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Nicola Matteis, an Italian in London

Ayres for the violin, the flute and love songs.


This program is entirely devoted to the violinist and composer Nicola Matteis (1650-c.1714).

A Neapolitan who settled in London at the age of twenty, Matteis acquired a notable reputation as a virtuoso. The chroniclers of the period have left us this portrait: "No one surpasses the prodigious violinist Signor Nicola. He a gesture so gentle that it gives a human voice to the violin; and when he so wishes, he draws from it a consort of several instruments.”


He published four collections of Ayres for the Violin ("some may be played on the flute"). Books 1 and 2 appeared in 1676; books 3 and 4 appeared in 1685.


These collections were so successful that they were reprinted in 1687 and 1703 with a second voice, which is little known today. Matteis specifies to gentleman that they may add at will to enrich the consort.
Often humorous, these burlesque and sometimes extravagant pieces display a freedom that is often close to improvisation (Aria burlesqua, Giga al genio Turchesco, Scaramuccia, movimento incognito, Corrente da orechi, corrente da piedi). They are works of an original composer able perfectly to combine Italian, French and English styles.


In this program, we offer some instrumental Ayres drawn and organized in suites, which we have embellished with love songs taken from Collection of New Songs (1696) by the same composer. In these true musical settings of the gallant love of the time, rejected lovers meet cruel women who do not know how to love.

Program with 5 to 6 musicians

Guillaume Gutierrez: tenor

Marion Fermé: recorders

Sandrine Dupé: baroque violin

Isabelle Brouzes: viola da gamba

Victorien Disse: theorbo, baroque guitar

Yvan Garcia: virginal

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