Tag: ensemble


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Art of…

Some years ago I have discovered the Art of Time Ensemble, a Toronto based ensemble, which had given a performance of the complete Beatles album Abbey Road in 2010 which was then just 40 years old. The concert had been available on the website of the CBC.

This year another iconic album by the Beatles gets 50 – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Art of Time Ensemble played their version of this album in 2012 – and luckily the complete concert is available as a youtube playlist. A great performance of one of the best music albums of the history.

First, here is a video of the Song “Lovely Rita”

 Playlist Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (audio)

The Beatles’ iconic album was released 50 years ago, but still sounds as fresh and genius as ever.

Art of Time Ensemble’s world-class orchestra performs with singers from the pop world – Steven Page (formerly of the Barenaked Ladies), Craig Northey (Odds), Andy Maize (Skydiggers) and John Mann (Spirit of the West) – in this vivid reimagination of The Beatles’ iconic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Recorded live in concert, June 2012
Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Toronto

Art of Time Ensemble’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is touring! Click here for dates http://www.aote.ca/

Additional Information

Website Art of Time Ensemble

Led by Artistic Director Andrew Burashko, Art of Time Ensemble transforms the way you experience music. Fusing high art and popular culture in concerts that juxtapose the best of each genre, Art of Time entertains as it enlightens, revealing the universal qualities that lie at the heart of all great music.

youtube channel Art of Time

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mandolin ensemble

Plucked Strings Ensemble “La Volta” – New CD Ensalada…

The Ensemble La Volta from Switzerland knows very well how to present the plucked instruments of the world and the typical music for those instruments in their concerts.

When you visit a concert by La Volta you can hear and see all kinds of plucked instruments. Every member of the group plays several instruments, and the instruments are exchanged permanently. The music that you hear will originate from four or five centuries, including medieval dances, music of the Renaissance, but also Brazilian choro, American bluegrass and Southamerican folk dances.

Jürgen Hübscher started to offer ensemble classes in 1984 as an addition to his guitar lessons at the music school in Riehen. The ensemble was named La Volta and over the years has given many concerts all over the world. They have produced six CDs. Their latest CD Ensalada has been published recently.

New CD – Ensalada

The new CD  Ensalada contains folk music from Southamerica, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece and Switzerland as well as music from the 17th and 18th century from Ireland, England, Italy and Germany.

18 Pieces have been recorded on March 8th 2011, the Ensemble La Volta was composed of  Tobias Schmitz, Yannick Gattlen, Jürgen Hübscher, Silvan Stöckli, Lilli Beile, Valerie Schneider, Philip Stämpfli und Maxim Lavoie.

The following instruments were used for the recording: classical guitar, octave guitar, requinto, guitarra de son, baroque guitar, archlute, six-course baroque mandolin, pandora, cuatro Puertoriqueno, guitarron, charango, mandolin, five string banjo, Cuatro Venezolano, hammered dulcimer, bombo, crash cymbals, maracas, triangle, waldteufel, matchbox, rainstick, bird voices, tambourine, cajon, darbuka, bells, bread knife.

A 16-page booklet includes descriptions of all the pieces and the instruments played.

This CD Ensalada is great to call back a concert with La Volta or to prepare for a coming concert. It is great to listen to the sounds of all the different plucked instruments and the great and often surprising arrangements.

A CD that presents the diversity of the music for plucked instruments, a CD the demonstrates the high quality of the young musicians of La Volta – a CD that you can play again and again.

La Arboleda – Guitar Ensemble “La Volta”

Playlist from a concert in 2011

Playlist with several tracks of the previous La Volta CD  “Hermes Invention”

Playlist with the videos of the anniversary concert of La Volta


Additional Information

aa mandolin guitar

Fretwork – New Music on old Instruments – ‘The…

The fretwork ensemble is a viol consort from England which exists since 1986 and which plays music from 500 years. This ensemble does not limit itself to old music originally composed for viols centuries ago, but it also plays new compositions composed especially for this group.

A great example of this kind of new music for old instruments is the work The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough.

This composition is based on the voyage of Sir rancis Drake around the world. Drake had several musicians – viol players – in his crew who played for him aas well as for the foreign people. You can fid detailed information about the voyage of Sir Francis Drake in the wikipedia.

