Today we’ll hear Rachel Barton Pine perform- not on her usual violin, but with a viola d’amore. This unusual instrument has fourteen strings, seven of which the player bows and seven that are not touched and ring sympathetically.
The first known mention of the name ‘viol d’amore’ appeared in John Evelyn’s diary on the 20th of November, 1679, who praised its ‘sweetness’ and ‘surprising sound’.
Rachel Barton Pine is joined in the WFMT studios in Chicago by Martha Perry and Garry Clarke, violins, William Bauer, viola, Pablo Mahave-Veglia, violoncello, Jerry Fuller, double bass, and Greg Hand, harpsichord. They’re playing one of seven concertos that Antonio Vivaldi wrote for the viola d’amore, in D Major.
Video of this performance can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ0wV3iiNzg