Art SpacePythagorion

Wednesday, August 12

Lachrimæ Lyræ - Tears of exile

The Greek lyra and the viola da gamba are the instruments most suited to the expression of melancholy. Both of them, at the height of their respective popularity, were used to express this highly individual emotion, this state of mind that chargess music to a point beyond what words can express. Both of these instruments, in their separate periods and different circumstances, were not only employed in the same manner but also suffered the same fate: while it is so far still impossible to make a historical connection between the lyra and the viol, it is nonetheless astonishing to note how much the two instruments had in common, as if they were sisters unknown to each other, each evolving as an echo of the other several centuries apart and in very different parts of the world, expressing and experiencing the same things without ever meeting. Technically speaking, both instruments use the same bow position, palm upwards; they are both pear-shaped, and are tuned in similar fashion. Artistically speaking, each of them voiced, in their own world, the perfect expression of what the Greeks termed harmolipi, a joyous sadness, or the pleasure taken in experiencing sadness. In England, the most renowned exponent of this melancholy was John Dowland (1563-1626), with his volume entitled Lachrimæ or Seaven Teares (1604): its seven pavanes express this theme in interrelated episodes, passing from a lover’s melancholy to the pious tears of a mystical revelation. The Lachrimæ are followed by joyous dances in a fast tempo, these symbolising the hope of salvation regained. The lyra was played by Greek musicians in Constantinople from the beginning of the Byzantine empire until the beginning of the 17th century. It developeda repertoire that was defined by its exile in the Ottoman empire, with a nos- talgia and a longing for home that is also to be found in Dowland’s works: Dowland himself was living in Denmark during the years that he was com- posing the Lachrimæ. Another link was that the British and Greek taverns were at that time places where music was heard attentively and in silence; the viola da gamba and the lyra were the leading players in these musical evenings during which audiences first wept and then danced, creating a mystical rite of purification. This music is intended not only to present the mirrored meeting of these two instruments and of the Elizabethan and Byzantine – Ottoman worlds, but also to tell a tale of catharsis, of a happy metamorphosis, of light-filled shadows and unrestrained lamentation. It is also mirrors the tears shed by the millions of people forced into exile today. 

François Joubert-Caillet  


Works by
John Dowland (1797-1828)


Sokratis Sinopoulos lyra
L’Achéron ensemble:
Andreas Linos viola da Gamba
Sarah van Oudenhove
viola da Gamba
Aude-Marie Piloz
 viola da Gamba
François Joubert-Caillet
 viola da Gamba

©Jean-Baptiste Millot

Sarah van Oudenhove viola da Gamba

From when she was six years old, Sarah began the viola da gamba in the class of Christian Sala at the Conservatory of Perpignan. In 1995, she joined the class of Coen Engelhard at the Toulouse Conservatory, and in 2003 the class of Marianne Muller at Lyon’s Conservatory where she graduated in 2008. She has participated in many workshops and master’s classes with the greatest of Early Music: Jérôme Hantai, Wieland Kuijken, Christophe Coin and Jordi Savall.
Today she performs and records regularly with ensembles such as l’Achéron, les Sonadori, La Chapelle Rhénane, le Poème Harmonique, Clématis, L’ensemble Gilles Binchois, La Capella Mediterranea, Namur Chamber Choir.


Aude-Marie Piloz viola da Gamba

Aude-Marie Piloz began her cello lessons at the age of six.Her taste for early music and a decisive encounter with Nima Ben David led her naturally to the viola da gamba, which she studied at the conservatory CRR of Boulogne-Billancourt. In parallel, she attended the "Formation SupÈrieure aux MÈtiers du Son" of the CNSMDP and then worked as a sound engineer and music producer (Virgin Classics, Sony, NaÔve, Paraty, Eurydice, Psalmus) or live broadcasts of concerts and operas (Orchestre de Paris, Festival d'art lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence, Festival de Verbier, Rencontres Musicales d'Evian, OpÈra National de Paris, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Lille...) for Radio Classique, Mezzo, France TÈlÈvision, Medici TV or Arte Concerts.
As a violist, she founded in 2015, with Marie Favier and Francisco Manalich, the ensemble "Comet Musicke" that can be eared today in Radio France Montpellier Occitanie Festival, Voix et Routes Romanes, Sinfonia en PÈrigord, Sarrebourg, Simiane-la-Rotonde, Petit Festival - Son ar Mein, ... Aude-Marie also performs regularly with the ensembles HÈmiolia, Faenza, l'AchÈron, la Bellezza, le Concert des PlanËtes, Il Festino, ...


