Sofie Vanden Eynde
Lute and Theorb

SOLO and soloist(s) // LUTE SONGS // IMAGO MUNDI

Marleen Nelen



French baroque music for lute and theorbo

Sofie Vanden Eynde, 10-course lute & theorbo

In the first part of this programme, Sofie Vanden Eynde takes listeners for a browse through the 1614 Swan Manuscript, a little-known collection of lute and baryton pieces currently held in St Petersburg. It contains pieces by French, English, Italian and German composers, but Sofie concentrates here on a portion of the French repertoire. Her selection is still written in the viel ton, but at the same time looks forward to a new century of sublime lute music.
The second part introduces the compositions of Robert de Visée, a prolific player and composer for the lute, theorbo and guitar at the courts of Louis XIV and XV. The majority of the theorbo suites are taken from the Saizenay manuscript.

Music by R. Ballard, R. de Visée, P. Guédron, M. d'Orléans,...

Suite sophistication: music for viola da gamba and theorbo solo at the court of Louis XIV

Romina Lischka, viola da gamba
Sofie Vanden Eynde, theorbo

Romina Lischka and Sofie Vanden Eynde have carved out a small but significant niche in the wider world of early music, unearthing a wealth of theorbo and viola da gamba repertoire.
That the young duo’s should have culminated in Marin Marais, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe and Robert de Visée is no surprise. In addition to the key role they played in the evolution of the suite for (bowed or plucked) strings, the works of these great masters are central to the French musical tradition of the 17th and 18th centuries. Indeed, their music is a clear high-water mark for the period.
Romina and Sofie have been playing together ever since they were both students in Basel. Their joint performances are hallmarked by an arresting mixture of nuanced ornamentation, supple rhythm, and technical finesse.
The programme they are presenting here balances profound emotion with exquisite frivolity, despair with ebullience, dishing out French Baroque as tonic for the soul.
Sofie and Romina’s joint recording, En Suite ( Paraty, spring 2015), has been a critical and audience success. It was voted Best Classical CD of the Year at the 2015 Flemish VRT-Klara awards.

Music by M. Marais, St. Colombe, R. de Visé
trailer Youtube


Thomas Hobbs, tenor
Romina Lischka, viola da gamba & lyra viol
Sofie Vanden Eynde, lute & bandora

Orpheus and his lyre: how to better picture the power of music? Orpheus could move stones to tears, he even moved to pity the gates of death. Music overturns the world, this the composers of the English Renaissance knew very well.
Even more, music is the soul of the world, a unifying force. Thomas Hobbs celebrates the many facets of music in lutesongs, in particular those of by T. Campion and J. Danyel. It is not solely the lute which accompanies the song, but also less frequently heard instruments such as the lyra viol, the bandora, the orpharion. With their generous strings, these instruments bring to the ears the sound of Orpheus' magical lyre.

Music by J. Danyel, J. Dowland, F. Pilkington,...


« Musique précieuse » in the parisian salons
Céline Scheen, soprano
Romina Lischka, viola da gamba
Sofie Vanden Eynde, theorbo

Blue : the colour of the star-lit sky; the colour of Urania, the muse who holds the world in her hand. In Madame de Rambouillet's Salon bleu, the «Précieuses» converse with one another in an elegant setting regardless of frontiers, with all the refinement of 17th century style. Three lady musicians recreate the colours of these graceful «Précieuses»: take your comfort in tones which, like words, dress up truth in light blue satin veils.

Music by M. Lambert, E. Moulinié, M. Marais, R. de Visée, M. A. Charpentier, S. Le Camus, St. Colombe en J. C. de la Barre

…lute songs for two grandes dames

Emma Kirkby, soprano
Sofie Vanden Eynde, lute

In this programme, Emma Kirkby and Sofie Vanden Eynde pay their musical respects to two very grand personages: Princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Kassel and Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland.
The wealth, power and influence these women gained for themselves and their families came at great personal cost, but no more need be said about that here.
The two Elizabeths (the queen was, incidentally, the princess’ godmother) enjoyed a broad, cultural education which included plenty of music, and both played the lute. Elisabeth of Hesse-Kassel was taught by the French lutenist Victor de Montbuisson. Her lute book, compiled for her by her teacher, survives.
John Dowland and Thomas Campion were both prominent composers of Elizabethan lute songs. Given the religious focus of this programme, compositions have been drawn chiefly from Dowland’s fourth book (A Pilgrimes Solace) and Campion’s first (Divine and Moral Songs), supplemented by compositions, both sacred and secular, taken from or connected to Elisabeth’s lute book.
Songs of love in all its manifestations (erotic, platonic, divine, between friends) are richly represented.

Music by J. Dowland, T. Campion,...