The Islamic Moors predominated in Spain from about 700 untill 1600 bringing with them an incredibly vibrant and sophisticated culture to Europe, and we still feel the impact of their knowledge and inspiration in many fields such as medicine, philosophy and the arts.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Venice was a cross-roads between east and west, and the the prime port for European trade with Islam. This contact with the east can be seen in all aspects of life at that time, and we sense it strongly today in the architecture and music that survive from that time particularly in Venice, but also in other parts of Italy.

In 'Spirit of the Moorish Muse' we hear sounds of the early baroque music 'spoken' with strong eastern accents. The great cathedral of San Marco in Venice looks strikingly Islamic - and the music has a similar tendency from this incredibly culturally rich period at the dawn of the baroque.

Penelope Spencer - violin
Reiko Ichise - viola da gamba
Taro Takeuchi - baroque guitar

Concert Programme

Alessandro Piccinini(1566 - c1638b) - Chiaccona

Diego Ortiz (c1510 - c1570)
-Recercada Segunda sopra 'Il Passemezzo'- Recercada Quinta sopra 'La Spagna'- Recercada Settima sopra 'La Romanesca'

Andrea Falconieri (1585 - 1656) - La Suoave Melodia

Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde (c1595 - 1613-38) - Divisions on 'Vestiva i colli'

Henry Butler (d 1652) - Sonata in G major

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 - 1643) - Suite for solo violin

Biagio Marini (1594 - 1663) - Romanesca

Dario Castello (Early 17th century, Venice) - Sonata Prima

Thomas Baltzar (1630 - 1663) - John come kiss me now

Listening Cards