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  • TOBIAS HUME Musical Humors, London 1605
  • TOBIAS HUME Musical Humors, London 1605
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TOBIAS HUME Musical Humors, London 1605
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Reference: AV9837

  • Jordi Savall

Tobias Hume (ca.1569-1645) was an English violist and composer who probably started to write music very late in his life. Even if he was one of the best violists of his time, he had a very particular position in the world of the musicians of the Renaissance, most of them being very close to, and seeking the protection of, Royal courts, which was not his case. But the Captain Tobias Hume was also an officer who devoted his life to the army. He was a mercenary for the King of Sweden and the Emperor of Russia before he returned to London sought to be engaged by the King to fight the rebellion in Ireland.

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Tobias Hume (ca.1569-1645) was an English violist and composer who probably started to write music very late in his life. Even if he was one of the best violists of his time, he had a very particular position in the world of the musicians of the Renaissance, most of them being very close to, and seeking the protection of, Royal courts, which was not his case. But the Captain Tobias Hume was also an officer who devoted his life to the army. He was a mercenary for the King of Sweden and the Emperor of Russia before he returned to London sought to be engaged by the King to fight the rebellion in Ireland.
Hume was the first composer to produce music for solo viola da gamba, and the very first to use innovative techniques for playing the instrument (including the “col legno” – strings striken with the stick of the bow). His work Musicall Humors, published in 1605 in London, is a manuscript of more than a hundred pieces, which have an evident auto-biographical component, part of them are clearly linked with his military career (A Souldiers Resolution, A Souldiers March, A Souldiers Gaillard…). In addition, he uses all the possibilities of the instrument to produce associated sound effects (battles, trumpets, drums), and his compositions are mostly devoted to the art of improvisation.
Tobias Hume is already a long-time friend of Jordi Savall, who started to discover his music 40 years ago. The Catalan gambist has already recorded two discs (in 1982 and 1985) and is now presenting a new recording, in which “Tobias Hume has left us one of the earliest and most ample accounts of a fascinating process: that of an instrument which was evolving into a vehicle for the noblest and most moving expressions of human emotions.”

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