Petrarch's Sonnets in Renaissance Madrigals
C. Monteverdi, O. di Lasso, L. Marenzio, G. P. da Palestrina
(Period Arrangements for Viol Consort)


LA VIOLETTA (Netherlands)
Joshua Cheatham – viola da gamba (discantus)
Catherine Bahn – viola da gamba (altus and bass viol)
Heidi Gröger – viola da gamba (bass viol)
Simen Van Mechelen – trombone
Karl Nylhin – lute
Paulina van Laarhoven – viola da gamba, artistic director


Thursday 16. 7. 2015, 7.30 pm
The Ball Game Hall, Prague Castle, Prague 1

In collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy, ING Bank, and the Prague Castle Administration, and within the concert cycle "Music of the Prague Castle".


The beautiful French lady Laura de Noves was lucky enough to have attracted the platonic passion of the Italian arch-poet Francesco Petrarca: it is in his odes that her name has survived down to us and will survive into the future – providing it is a loving future. Laura’s lasting fame has also been confirmed by composers – including some of the most illustrious ones, such as Monteverdi, Lasso, Marenzio, and Palestrina – who set Petrarch’s sonnets to music. Those musical versions were the main theme of the performance by La Violetta lead by Paulina van Laarhoven. The Dutch ensemble played the compositions in arrangements for viol consort and solo trombone, which was a common performance practice around the time of their origin.

Concert Programme

Luca Marenzio (1553–1599)
Zefiro torna e’l bel tempo
Ma per me, lasso
Crudele, acerba, inesorabil morte
Solo e pensoso
Tutto ’l dí piango


Orlando di Lasso (?1532–1594)
Crudele, acerba, inesorabil morte
Solo e pensoso
Mia benigna fortuna


Giacomo Finetti (?1605–?1630)
Oh Maria


Giaches de Wert (1535–1596)
Vago augelletto che cantando vai
Solo e pensoso


Francesco Manara (fl. 1548–1591)
Nova angeletta


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (?1525–1594)
La ver aurora


Giovanni Felice Sances (1600–1679)
Cantada a voce sola sopra il passacaglia


Cipriano de Rore (?1515–1565)
Hor che ciel


Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)
Zefiro torna e’l bel tempo


Laura and La Violetta
Opera PLUS, 17.7. 2015, Hana Ehlová
Apart from captivating solo interludes performed by Karl Nylhin on the lute or theorbo [...] all the instruments worked in a perfect symbiosis and one had to admire the detailed, yet homogenous sound in which all the performers were complementing each other. The excellent Simen Van Mechelen on the trombone kept the audiences mesmerized with his perfect intonation and soft timbre [...]. Remarkable was also the performance of Joshua Cheatham, and of course Paulina van Laarhoven who featured prominently in the instrumental folia and one of the encores, a passacaglia, in which she showed her great mastery in terms of intonation and using the dynamics.