Paolo Pandolfo is one of Europe's leading exponents of the viola da gamba. In 1979, after studies at the Rome Conservatory, he co-founded (with Rinaldo Alessandrini and Enrico Gatti) la Stravaganza. In 1981, he moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he began collaborating with gambist Jordi Savall and his ensemble Hespèrion XX. In 1989, Pandolfo was named professor of viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, one of the leading centers for training early music performers. Since 1992, he has directed the viol consort Ensemble di viole Labyrinto, with which he has toured internationally. Pandolfo's recordings of Bach's music for the gamba (in 2000 on Harmonia Mundi and again in 2010 on Glossa), and the cello suites performed on the gamba, have generated interest in the role of the instrument in Bach's era. Yet, Pandolfo is also excited about creating new music for the ancient instrument, as evidenced by the 2004 recording Travel Notes, which contains his own music and some by his brother, trumpeter Andrea Pandolfo.
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Chamber Music - Released May 3, 2019 | Glossa
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Popular madrigals and chansons of the 16th century served as models for richly embellished “alla bastarda” versions on the viola da gamba. In this recording, the vocal originals are presented together with the extremely virtuoso instrumental versions which represent the first and hardly surpassed apex of solo literature for viola da gamba. For 25 years, Paolo Pandolfo has been one of the leading viola da gambists of his generation, researching and promoting the repertoire of his instruments in all directions. The thorough knowledge of all aspects of the viola da gamba repertoire becomes clear in his extensive discography. Not only has he recorded the most important works of the viol literature, but also very personal musical statements in which he combined the youthful experiences as a double bass player and guitarist with compositions and improvisations that are just as influenced by jazz as they are by the historical repertoire. With the “bastarda” diminutions, he now proffers an early milestone of the solo viol literature in which the exuberant virtuosity serves to present enchantingly beautiful music. On this very special project, with instruments built ad hoc, he is joined by some of the finest continuo players of the early music scene (Boysen, Granata, Chemin, Pedrini) and the exquisite vocal ensemble La Pedrina, together producing what definitely will be considered as a key recording of repertoire for the viola da gamba. © Glossa