Theorbo Development in the 17th Century

Lutenist Elizabeth Kenny explains how and why the theorbo was developed in the 17th century, what it was used for, and what it’s like to carry it around on the train. “People complain a lot about the space that I take up”. This comes from the fantastic Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s YouTube channel. Such an informative and well-presented video by Kenny.

Recently Featured Theorbo Videos

Italian guitarist and lutenist Lorenzo Micheli plays Toccata seconda arpeggiata (Venice, 1604) by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (1580–1651) on theorbo. Filmed in Palazzo Pignano, Italy by Drew Henderson. This comes via Micheli’s great YouTube channel. Kapsperger was a German-Italian performer and composer of the early Baroque who wrote a number of lute and theorbo (chitarrone) works. Love the sound of the theorbo for this toccata that, despite the intensity of the arpeggios, comes off as pleasant and flowing. Always love hearing Micheli who you probably know from his work in SoloDuo, but such a fantastic soloist as well.

Flauguissimo Duo with Yu-Wei Hu (Baroque flute) & Johan Löfving (Theorbo) play Flute Sonata in G Major Op.2 No.1, Adagio – Presto by Michel Blavet (1700–1768). Blavet was a French composer and flutist from the Baroque era. This comes via the duo’s great YouTube channel. Beautiful playing by both performers and I love the combo of the smooth Baroque flute with the plucking theorbo. Pure charm. Recorded by TallWall Media at Asylum Church London, May 2018.  Also see my post about their fantastic album A Salon Opera by Flauguissimo Duo.

Swedish guitarist and lutenist Johan Löfving performs Canario by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (1580–1651) on theorbo. This comes via his fantastic Youtube channel. Charming little piece with some spicy strumming and golpe or tapping in the inner section. I love Löfving’s contrasts between a bouncy light dance and extroverted excitement. I’ve featured Löfving a number of times and he always goes the extra mile.

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