Yair Avidor plays music from the Court of Versailles on the theorbo, a large lute with deep bass strings which was very popular in 17th century France.
Robert de Visée (c1655-1732/1733)
Suite in G major
Menuet en rondeau
François Couperin (1668-1733)
Les Silvains (1713)
Robert de Visée
Suite in E minor
from Suite in E minor
Rondeau "La Montfermeil"
Gigue et son Double
Rialto Lounge will be selling sandwiches and drinks in the church after the concert.
It has longest neck, and two sets of pegs,
and so many strings you lose count –
the seven bass ones cantilevered out
to the side, beyond the frets,
open and resonant, deepest of tone,
generously accommodate fingers.
Its body profile, striated and shaped
like a beetle's elytra, or humbug sweet,
hides from view in performance:
only the elegant golden face,
the sounding-board embellished by triad
of ornately fenestrated circles,
contrasts the chocolate stretching stem,
as his dexterous digits move softly,
generate melancholy melodies;
bygone Baroque, yet here in this moment,
timeless and poignant in absorption.
Body language in total focus,
etched on his brow, dark but serene,
emanates far-ranging French music,
reluctant to break concentration,
even when sound fades into silence,
and the instrument's vibrations hang still.
Peter Horsfield 15/8/2014
Inspired by today's concert.
You will find more of Peter Horsfield's
music-inspired poetry on our
The Amphion Consort
Concert at Home
If you cannot be with us at the lunchtime concert
you can enjoy a similar Concert at Home by
clicking the buttons below.
Yair suggests these recordings of his playing:
Yair Avidor was born and raised in Tel Aviv. His earliest encounter with music and with 20th century Russian music in particular, seems to have been listening to Peter and the Wolf at kindergarten.
Later musical discoveries of significance during the first decade of his life were Julian Bream's recording of Rodrigo's famous guitar concerto, which led to his taking up a 3/4 guitar. Glenn Gould's recordings of Bach were a deeply intensive influence and John Coltrane's double LP The Stardust Sessions planted the seeds of a life long love of Jazz.
Recordings of songs and lute music by Dowland with Bream on lute, or rather, a lute-shaped guitar to be historically accurate, held a fascination for the melancholic teenager who somehow knew that he would end up playing it one day.
We skip some ten years or so to find him in Bremen studying the lute with Stephen Stubbs. During five academic years at the Hochschule für Künste, in the Grimm Brothers' hometown, he learned to play basso continuo and delved into the solo repertoires of the renaissance lute, archlute, theorbo, baroque guitar and baroque lute. He was also very fortunate to have lessons with Nigel North in Berlin.
In 1999 Yair was given a scholarship by the Fodella Foundation to study in Milan with Paul Beier and in 2002 he received a scholarship from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London to complete his Masters in Music Performance.
Yair has played basso continuo with many baroque and modern orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Scottish Chamber Orchestr and I Barrochisti.
In 2004, together with multi-instrumentalist Jennifer Bennett, Yair formed the period instruments ensemble, the Amphion Consort, (described as "Excellent" by Time Out London). Over the years they have collaborated with young and promising players alongside prominent musicians such as Alison Bury, Julia Gooding and John Potter.
Currently his main areas of interest are Elizabethan and Jacobean solo lute music, accompanying lute songs, 17th-century French Pièces for lute and theorbo, and the late suites by Bach and Weiss.
His debut solo recording of the complete theorbo works by Robert de Visée is to come out this year.
With his Amphion Consort, Yair has been able to explore chamber music from the Elizabethan period for a broken consort, 17th century trio sonatas by Marais, Biber and Purcell, to Boccherini and Beethoven on romantic guitar.
Theorbo - taller than a double bass - though thankfully a lot lighter !
Harpsichordist Elaine Thornburgh plays Couperin's
Les Silvains on a newly-built harpsichord by maker
Steve Renaker. This single manual harpsichord is
based on the works of Ioannes Rucker 1624:
And here is the same work played by
Dutch theorbo player, David van Ooijen:
Pascal Monteilhet, theorbo, plays
Robert de Visée's Suite in E minor