Faculty Artist Recital features 400 years of the Viola da Gamba and Keyboard

ASU Herberger College School of Music faculty artists Barbara Bailey Metz and John Metz present “Viola da Gamba and Keyboard – 400 year,” as a Faculty Artist Recital on (Saturday) Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Organ Hall, Music Building. The location is 40 E. Gammage Parkway on the main ASU campus in Tempe. Admission is free, no tickets are required. Doors open at 7 p.m.

“After 400 years the seven-string bass viola da gamba is still a living instrument – a fact that will be established with a performance of Paul Seiko Chihara’s Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord,” notes John Metz. The piece, which is subtitled "Le Sacre de la Gambe," was composed in 1964, but was revised in 2002 by the composer for Bailey Metz and Metz for this recital that Chihara will attend. He will also give a lecture on his experiences with writing music for film on (Friday) Nov. 1 at 2:40 p.m. in the Music Building’s Katzin Concert Hall. Chihara is known as the composer of the musical, James Clavell's Shogun, musical scores for more than 90 motion pictures, and numerous commissions and awards including those from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Julliard New Music Ensemble and the Cleveland Orchestra.

The Chihara piece is part of the exploration by Metz and Bailey for music for the viola da gamba and harpsichord in repertoire ranging from the high Renaissance through the early 21st century. The Nov. 2 program begins with two Renaissance pieces composed in a style known as "viola bastarda." The first is a ricercare by Aurelio Virgiliano (fl. ca. 1600). The second is a setting by Girolamo dalla Casa (d.1601) of Cipriano de Rore’s famous madrigal Ben qui si mostr’al cielo, which will be performed first by a vocal quartet. The program moves next to France with the Second Suite for Solo Gamba by Antoine Forqueray (1672-1745) who was such a virtuoso that people exclaimed that he played "like the devil." Next is the Sonata in g minor for gamba and obbligato harpsichord by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, a work composed in the "sensitive style" of the mid-18th century. “The gamba was already in decline at the time of the Bach sonata, such that there is a large hiatus until the reappearance of new works composed after the instrument went through a revival in the 1920s,” notes Metz. Representing these new compositions in the recital will be a work written in 1964 by the American composer Sydney Davidoff, for his daughter, Judith, and Chihara’s Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord.

Media Contact:
Mary Brennan