Delirium of Lyres

A Quartet of Two

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« At that time, there came to Locres two Lydians, very knowledgeable in music, principally the type that moves the heart to tenderness, languor and love. Great friends, they had intelligence and integrity, both playing the lyre so admirably that no one had heard it played better since Orpheus, whether they played together or separately. But what was so marvellous was that they performed so well together that the same instrument in the hands of an excellent master with a very good ear couldn't be better in tune  than their two lyres. »

Madeleine de Scudéry, « La Clélie »


Mixing the sound of plucked strings with the inflections of the voice, delicately supporting the voice with a chord, with a note, or to the contrary, giving to the singer a rhythmic energy that he wouldn't find alone, that has been done since the beginning of time. Whether it was the ancient lyre, the harp of the trouvères and the troubadours, the lute of Ronsard's contemporaries or the theorbo of Caccini and of Lambert, the principle has always been the same: to create a space where the voice is free, where the words are sung out and clearly heard, and the poetry reaches and touches the listener.

"As for the Italians, they interpret as much as possible the passions and feelings of the soul and of the spirit, for example, anger, fury, bitterness, rage, weaknesses of the heart and other strong with a violence so strange that one would think that they are touched by the same sentiments that they represent when they sing. However, it isn't easy to believe the strength of these accents, if one hasn't experienced them, which is so great that those who do them well can make their listeners tremble even if they are only speaking to them in a joking manner just for the pleasure of it... " (Marin Mersenne, L'Harmonie Universelle)

Francisco Mañalich and Marco Horvat belong with those very rare contemporary performers who have taken up the torch of the traditional lute singer. Marco Horvat has been doing it for years in accompanying himself on the lute, the theorbo and the lyre. In a very original way, Francisco Mañalich, a young singer and instrumentalist, accompanies himself on the bass viol; while the instrument was said in the 17th century to be appropriate for self-accompaniment, no one else has ever used it to this end.

These two musicians with voices and instruments that complement each other were destined to meet one day and design a program according to their own measurements, where the numerous combinations of voice and instruments they are prone to create would serve the right repertoire.

Marco Horvat : Vocals, Theorbo, Lira, Baroque Guitar 

Francisco Mañalich : Vocals, Bass Viol, Baroque Guitar 

Music by Honoré d’Ambruys, Joseph Chabanceau de la Barre, Gabriel Bataille ; Bellerofonte Castaldi, Sigismundo d’India, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Charles Hurel, Michel Lambert, Sébastien Le Camus and Carlo Milanuzzi

Texts by Madeleine de Scudéry and others

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Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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