of Music at St. Barrahane's Church

tel. +353 (0)28 33752 / +353 (0)86 226 4797  Jacqueline Weij

St. Barrahane's Church Castletownshend,

(8 km from Skibbereen)

Co. Cork, P81 AH51


SATURDAY 31 MARCH, 3.30 pm (changed from 3 pm)


Tickets €15 from Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen, at the door, or call 087 648 8441


On Easter Saturday, a consort of local and European players directed by Philip Thorby will give a concert of seasonal music by Orlando di Lasso and his contemporaries.


The musicians will be playing modern copies of the renaissance viol, or viola da gamba – an instrument that fell out of use in the 18th century.

Although they bear a superficial resemblance to cellos, viols are 6-stringed, fretted and tuned like a guitar, although they are played with a bow.


The gut strings and the construction of the instruments make a sound that is particularly suited to the rich polyphonic textures of music of the high Renaissance.


Interest in the viol has been reawakened thanks to the renewal of interest in music of the 16th and 17th centuries, and performances by modern virtuosi like Jordi Saval, Paulo Pandolfo and Vittorio Ghielmi.


Today, the viol  - treble, alto, tenor and bass - is widely played by amateur musicians, as it was throughout Europe in the renaissance and early baroque era. Samuel Pepys was an enthusiastic player, as was Archbishop Marsh whose library in Dublin behind St Patrick’s Cathedral has an important collection of music for viol consort, assembled by the Archbishop to play with friends for his own amusement.