This performance of The World Encompassed is an enticing concept, blending world-class viol playing with spoken word, contemporary music and ‘then contemporary’ literature. It is full of musical and spoken material to enlighten – dramatic story-telling, history, the furthering of the contemporary viol, old and new music, exquisite solo and ensemble playing. A primary component is addressing ‘the contemporary viol’. It is, quite frankly, awesome that this old instrument, misjudged by many, and yet so instrumental (excuse the pun) in the history of music, is still being used experimentally today. This is thanks to ensembles and composers such as Fretwork and Orlando Gough, who have been the backbone for this movement for a number of decades, performing works by and collaborating with the likes of David Bowie, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener, pushing the instrument's boundaries.
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