“I’m reaching out to share some music that warms my heart.
I fell in love with the A major trio sonata (violin, gamba and continuo) by Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, which has been playing on our kitchen boom box for a couple of years now. I proposed it for Tafelmusik’s next year chamber music series and was invited to create a program around it. This incredibly beautiful sonata uses an alternate tuning for the violin (AEAE), and so I decided to explore other pieces that use the same tuning.
I found out that this ‘open tuning’, also sometimes called ‘viele tuning,’ is also used by fiddlers. La valse des poêles (Waltz of the Stoves) by the Québec fiddler Simon Riopel is a great example. Fiddle tunes have a tradition of being passed from master to student without the use of written music, and in this spirit I learned it from a recording by Pascal Gemme during our isolation at home.
I paired this piece with an excerpt from Francesco Maria Veracini’s sonata (Opus 2 No. 9) whose last movement marked Scozzese (Scottish). It’s a set of variations on the old song Tweedside, which could very well have been played in the AEAE tuning. I find these two pieces have a lot in common!
I have the great fortune to have in my own house a lutenist who also loves recording gear. Thank you to my husband Lucas Harris for accompanying on the lute, recording, and editing the video. I also extend my thanks to our daughter Daphnée and our dogs Ciaccona and Tallulah for giving us a few minutes to record it!”