Instruments: Viola d’amore and harp
Work: Not provided
Composer: Louis van Waefelghem
Interpreters: Richard Fleischman (viola d’amore), Deborah Fleisher (harp)
Source: Video originally published by the primaviolista Youtube Channel, titled “Waefelghem Two Pieces for Viola d’amore and Harp”.
The instrument has its bottom divided into two parts and it is made of maple wood. The soundboard is made of fir wood and also has two parts. The tailpiece is made of ebony and the central holes are in the shape of flames, as it is common in violas d’amore, and the bridge is made of wood. On the peg box there are seven tuning pegs on the sides (melodic strings) and seven smaller tuning pegs on the back part (sympathetic strings). The instrument has fourteen strings; seven are played with the bow and tuned A1-D2-A2-D3-F#3-A3-D4, and there are seven sympathetic strings tuned the same. In order to play, the musician rests the instrument on the left part of his neck, touching the strings with the bow, guided by his right hand, and the fingers of the left hand press the strings to produce the notes. The Museum’s specimen does not have a bow, or tuning pegs for the sympathetic strings.
The sonority of the viola d’amore is smooth and sweet. This type of viola was very much appreciated at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, being used in works of high emotional content by composers like Bach, Telemann and Janáceck. The viola d’amore has many features of the modern viola: flat bottom, dropped shoulder and carved volute. However, differently from the modern viola, which has four strings, the viola d’amore has fourteen strings in all. From this total, seven are sympathetic strings, that is, strings that vibrate by resonance whereas melodic (or main) strings are touched or fingered.
BASE MINERVA, 2014.
BETHENCOURT; BORDAS; CANO; CARVAJAL; SOUZA; DIAS; LUENGO; PALACIUS; PIQUER, ROCHA, RODRIGUEZ; RUBIALES; RUIZ, 2012.