François Joubert-Caillet viola da Gamba

1st Prize and Public’s Award winner at the Bruges International Chamber Music Competition, François Joubert-Caillet studied with Paolo Pandolfo at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basle, Switzerland).
After concerts with numerous formations and recordings for the labels Ricercar, Harmonia Mundi, Ambronay, K617, ZigZag Territoires, Arcana, Winter & Winter, Aparté, Glossa, Sony, Naïve, etc., he founded L’Achéron in 2009 which he leads on the European scenes of Saintes, Ambronay, Utrecht, Paris, Bruxelles, Athènes, Bâle, Sablé, Regensburg, Lausanne, Warsaw, Timisoara, Vilnius, Malte, etc. in several formations from the viol recital to the orchestra, or in viol consort.
François Joubert-Caillet records for the label Ricercar where he published a dozen of CDs. Willing to put in light little known composers (Johannes Schenck, Anthony Holborne, Samuel Scheidt, Orlando Gibbons, Johann Bernhard Bach, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach), he also invites to listen better to an already known composer, Marin Marais, whom he records the complete viol works since 2014 (5 Books, over 600 pieces, about 20 CDs). These recordings were awarded with Diapason d’Or, Choc de Classica or Echo Klassik.
François Joubert-Caillet is today a key musician of the baroque scene, applauded for his « sovereign virtuosity », the « finesse of his playing » as well as his approach with L’Achéron, following the early music pioneers steps, rediscovering forgotten beauties and historical practices while making them sensitive for today’s public and abolishing frontiers between the musics and the audience with transversal projects (Orient-Occident cross-overs, contemporary or pop music, improvisation).


Sokratis Sinopoulos lyra

Greek musician Sokratis Sinopoulos is a contemporary master of the lyra. His playing is delicate and nuanced yet highly expressive, and his proficiency on the instrument has been widely acclaimed. Sinopoulos has collaborated with numerous musicians throughout the world. He's equally comfortable crossing genre boundaries into jazz and classical, as he is to staying true to folk traditions of Greece and Eastern Mediterranean. Born in Athens in 1974, he studied Byzantine music and classical guitar as a child, and began playing the lyra in 1988, under the instruction of Ross Daly. Sinopoulos' remarkable talent was immediately apparent, and he joined Daly's group Labyrinthos a year later. He became highly prolific, contributing to recordings by countless musicians including Eleni Karaindrou for ECM, Charles Lloyd for Blue Note and Jean Guihen Queyras for Harmonia Mundi. He has also recorded with the French baroque ensemble L’ Achéron and with the Turk kementche virtuoso Derya Türkan. Sinopoulos was awarded the Melina Mercouri award for young artists in 1999. 
In 2010, he formed Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet with pianist Yann Keerim, bassist Dimitris Tsekouras, and drummer Dimitris Emmanouil. The debut album of the quartet “Eight Winds”, was produced by Manfred Eicher for ECM records and received excellent reviews globally. The second album of the quartet “Metamodal”, was released in 2019. Sokratis Sinopoulos is an associate professor in the Department of Music Science and Art in the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Andreas Linos viola da Gamba

Born to Greek parents, a painter mother and an architect father, Andreas Linos grew up at a crossroads between arts and cultures. Being passionate since he was eleven years old about the viola da gamba, he studied this musical instrument with Nima Ben David at the CNR (Regional Conservatory) of Boulogne-Billancourt, where he earned a First Prize in 2006. Since then, he’s been leading a chamber musician’s career, working with various music ensembles such as the Poème Harmonique, the viola ensemble L’ Achéron, Le Baroque Nomade, Capriccio Stravagante, Le Concert Etranger, La Camara Delle Lacrime and Latinitas Nostra, with which he’s recorded about twenty records. He’s played in a duet with the harpsichordist Olivier Fortin. From 2008 to 2011 he organised at the Archipel room in Paris the monthly season of the Consort Project, devoted to the viola ensembles and to English music.