Antic Faces

Music for Broken Consort by Morley and Viol Fantasies by Gibbons

12:00 PM Friday, June 6
2300 Bancroft Way

Tickets available at the door or in advance. Prices: $15 General, $13 SFEMS members/seniors/students

Antic Faces

Antic Faces

Antic Faces, a group of Bay Area luminaries, plays music for the legendary Elizabethan “Broken Consort”, a rare and fabulous sound in itself, interspersed with sonorous viol fantasies by Gibbons and other treats from this magic time in English musical life. The Elzabethan “Broken Consort” or “Morley Consort” (because Thomas Morley published one of the main collections of pieces for the ensemble in 1599 and 1611) was a unique combination of 3 plucked instruments (lute, cittern, and bandora), flute, and two bowed string instruments (violin and bass viol), that captured the imagination of the English music lover for about 30 years.  In that short time the ensemble was hugely popular, and scores of original compositions and arrangements have survived for this exact and unusual group. The viol fantasies of Gibbons are famous for their variety, complexity, and richness of harmony.  Gibbons also pushed the limits of the genre by requiring the bass part to be played on a “Great Dooble Bass” with a low A a fourth below the standard bass viol D, while keeping the highest voice in the high part of the treble register.  The unusually separated spacing makes the lines more distinct, the counterpoint more deeply etched, than usual. The contrast between the theatrical nature of the “Broken Consort” pieces and the lush sensuality of the pure string ensemble for the Gibbons fantasies drives the program, with some occasional but gorgeous flute and violin treats.  There will be snacks. Reserve a seat online at

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About the Artists

Shira Kammen, violin
Mindy Rosenfeld, flute
John Lenti, lute
David Morris, viol
Julie Jeffrey, cittern and viol
Peter Hallifax, bandora and Great Dooble Bass

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