Salish Sea Early Music Festival continues with April 8 concert

Susie Napper, renowned viola da gamba player, will be playing at the April 8 edition of the Salish Sea Early Music Festival at St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church. Photo courtesy of Salish Sea Early Music Festival

The next installment of the Salish Sea Early Music Festival will feature a visit by extraordinary viola da gambist, Susie Napper from Montreal, in an exploration of vocal-inspired duos for viola da gamba (a cello-like instrument). Flautist Jeffrey Cohan will be playing both renaissance and baroque flutes.

The concert is called “Songs without Words 1550-1750” and takes place on Sunday, April 8 at 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church, 3615 N. Gove St. in Tacoma.

This intimate tribute to the power of poetry and song – as rendered instrumentally – will include renaissance two-part music of 16th-century French songs from the ancient song book “Premier Livre de Chansons a Deux Parties” (1578), virtuoso diminutions for viola da gamba and flute by Bartholmeo de Selma y Salaverde on Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s beautiful madrigal “Vestiva e Colli,” selections from Giovanni Paulo Cima’s “Concerti Ecclesiastici” (1610) and from Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s “Rimes Francoises et italiennes,” examples of the luscious embellished airs de cour from the time of Louis XIV by Benigne de Bacilly (1668) and as embellished by Jacques Hotteterre (1721). In addition, there will be some favorite Scottish and Irish airs by Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan, as interpreted by 18th-century instrumentalists including the Italian flutist and Edinburgh resident Francesco Barsanti. There will also be music by Johann Sebastian Bach and James Oswald.

Suggested donation for the Salish Sea Early Musical Festival concerts is $15, $20 or $25 (18 and under free). For more information, visit

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