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Paolo Pandolfo Returns

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Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Paolo Pandolfo and Thomas Boysen
Washington Post, February 28, 2011

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Marais, Le Labyrinthe et autres histoires, P. Pandolfo, T. Boysen

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Sainte-Colombe, Pièces de Viole, P. Pandolfo, T. Boysen
The collections of the Library of Congress preserve not only important archival documents but also precious musical instruments. On Saturday afternoon, the superlative viola da gamba player Paolo Pandolfo performed a concert in the library's Coolidge Auditorium that featured one of those instruments. Rather than historical preservation, a term that implies the embalming work of the museum conservator, this program aimed to revive the extemporaneous art frozen on the pages composed for this largely forgotten instrument.

Like Pandolfo's concert at Dumbarton Oaks in 2006, the focus was on the two most important viola da gamba virtuoso composers: Marin Marais and his pioneering teacher, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe. Pandolfo and Thomas Boysen, on theorbo (or archlute) and baroque guitar, approached each piece with improvisatorial freedom. Marais's "Musette" rocked back and forth over two repeated chords, with the drone of the viol's low strings evoking the eponymous medieval bagpipe. Dramatic pauses inserted in the dance "La Georgienne, dite La Maupertuis" cut up the phrases into angry gestures. [Continue reading]
Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba) and Thomas Boysen (theorbo)
La viole luthée
Library of Congress

Paolo Pandolfo's Forqueray (July 31, 2007)
Paolo Pandolfo and the Bach Cello Suites (June 1, 2006)
Paolo Pandolfo at Dumbarton Oaks (January 23, 2006)

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