On Friday, March 22 at 7:30 PM the third annual Salish Sea Early Music Festival on Vashon Island continues at Bethel Church with renaissance flutist Jeffrey Cohan, violinist Courtney Kuroda, violist Steven Creswell and harpsichordist Kyobi Hinami in The Broken Consort in Milan, London and Paris. The program will explore late renaissance and early baroque works between 1570 and 1630 on period instruments.
During the decades before and after 1600, Milan, London and Paris were vibrant centers of chamber music activity that holds many mysteries. Between 1580 and 1628 in Milan and the surrounding region, a center of compositional activity rivaled in Italy only by Venice, the instrumental canzona blossomed in print and performance concurrently with intense development among violin makers and players. In France the airs de cour and extravagant court ballets from the 1570’s represented a new Italian-influenced French model of dramatic expression, which followed an increased appreciation in France earlier in the century for the interpretation of vocal music by transverse flutes and other instruments. Broken consorts of all sorts, made up of instruments from different families, were ubiquitous throughout Europe and celebrated in particular by early 17th-century English composers. The virtuosic embellishment of vocal melodies was highly cultivated by instrumentalists, particularly in Italy, as a new concept of chordal accompaniment evolved, but was resisted for decades by many composers who chose to intensify the dynamic interaction of independent instrumental voices in the earlier manner, ever more with violinistic flair. All of these aspects of this great chamber music from the decades around the turn of the 17th century are to be illustrated in "The Broken Consort in Milan, London and Paris", with Venice thrown in for good measure.