17th century music for string ensemble by Cazzati, Vitali, Torelli, Grossi, Gio Bononcini, Stradella and Corelli. An exploration of glorious repertoire - some very little-known - from Bologna and Rome


Resident: £480 Non-Resident: £366 (25% off for under 27s) Code: 23/340

Booking for Members opens at 11am on Monday 12 December 2022.

Non-Member and online booking opens at 11am on Monday 9 January 2023.

For details on how to become a Member to take advantage of early booking, see here. 

What is the course about?

We are delighted to welcome back Theresa Caudle (violin), Mark Caudle (cello) and Claire Williams (harpsichord) to lead this thoroughly joyful course. After a couple of courses where we have included oboes and bassoon, this year we will be returning to the rich and diverse repertoire from the baroque period for strings alone.  

We will be working at A=415 and the course is open to participants on period instruments (or modern set-up instruments with baroque bows and gut strings). We can accept a maximum of twelve violinists, four viola players, five cellists and one double bassist, plus two harpsichordists and two theorbo players in the continuo team. Players must be of reasonably advanced standard, confident sight-readers, and willing to rehearse in some detail. For string players some experience of playing baroque music on period instruments is preferable but not essential. Harpsichordists and theorbo players should be confident reading from figured bass.

Tutor website: www.canzona.org.uk

What will we cover?

Exploration of little-known repertoire as well as more familiar  works such as what is thought to be the first “concerto grosso” by Stradella, and one of Corelli’s famous Opus 6 set.

There will be some opportunities to take the solo parts in the concerti grossi but most of the playing will be in tutti ensemble.

Articulation and phrasing. 


Rhetoric - in terms of understanding the structure and how to deliver in performance. 

Tempo, rhythm and pulse (especially in dance movements). 

Recognising the character of different movements and learning how to make technical choices to bring it out effectively.

Working with non-equal temperament tuning.

Technical issues for strings - how to refine use of the baroque bow. 

Continuo skills.

What will we accomplish? By the end of this course you will have ...

Discovered new repertoire as well as playing some more well-known pieces.  You will have learnt to play more communicatively and expressively thanks to your growing assimilation of baroque performance practice

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Standard: Confident, Skilful

How will the course be taught, and will any preparation be required?

The course will centre around tutti rehearsals led by all three tutors but there may also be some sectional rehearsals. Familiarisation of the music before the course is encouraged, but not compulsory. 

Will music be provided in advance of the course?

Any technically demanding music will be available on this website a few weeks before the course, especially any solo or continuo parts. There may also be music to sight-read whilst on the course.

Is there anything I need to bring?

We are playing at A=415 and don’t forget to bring your baroque instrument, or if you don’t have one then gut strings and baroque bow.  Don’t forget your spare strings. 

What previous participants said about this course…

“I couldn't rate it highly enough. It was really excellent in every way.”

“The course was extremely well organised. It was really challenging for me, but most enjoyable, and the atmosphere and encouragement from both staff & students were very supportive.”

“The tutors gave much insight as to how to interpret and play the works giving opportunities for participants to play different parts and to express their opinions.”