Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Lina Tur Bonet, guest director & violin soloist

Live performances:

February 2–4, 2024 at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre



Sonata 16, Book II


Sonata a 8


Sonata a 3


Serenata con altre arie
Serenata – Erlicino [Harlequin] – Ciaccona – Campanella – Lamento




Sonata – Das liederliche Schwärmen der Musketiere [The tuneful revelry of the musqueteers] – Presto – Mars – Presto – Aria – Die Schlacht [The Battle] – Lamento der Verwundeten [Lament of the wounded]



Sonata 4 from Sonatae unarum fideum


L’Aguzzona” from Affetti musicali, op. 1


Canzon 17 a doi chori


“Imitazione del liuto” from Sonata 2


Sonata 3 from Encænia musices, op. 1


Sonata a 6 “Tausend Gulden” [1,000 guilders]

Lina Tur Bonet

Guest Director and violinist

Regarded as one of today’s most interesting, exciting, and innovative violinists, Lina Tur Bonet is sought after by ensembles across Europe. A native of Ibiza, Spain, she founded MUSIca ALcheMIca, an ensemble that has performed across Europe, the Americas, and Japan with a multidisciplinary approach that has included projects with poet Antonio Colinas (La tumba negra, a tribute to J.S. Bach), and performances in museums and other unusual venues in collaboration with video artists, actors, dancers, photographers, goldsmiths, filmmakers, and puppeteers. With the ensemble she has released eight award-winning CDs of music by Jacquet de la Guerre, Biber, Corelli, and Bartok. Other recent records include a CD of Vivaldi concertos, a duo CD with renowned violinist Enrico Onofri, and La Bellezza, a selection of Italian, Austrian, and German 17th-century music. 

Lina Tur Bonet is professor of baroque violin and viola at University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar, and associate professor in the historical performance program at Madrid’s Reina Sofía School of Music. 

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra


Lina Tur Bonet, Patricia Ahern, Geneviève Gilardeau, Johanna Novom, Christopher Verrette, Julia Wedman, Cristina Zacharias


Brandon Chui, Patrick G. Jordan

Cello/Basse de violon*

Michael Unterman*, Keiran Campbell


Pippa Macmillan


Dominic Teresi


John Lenti


Charlotte Nediger

Access full bios for core orchestra members at tafelmusik.org/orchestra

*Cello chair generously endowed by the Horst Dantz and Don Quick Fund

Program Notes

by Charlotte Nediger

The prolific German polymath Athanasius Kircher published a comprehensive tome on music titled Musurgia universalis in 1650. In one of the chapters he sorts music into eight broad categories, three of which are applied specifically to instrumental music: stylus symphonicus (music for the church played by consorts of instruments), stylus hyporchematicus (music written to accompany the dance), and stylus phantasticus. He describes the latter:

It is the most free and unfettered method of composition, bound to nothing, neither to words, nor to a harmonious subject. It is organized with regard to manifest invention, the hidden reason of harmony, and an ingenious, skilled connection of harmonic phrases and fugues. And it is divided into those pieces which are commonly called Fantasias, Ricercatas, Toccatas, and Sonatas.

These are works that meld the learned and the lyrical, the rhythmic and the free, tender expression and virtuosity. If the fantasias, ricercatas & toccatas were the realm of the solo lute and keyboard players, the sonatas were written for groups of players: as small as a single violinist and continuo, or as a large as an ensemble in many parts. The earlier sonatas of the 17th century epitomize Kircher’s stylus phantasticus, the word “fantastic” defined at the time as “imagination: the process or the faculty of forming mental representations of things not actually present” [Oxford English Dictionary]. In musical terms, it means that, freed from a text, the composers use their own fantasy and imaginations to move the listeners with a range of affects. Each sonata is unique, and the role of the performers is to discern what the composers had in mind, and to add their own fantasy in communicating this to the audience. The role of the listeners is simply to experience what Kircher describes as the “resonance” between the music and the spirit of the listener.

The early 17th century was a time of experimentation and daring in music, so it is not surprising that it gave rise to the popularity of these “unfettered” sonatas. It coincided with the rise of the violin from the fiddle played by dancing masters to an instrument capable of a wide range of expression and virtuosity, ideally suited to the fantasy called for in the sonata. Lina Tur Bonet has designed a program that celebrates the “fantastic” violin, both as a solo instrument and as the uppermost member of rich ensembles of string instruments. Joining the strings on stage are the supporting continuo players—playing lute, guitar, harpsichord, and organ—and a dulcian. The ancestor of the bassoon, the dulcian was often added to ensembles of string instruments to add both strength and clarity to the bass of the ensemble, and to occasionally step forward in a solo role.