This composition by Orlando Gough merges new compositions with reflections of the native music of the visited foreign places as they might have been played by the viol players after they returned back from the long journey.

This music is fascinating, and I have listened to the music for several times now. The complet concert with The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough is available at the CBC concert on demand site:

CBC concert  – fretwork – The World Encompassed – Orlando Gough


Fretwork has a repertoire that spans over 500 years. They specialize in early music and have distinguished themselves in their interpretations of Bach.

Fretwork has also actively commissioned contemporary composers ranging from Gavin Bryars to Elvis Costello to write new works for them. ‘The World Encompassed’ by Orlando Gough, is the most recent of these commissions. This hour-long piece describes, in musical terms, Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80. Drake took four viol players with him on his epic journey, and Gough’s piece uses original 16th century music to help tell this engaging musical story.

More about the program can be found on the homepage of the fretork ensemble:


The few hymns popularly sung at the time, published in 1562 & 3 by Sternhold & Hopkins, severe and austere, will be contrasted with the exotic and ‘strange’ music of these countries. The structure of the work is as follows, with the original 16th century music:

  • Leaving Plymouth
    • Robert Parsons: The Song Called Trumpets
    • Preserve us O Lord
  • Mogador
    • John Taverner: In Nomine
  • Maio Santiago Fogo
  • Port Desire
    • Parsons: In Nomine
  • Terra Incognita
    • The Humble Suit of a Sinner
  • The Spanish Main
    • Parsons: De La Court
  • Albion
  • 180 Degrees: Homesickness
    • Pavin of Albarti
  • Ternate
    • Picforth: In Nomine
  • Java
    • Da Pacem Domine
  • Reaching Plymouth
    • Parsons: The Song called Trumpets


Richard Boothby discusses Fretwork’s forthcoming concerts at Kings Place

Richard Boothby discusses a forthcoming concert with a performance of  The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough with some additional information about the ensemble and its music

ELVIS COSTELLO (b. 1954) – Put away forbidden playthings (1995)

another contemporary piece composed for the fretwork ensemble

More Information

Homepage fretwork – with information about works and composers, programs and a player with some audio examples: http://www.fretwork.co.uk/

For over 20 years, all around the globe, Fretwork has brought music for viols to life through live concerts, recordings and broadcasts. Their repertory includes anything and everything that can be played on viols, from the first printed music in Venice in 1501 to music composed for them today.

Wikipedia (engl.) about Fretwork: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fretwork_%28music_group%29

fretwork about the composer Orlando Gough with a lot of information about the composition The World Encompassed: http://www.fretwork.co.uk/what/contemporary#page=Orlando-Gough

Program of a concert with the fretwork ensemble (to download as PDF follow  “weitere Informationen”): http://www.ndr.de/orchester_chor/das_alte_werk/fretwork102.html

Wikipedia über Sir Francis Drake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake

Wikipedia über die Weltumseegelung von Francis Drake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake#Circumnavigation_of_the_earth


Estudiantina de la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira – Bandola…

Today I want to present an orchestra from Kolombia – the Estudiantina de la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira. In the spanish speaking countries most universities have tunas or estudiantinas – music ensembles that play plucked instruments like bandola, bandurria, mandolin and guitars and sing.

The videos by the Estudiantina de la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira show some interesting and well arranged orchestra pieces.

The main instrument is the colombian bandola, an instrument similar to the spanish bandurria but typically with 16 strings in 6 courses. You can find miore about the colombian bandola in the Atlas of Plucked Instruments:


Enjoy the videos of the Estudiantina de la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira!

Fantasia Sobre Motivos Colombianos

Estudiantina Sinapsis Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira
Tema: Fantasía sobre motivos Colombianos
Compositor: Pedro Morales Pino
Arreglos: Germán Posada

La partida (Vals venezolano)

Arreglos: Diego Fernando Sanchez

Presentación de la estudiantina de la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira en el Concurso Nacional del Bambuco Luis Carlos González. Noviembre 2 / 2008

Preludio Gm

Estudiantina Sinapsis Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira
Tema: Preludio en GM
Compositor: Sergei Rachmaninoff
Arreglos: Germán Posada

More videos with the  Estudiantina de la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira:


More Information

youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/estudiantinautp

The following video show some other colombian estudiantinas from a national meeting of estudiantinas: