entry at Kings Place in December.

    In 2012, Fretwork will premiere a new piece written for The Hilliard Ensemble and Fretwork by Nico Muhly in Wigmore Hall and tour Europe with the composition. The ensemble also looks forward to playing a series of concerts at London's Wigmore Hall and Kings Place in 2013. Fretwork will also be touring with tenor Ian Bostridge, celebrating the 450th anniversary of John Dowland's birth.
    More Info


Lawes's Consort Set in 5 Parts In F Major, Air
Virgin Classics

At a Glance

The five-viol ensemble Fretwork makes its Carnegie Hall debut with a program inspired by 17th-century musician Thomas Mace’s ruminations on the music scene of the time, taken from his 1676 book Musick’s Monument. The resulting selection of fantasias, airs, and madrigals written by prominent English composers and Italian Renaissance master Monteverdi represents the pieces held in the highest regard by Mace.
Program Notes
This performance is part of Early Music in Weill Recital Hall.

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