The program reflects the exchange across the alps of this new style: although its origins are in Italy, it quickly travelled north. Ferdinand II in Vienna, for example, sent scouts to Italy to bring back the best and brightest players and composers, as well as instruments and musical scores. The scouts would have heard Dario Castello, chief wind player at San Marco in Venice, playing dulcian, and may have purchased copies of his publications of sonatas “in stil moderno.” The Veronese violinist and composer Antonio Bertali was among the instrumentalists who was recruited to join the court in Vienna. He remained there until the end of his life, and mentored the Bohemian composer Samuel Friedrich Capricornus and Austrian violinist Johann Heinrich Schmeltzer when they arrived at the Hapsburg court. Schmeltzer succeeded Bertali as Kapellmeister in Vienna, while Capricornus eventually took up the position of Kapellmeister at the Württemberg court at Stuttgart.

Schmeltzer departs from stylus fantasticus in his Serenata, a whimsical musical entertainment, alternating dances (one written for Harlequin), and ending with the strings imitating the pealing of bells and a lament. One imagines that it perhaps it accompanied a pantomime.

The well-travelled Neapolitan lutenist and guitarist Andrea Falconieri worked in several Italian cities, and spent some years in Spain and France before settling back in Naples. He spent five years teaching at a convent in Genoa, admonished by the mother superior for distracting the nuns with his music. It’s easy to imagine how the Folias, an alluring set of variations on the Spanish folia bass line, might indeed have distracted them! The Folias were written for Señora Doña Tarolilla de Carallenos, presumably a Spanish noblewoman.

The first half of the concert ends with Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Sonata in 10 parts titled Battalia. Bohemian by birth and one of the most esteemed violin virtuosos of his generation, Biber trained in Vienna (probably under Schmeltzer) before settling in Salzburg. In Battalia he explores unconventional playing techniques to a humorous end. Dedicated to Bacchus and possibly written for Carnival celebrations, the sonata depicts army life. Bacchus is most evident in the second movement, as the musketeers gird themselves on the eve of the battle with generous quantities of wine, singing eight folk tunes simultaneously with no regard for concord, “for thus are the drunks accustomed to bellow with different songs.” If you detect a hint of something familiar amid the cacophony, it may be because of the tunes selected by Biber was used by Bach in the quodlibet that concludes his Goldberg Variations. A march follows, dedicated to Mars, the God of War: a solo violin imitates a fife, and the bass player is instructed to put paper under the strings and then to strike the strings with the wood of the bow, imitating a snare drum. In the battle itself the cellists are given the instruction: “the string must be whipped with the right hand like a cannon and LOUD.” The piece ends not with a victory celebration, but a lament for the wounded soldiers.

Lina Tur Bonet opens the second half of the concert with a sublime sonata for solo violin, in which the violinist explores all that is possible over four simple repeated notes in the bass.

We then head back over the alps to Italy, and two of the earliest works on the program. The Brescian violinist Biagio Marini published his Affetti musicali in 1617, and the Venetian keyboard player and lutenist Giovanni Picchi published his volume of instrumental ensemble music in 1625. The latter includes three canzonas scored for two distinct “choirs” of strings, possibly written for San Marco in Venice, with its long tradition of polychoral music for both voices and instruments. As such, this music would fall into Kircher’s category of stylus symphonicus.

From the grandeur of San Marco we move to an intimate space to hear an exquisite miniature from a violin sonata by Johann Paul von Westhoff, in which the solo violinist is asked to imitate a lute. Westhoff, born in Dresden, worked in Weimar and was considered the northern counterpart to Biber as master of the violin.

We end the concert back in Austria, with sonatas by Romanus Weichlein and Bertali. Weichlein was born in Linz and studied violin with Biber while enrolled at the Benedictine University of Salzburg. He took holy orders and served as music director at various convents before serving as a parish priest. His Sonata 3 is a wonderful conversation between pairs of violins and violas, and in it we once again encounter a “ground bass”: a repeated simple bass line that inspires the violins and violists to explore the possibilities it offers.

Bertali’s joyful and whimsical ensemble sonata, mysteriously nicknamed “Tausend gulden” (1,000 guilders) in some sources, concludes our celebration of the stylus fantasticus and a conversation between composers, performers, and listeners that transcends time and space.

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