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Paolo Pandolfo offers a wide variety of recital programs, from unaccompanied ones to those with the support of a continuo group which varies between one and four instruments.





Director of Labyrinto
Travel Notes Project



A Solo

A travel through time and space, accompanied by the solo viol providing imitation of human voice, evocation of the innermost sounds, polyphony suggested by a single instrument, the synthesis of melodically and harmonical playing, and lastly, the sensual gestures of dance rendered by the instrument that had been considered the most noble and the most perfect for more than two centuries...

Starting from the Italian and Spanish Renaissance around 1500, through England around 1600, to the high points of the French viol vocabulary, and then moving finally to Germany of the 18th Century, having a taste of the magnificent J.S.Bach Suites as well as of the early classical style of C.F.Abel. 



“Early music” is already almost half a century old…The experience of it is something crucial for the future development of western cultivated music. Artists try to build bridges between past and present, between apparently contradictory dimensions and make them communicate.

The program is focused around the form “Suite”: from the early French masters of the viol  such as St.Colombe and De Machy, who started giving a shape to it, up to the established form of those immortal by J.S.Bach, passing through Telemann’s only remaining solo Fantasia… alternated with completely original contemporary music, written and/or improvised by the same Pandolfo.


J.S.Bach: “Suonaten pour le Viola da Basso” and C.F.Abel

Bach Cello Suites: a spot of Viola da Gamba Repertoire dedicated to the Violoncello? A detour of vocabularies…a paradox which assured to the six Suites a sure place in the history of music. Everything in the six suites speaks the language of the Viol: the form of the dance suite as well as the mono-instrumental polyphony. Bach wrote, wanting to simplify in a few words his genial cultural operation, “old music for a new instrument”. Transcribing the Suites for the Viol means to try to go back to the source of Bach’s inspiration and gives the opportunity of making those magnificent compositions sound on the noble “Viol de Gambe” letting us discover unrevealed sides of them. The delicate and refined musical lightness of Carl Fridrich Abel balances the rigour of Johann Sebastian Bach’s writing. An interesting and intriguing thing is that C.F.Abel, being one generation younger then Bach and in very close relations to him and his family, did exactly the opposite, symmetrical artistical operation: he wrote “new music for an old instrument”. He  made the Viol speak a language close to the violin, the cello and the fortepiano still making it remain profoundly “violistic” as only the great French viol music had been.



Le Labyrinthe et…autres Histoires

Theatricality of Marais’ music. Each piece is a new story told: from the unbelievable modern description of the emotional experience of getting lost in the “Labyrinthe” already considered by Titon de Tillet as one of Marais masterworks, to the description of a chirurgical operation (Tableau de l’Operatin de la Taille), from the fresh imitation of the sound of a Guitar, or the forthright description of the Badmington game (Le jeu du Volan) to the drama of the “Tombeau pour Marais le Cadet”.

Viol, Harpsicord, Theorbo/baroc Guitar Sainte Colombe: Pieces de Viole

A famous musician…without a biography. Sainte Colombe: the first great French viol Master, a true “Maitre des Maitres”, the “missing ring” between the late Renaissance Italian and English Viol Masters and the great French golden viol tradition. He left a very consistent corpus of compositions, of which those for viol duo are relatively well known to nowadays specialized audiences, weather those for the solo viol have been completely obscure until now. Early baroque flamboyant fantasy, extravagance  and anti academicism make his composition be a thrilling musical experience.


Ex Tempore: The Jazz of XVI Century

The art of improvising. A program completely improvised from the first to the last note, on the base of Italian “ostinato” basses, Canti Fermi, and Madrigals, following the path of the great Italian late Renaissance Viol virtuosos such as Orazio della Viola (Bassani), Rocardo Rogniono, etc.


J.S. Bach Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsicord

Viol - Paolo Pandolfo, Harpsicord- Marie Gelis

Severe beauty and touching poetry of J.S.Bach’s work for viola da gamba and harpsichord, where the two instruments reveal their opposite characteristics.


Le Celesti Harmonie - A Viol Duo

Viols - Paolo Pandolfo and Guido Balestracci

“...and there is only one thing which is more beautiful than listening to a viola da gamba: listening to two of them...” (H. Le Blanc). From London in the 17th century to Paris in the first years of the 18th, an imaginary journey through the inner and outer worlds of poetry realised by a duo of viols.

Music of T. Hume, M. St. Colombe, F. Couperin, C.Schaffrath


 The King’s Viols

“L’Ange et le Diable”: Marais and Forqueray

Viol, Harpsicord, Theorbo/Baroc guitar

The golden age of the viol and the beginning of its decline: the “Angel” and the “Devil” of the viol award each other the palm of the greatest violist of Versailles and of the world...the dance, poetry and theatre of the most splendid court in Europe resound to their music, which reflects its greatness but also its hidden side, its being fragile and painfully human...


A. Forqueray or:

Le Diable de la Viole de Gambe

Viol -

The most demanding music ever composed for the viol.

The nobility and virtuosity of the last great violist, a luminous and enigmatic figure in the French musical firmament.


From Father to Son

To the Classic  Style

Viol - Paolo Pandolfo, Harpsicord, Mitzi Meyerson

From the father’s mature Baroque, through the “galant adventures” of G.F. Abel, to Carl Philipp’s new trends in which tradition, “Empfindsamkeit” and “Sturm und Drang” fuse and create a style which foreruns Haydn and Mozart.

Music of J.S. Bach, G. F. Abel, C.P.E. Bach


Die Empfindsame Gambe

Sentimental journey of a viol

Viol - Paolo Pandolfo, Harpsicord, Mitzi Meyerson

An instrument full of history and greatness which passes the baton to the protagonists of the Classical style.

The viol’s swan song before vanishing in the oblivion ...

Music of G.F. Abel, C.P.E. Bach




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Last Update16-03-09 - Andrea Sermoneta web master