Ensemble Soleil





Spain and Italy at 1600”


A Performance Art Event including live music of the

Renaissance and Baroque, multiple images

on large screens, and narration


Wednesday, March 4, 1998

at 8:00 pm at Sawyer Arts Center

Colby-Sawyer College


Wednesday, March 11, 1998

at 8:00 pm at the Newport Opera House




A project of

Ensemble Soleil with Colby-Sawyer College,

New  Hampshire Humanities Council,

and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts




Part l:    Spain in the Gothic Era

Opening sequence: Procession

Music:   “Riu, riu” 

Images:  Gallery and garden

             Images from a Spanish procession

Sequence II:   Villancicos – Music of the Spanish Peasants

Music:   “Dindirin, dindirin”

             “Hermitaño Quiero Ser” by Juan del Encino (1468-1530)

Images:   Nave of a Spanish church

             Tapestry with instruments

             Crowning of the Blessed Virgin by Fra Angelico

             Images of medieval fiddles


Part 2:    Spain in the Age of Exploration

Sequence III:  Ideals of Beauty in Spanish Art

Images:  Madonna with Music-Making Angels by Pedro Serra                  

              Presentation of the Virgin by The Budapest Master

              Portrait of a Man and Burial of Count Orgaz by El Greco

Music:   "O Felici Occhi Miei"

            madrigal by Jacques Arcadelt 

            division by Diego Ortiz

Sequence IV: The Spanish Vihuela

Music:   “Con Pavor Recordo el Moro” and

            “Fantasia” (pub. 1536) by Luys de Milán

            “Tres Moricas M'enamoran” by Alonso Fernandes (c.1500)

Images:   Moorish architecture in a Spanish mosque

Spanish instruments - vihuela and rabab



Part 3:   Art and Life in the Times of Philip II

Sequence V:  Art of El Escorial

Images:  Nave of a cloister

            Library, Escorial palace  and close ups

            Frescos, library of Escorial by Pellegrino

            Lectern and chapel of The Escorial

            Philip II

            Satire of Spain, England and the Cow of the Netherlands

            Hall of Battles from The Escorial

Music:   Recercada Segunda by Diego Ortiz (pub. 1553)


Sequence VI:  Philip II, El Greco and The Inquisition

Images:  Philip II in the last year of his life

Dream of Philip II by El Greco                            

Sequence VI:  Philip II, El Greco and The Inquisition

Images:  Martyrdom of St. Maurice by El Greco 

              Auto de fé

              The Death of Savonarola

Music:     Recercada Quarta by Diego Ortiz


Part 4:   The Flowering of the Italian Renaissance

Sequence VII:  Creation of the Viola da Gamba 

Images:    Portrait of Isabella d’Este by Titian

                The Education of Marie de' Medici by Rubens

                 Viols in Italian art

Music:      Two galliards by Salamone Rossi


Sequence VIII:   The Borgias

Music:     "La Dame le Demanda" by Antonio de Cabezon


Sequence IX:   The Medici 

Images:    First public library, Medici palace (1443)

                 Illuminated music manuscripts

                 Procession of the Magi by Gozzoli (1459)\

Music:     Renaissance dance music for violin


Sequence X:   High Renaissance Art

Images:    School of Athens (1510) by Raphael

                 Portraits of Eleanor of Toledo by Bronzini and Vasari

                 Portrait by Dosso Dossi (Fogg Art Museum)

                 Marriage at Cana by Veronese (1563)

Music:      Fantazia by Orazio Vecchi (1590)


Part 5:   The Dawn of the Baroque           

Sequence XI:  An Age of Change

Music:     Violin sonata by Giovanni Paolo Cima (pub. 1610)

Images:    The violin and its players by Caravaggio,

                Gentileschi, and Cavallino (Boston Fine Arts Museum)


Sequence XII:  1600 - The Birth of the Baroque

Music:    "La Lusignuolo" by Tarquinio Merula (pub. 1615)                 

Images:    Sculpture at Santa Capilla by Jose Ramirez

                 Sculpture, Ecstasy of St. Theresa by Bernini

                 Architecture by Borromini

                 Aurora by Reni (1613), Aurora by Guercino (1621)

                 Apotheoses of St. Ignatius by Fra Andrea Pozzo


Credits:    Images from The Triumph of Maximilian I

by Hans Burgkmair and others




Ensemble Soleil was formed by musicians who perform Renaissance and Baroque music on instruments authentic to the period.  We seek to create a soundscape through which the music from an era rich in dance and song can live again.  From the bold and unusual harmonies heard in England and Italy to the refined ornaments of the French, the music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries transports us to a time of discovery and invention.  An antidote to the fast pace of modern life, this music invites us to reflect and imagine.

Biographies of Key Project Personnel


Peter Tourin, Project Director


Peter Tourin has a career that spans many areas of music and technology.  He has a B.S. from the University of Michigan, and did graduate work at Yale University in History of Music.  He studied harpsichord making with the international expert Frank Hubbard, and lute and viola da gamba making with the outstanding American builder J. Donald Warnock.


Mr. Tourin has an international reputation as a musical instrument maker and as a researcher in the acoustics and history of the viola da gamba.  As a member of the Tourin Musica, a family business in Duxbury and Jericho Center, Vermont, he made over 100 viols from 1972 to 1990.  He published "A Comprehensive Catalogue of Historical Viole da Gamba in Public and Private Collections" in 1979, which he researched with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Mr. Tourin is a well-known performer on the viol, and has been a member of the Boston Viol consort and the Oberlin Consort of viols, with whom he can be heard on CD.   He is a founding member and co-director of Ensemble Soleil.  He also performs in the folk and popular genres.   On the technology side, Mr. Tourin has worked with computers since the early ‘60’s.  He is a computer software designer and programmer, working on such diverse projects as a laptop-based sheet metal estimation system, a data logging system for hydroelectric sites, and an inventory control system for ROTC schools.


In the area of music, Mr. Tourin developed a $42,000 recording project for the Viola da Gamba Society of America for which he directed the recording and production of a 3-CD series of viol music.  He has also had experience in sound reinforcement.  He has developed several slide shows for musical instrument exhibitions.


Jean Sawyer Twombly, Artistic Director


Jean Sawyer Twombly, a Master’s graduate in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music, Cambridge, Massachusetts, specializes in Baroque violin and treble viol.  She is a founding member and co-director of Ensemble Soleil.  She led the ensemble on their 1996 and 1997 appearances on WGBH radio’s “Classical Performances” and 1997 appearance on "Morning Pro Musica" with Robert J. Lurtsema.  She performs regularly on period and modern instruments with several New England chamber orchestras.


An active free-lance violinist and member of Boston Musicians’ Association,

Ms. Twombly has performed with oratorio societies and community theater groups in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  She has led performances of large choral works such as Handel's Messiah and Haydn's "Lord Nelson" Mass, as well as played principal violin for many stage shows. 


Ms. Twombly is a member of the Fine and Performing Arts faculty of Colby-Sawyer College, New London, New Hampshire, where she has taught violin and viola since 1985 and in recent semesters, a music survey elective.  A member of American String Teachers, Early Music America, and the Viola da Gamba Society of America, she is presently a board member of the Boston area early music concert organization, the Society for Historically Informed Performance. 


Ms. Twombly has lived in New London and maintained a private teaching studio there since 1983.  She is a past president of the board of Summer Music Associates, New London’s community concert series.





Donald A. Beecher, PhD., Advisor on Humanities, Narrator


Donald Beecher has had a lifelong passion for Renaissance studies.  He is a professor of English at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, where he has taught since 1967.    He has received many professional honours  including fellowships for study in Birmingham, England and Montpellier, France.  He was past President of the Canadian society for Renaissance Studies and is present Director of the Barnabe Riche Society.  Professor Beecher is the editor of 11 books on a variety of Renaissance topics.  As publisher of Dovehouse Editions, he produced 55 performing editions of Renaissance & Baroque music for viola da gamba, which are highly regarded in the early music field.  He has had many editorial responsibilities, and has edited numerous scholarly critical editions.


He has organized and directed more than a dozen conferences, many of them international, such as Parallel Lives: Spanish and English National Drama, 1580-1680 at the University of Calgary and Eros and Anteros: Eroticism and the Medical Traditions of Love in the Renaissance at Carleton University. 


He is a performing musician on viola da gamba and has participated in several recordings.  He has been  the organizer and director of many music concerts and workshops and is the recipient of over 50 research grants. Professor Beecher has been involved in iconographical research and slide preparation in the development of several programs for public television. 


Professor Beecher’s current research interests are Elizabethan prose fiction and scholarly editing, the literary origins of the texts of Handel’s English oratorios, and Renaissance Aesthetics.  As our humanist advisor, he has  researched and written the narrative portions of tonight’s program.




Guest Artists and Members of Ensemble Soleil


Margaret Angelini, the ensemble's Archivist and Librarian, began her organ studies as a freshman at Wellesley College with Frank Taylor and completed her B.A. in music in 1985.  Since then she has studied with John Finney and completed a Master's Degree in Organ at New England Conservatory with William Porter.  She plays continuo regularly with a number of Boston area early music ensembles. A founding member of Ensemble Soleil, she is also organist - choir conductor at St. Paul's Episcopal Church,Newton Highlands.


Rosalind Brooks Stowe has been involved in early music since she began studying the viol at Brown University in 1976.  She has a Master's Degree in Early Music Performance from New England Conservatory and has performed with the Boston and Washington, D.C. groups Voice of the Turtle, Much Ado, Telemann Ensemble and La Rondinella.  She has taught at Viola da Gamba Society workshops and has recorded with La Rondinella on Dorian Records.


Hannah Davidson first performed with Quadrivium, Alexander's Feast, and the Revels, with whom she has also recorded.  She attended Harvard University and Longy School of Music, and has studied viol with Sarah Cunningham and Jane Hershey.  She is a member of the Boston early  music ensemble La Donna Musicale, which specializes in compositions by women, and a director of the Viola da Gamba Society of New England.


Guest Artist Frank Wallace is one of the world's leading performers of the vihuela de mano. In 1976 he and his wife, soprano Nancy Knowles, founded Duo LiveOak, an internationally known ensemble based in Antrim, New Hampshire.  Critically acclaimed for their programs of music from Renaissance and Medieval Spain, Duo LiveOak were featured artists of the Boston Early Music Festival in 1995.  LiveOak and Company has a recent compact disk, "Lanterns of Fire: Love and the Mystic in Renaissance Spain", which is available for sale at the front table.