IL BASSO DI VIOLINO AMBIZIOSO. Spanish and Italian Baroque music for bass solo instrument


Thursday 17 August at 7 p.m. Kretinga Franciscan church


Recital by Balázs Máté, basso di violino (Hungary)
Dóra Pétery (organ)


In the Renaissance and Baroque eras the bowed string instruments were represented by two rival „dynasties”: the Viola da Gamba family and the Viola da Braccio (Violin) family. Both of them origin most probably from the Middle East or North Africa and were brought to Europe in the late Middle Ages. The former came to courts relatively soon and found employment in Christian sacred music as well. While the Viols became the instruments of the noblesse, the Violin family remained in use by the „plebeians”, the lower class in profane surrounding, basically for folk music. This situation started to change during the 16th century when the Violin family gradually entered the courts. Musicians started to play increasingly artistic music on them, and luthiers created more and more refined models.


The Basso di Viola da Braccio or Basso di Violino (Bass Violin) was the lowest-tuned member of the Violin Consort, containing 5 to 7 instruments of different sizes and tunings according to their registers. The Bass Violin had the role of harmonic fundament (similar to the bass instruments of other instrument families) accompanying the upper voices, playing relatively simple and less virtuoso parts than the higher-tuned ones. However, through the development of playing techniques new abilities of musical expression emerged and composers started to write some soloist works for them as well.


The program contains this relatively rare music of the 17th century for Bass Violin, composed for the most „ambitious” players of Basso di Violino, in combination with works taken from opuses where the composer indicates (typically for contemporary practice) alternative instrumentations, as well as pieces for solo keyboard instruments – organ and harpsichord.




Il Basso Di Violino Ambizioso

17th century Music for the for Bass Violin


Girolamo Frescobaldi (Ferrara, 1583 – Rome, 1643)

Canzona attava detta l’Ambitiosa. From „Primo Libro delle Canzoni”, Rome, 1628


Francisco Correa de Arauxo (Sevilla, 1584 – Segovia, 1654)

Tiento 2. From „Facultad organica”, Alcalá, 1626

Bartolomeo de Selma y Salaverde (Cuenca, apie/c. 1595 – po/after 1638)

Susanna passeggiata (Susana pasegiata). From „Primo Libro [delle] Canzoni, Fantasie e Correnti”, Venice, 1638 (combined with a demo of the chanson „La Susanna”)

Domenico Gabrielli (Bologna, 1651–1690)

Ricercar 6to. From „Ricercari”, Bologna, 1689

Philipp Friderich Böddecker (Hagenau, 1607 – Stuttgart, 1683)

Sonata sopra La Monica. From „Sacra partitura”, Straßburg, 1651 (combined with a demo of the chanson „La Monica”)


William Byrd (Lincoln, 1543 – Essex, 1623)

Varpai /The Bells. From „The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book”

Francisco Correa de Arauxo

Tiento 31. From „Facultad organica”, Alcalá, 1626





Balázs Máté


The cellist Balázs Máté (born 1965 in Budapest) studied at the B. Bartók Conservatory and the F. Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.  From 1986-92 he was a member of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. He finished post-graduate Baroque cello studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (NL) with Jaap ter Linden, and had chamber music lessons with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Mozarteum Salzburg.


Máté is a founding member of Concerto Armonico Budapest, Trio Cristofori, and The Rare Fuits Council. He is a solo cellist in world-famous Baroque orchestras: 1991- Le Concert des Nations (J. Savall), 1994- Wiener Akademie (M. Haselböck), 1996-2002 Les Musiciens du Louvre (M. Minkowski), 2003-2013 Neue Hofkapelle München (Chr. Hammer) etc. He also performs regularly with ensembles: Concentus Musicus Wien (N. Harnoncourt), Cappella Mediterranea (L. Garcia Alarcón), Le Concert de la Loge (J. Chauvin), Recreation Graz, Café Zimmermann, Cappella Gabetta etc. In 1995 he founded his own early music ensemble Aura Musicale and in 2002 (together with others) the Quartetto Luigi Tomasini. He played concerts all over Europe, in Brasil, Argentina, Columbia, and Japan, and he also conducted Baroque operas. Máté is a highly regarded artist of the Baroque cello, the violoncello piccolo, and the Bass violin. In 2010 Balázs Máté received the Liszt Award– the Hungarian state award for musical merits and contributions.


From 2010 to 2012 he was a professor of Baroque cello at the F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy of Music Leipzig. His large discography contains the complete set of the Cello Suites by J. S. Bach, the Cello Concertos by C. P. E. Bach and G. B. Cirri, the Cello Sonatas by A. Kraft, S. Lanzetti etc.



Dóra Pétery

Dóra Pétery was born in Budapest, she is an organist, clavichord, and harpsichord player. She studied musicology and organ playing at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, she also studied clavichord playing at the Helsinki Sibelius Academy with Miklós Spányi, and was a student in Hans-Ola Ericsson's concert organist class at the Musikhögskolan i Pitea in Sweden. Her doctoral thesis is about instrumental theatrical aspects of M. Kagel's organ works. She is a lecturer of the Church Music Department of the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. She is the organist of the Csillaghegy Lutheran Church of Budapest.


She has been the artistic director of Budapest Clavichord Days Minifestival and a guest of several international music festivals in Stockholm, Radovljica, Amsterdam, Halberstadt, Budapest etc. She plays recitals as a soloist and as a chamber musician, with a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to contemporary music. She plays regularly in different early music groups such as Aura Musicale (B. Máté), Cantilene Ensemble (A. Boeke), she is a member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and the CentriFUGA Contemporary Music Group.