Leah Gale Nelson violin/baroque violin


Production & Collaboration

Bringing the grace and elegance of seventeenth and eighteenth-century chamber music to life for the twenty-first-century audience, using facsimiles, early printed editions, and instruments of the period– gut strings, short bows, wooden flutes, lutes, theorbo, and baroque guitar, chamber organ, harpsichord and forte-piano – these projects bring together internationally acclaimed performers, offering an historical and impassioned approach to the repertoire, indulging the imagination and evoking human passions, pains and joys, that transcend time

– joining early music with modern performance.

Jefferson Carriage

Arts & Letters of the Founding Fathers

Drawing from the vast music library of (violinist) President Thomas Jefferson, with dance and song known to (dancer) President George Washington, Jefferson Carriage brings history to life, tying historical spaces to the arts and culture of Colonial America's Founding Fathers. Programs include music of internationally popular musicians of the era, including J. C. Bach, Luigi Boccherini, G.F. Handel, and American composer Francis Hopkinson, with readings from letters and journal entries to set the scene.  Jefferson Carriage brings together critically acclaimed performers in the field of historical performance, using instruments of the period (baroque violin, baroque guitar, harpsichord or forte-piano), offering vibrant interpretations of music heard in the home and at private and public concerts, in Europe and in the New World.

Telemann in Paris

“Paris Quartets” of Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

All the rage in Paris in the '30's (1730's), Telemann's visit in 1737-38 found him and his “New” Quartets (for violin, flute, viola da gamba {or 'cello} & harpsichord) in performance with local musicians. Telemann charmed his 18th century patrons with familiar dances, sweet melodies, & virtuosic flare, all featured in these concerts presenting works from his vast chamber music library.

with Immanuel Davis, traverso, Motomi Igarashi, viola da gamba & Dongsok Shin, harpsichord

Just in Biber

Music of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern, 1644-1704

Just in Biber do we find such and extensive use of scordatura, alternate tunings for the violin – a technique used by bluegrass fiddlers, rock guitarists, and all the rage for a moment in Biber's environs of Central European courts in the mid-17th century.  This program includes gems from Biber's "Mysteries" (The Rosary Sonatas, c. 1678), and from his published violins sonatas of 1681.

From the Court of Louis XIV

A Royal Entertainment, with music one would've heard at Versailles in weekly afternoon concerts held in private apartments at the court of Louis XIV. Music of the King's musicians, including François Couperin, Marin Marais, & Jean-Baptiste Lully, featuring viola da gamba and Louis XIV's favorite bedside instrument, the Baroque guitar. To further set the scene, and engage the senses, Baroque dancers in period costume delight with reconstructions of Baroque dance.

Thomas Jefferson (an American) in Paris, 1785-1789

with narration, Baroque dance, and song

Thomas Jefferson served as Ambassador to France before becoming President of the United States, and while in Paris he enjoyed “the pleasures of the social elite”, being entertained in the finest Parisian households and theatres. Chamber music, dance, and story telling are all part of this historical program.

A Day in the Life of Louis XIV

From his rising to his going to bed Louis XIV enjoyed the finest musical accompaniment:  his favorite opera arias played on lute or guitar as he rose in the morning; in the Chapel at mid-day for Mass; the afternoon entertainments – Concerts Royaux in private apartments; the opera in the evening; followed by a return to the Royal bedroom to be lulled to sleep, as awakened, with the strumming of favorite melodies.

©Copyright 2011 - Leah Gale Nelson. All rights reserved.