Guts

A Period Instrument Duo

Welcome!

Guts brings beautiful and unusual music that we love from the 17th and 18th centuries to your ears. We are passionate about playing early music on period instruments and are constantly discovering new repertoire that we can’t wait to play for you. Come experience the warmth and immediacy of historically-informed chamber music!

We are busily working during this strange time to share all-new programs with you at home, live and on-demand. Your financial support during this time is deeply appreciated; you can help us with a monthly donation via Patreon, and access weekly work-in-progress videos, monthly live concerts, blog posts, and other fun things. Click “Become a Patron” below to join us there.


Next Livestream: Sunday September 27, 4:00 PDT/7:00 EDT
Rising from the Ashes of Plague: Music for Violin & Basso from 17th-Century Italy

“The Merry Fiddler” by Gerard van Honthorst, 1623

In 1630-31, the bubonic plague ripped its way through Europe, taking with it three of the promising young composers who open our program. Before disaster struck, these Venetian musicians were enjoying the new freedom that Silk Road economic prosperity afforded them to perform and compose outside of a single court. The recent invention of movable type for music enabled them to earn money from publishing their compositions. In this exciting world of possibility, these enterprising young musicians forged a new instrumental form, the sonata, inspired by the vocal canzonas of generations before them. 

These sonatas grew increasingly idiomatic for the violin, showcasing the vocal virtuosity of the 17th-century playing style. While the first cohort of sonata composers met tragically untimely ends at the hands of the plague, falling into comparative (undeserved) obscurity, their surviving colleagues took the form forward throughout the rest of the century. Some of them managed to find their own more scandalous untimely ends, while others survived to a ripe old age as revered musicians in their own times. 

Join us this Sunday for a journey out of devastation, immersed in the unique sound of this 17th-century string world—imitative of singing and the singular cornetto. We’ll revisit some favorites and add some new gems from Cima, Frescobaldi, Marini, Castello, Fontana, Buonamente, Uccellini, Pandolfi Mealli, Stradella, Leonarda, and Bertali.

 


“I loved your concert today! Thanks and Congratulations to you [both] for wonderful music, beautifully performed.”

J. L.

“Bravo, way to go you two! I enjoyed the Bach concert. Especially listening to it LIVE. Thanks so much.”

H. R.

“Bravo to you both! I love Bach and the two of you did him justice. Sorry I’m not getting to the live concerts, but thanks to YouTube I get to see and hear you on a rainy day in Maine.”

A. I.

“Looking forward to the next concert!”

L. A.

“Thanks for a wonderful concert!”

M. H.

“I really enjoyed Italian Virtuosi, it’s a pleasure listening to you two play!”

E.S.

Find us on YouTube:

From the archives: Leclair’s 3rd sonata from a concert we enjoyed playing in November 2019.