Imitating the “stil brisé” : different tunings

In these transcriptions, my objective consists of imitating the “stil brisé” of lutenists that had also been successfully employed by violists, such as Alfonso Ferrabosco, Maugars e N. Hotman, who used to play both the viol and the lute. In this style of playing, broken fragments of lines imply their complete parts and create the illusion that polyphony is at work, whereas the instrument playing is only one, albeit this becomes independent in presenting both a melodic line and a fundamental bass. I have also chosen to use different tunings, in common with the contemporary practice of the Baroque . Widely documented in the contemporary sources of the lute, “viole da braccio” and viols, this practice explores into the possibility of widening the sound-palette of each instrument, searching for an ideal sonority suited to each work. As a typical example, Biber experiments in his Mystery and Rosary Sonatas different tuning on a violin, imitating the lyra-viol, with its numerous possibilities of tuning. Thus in these Partite I have used four different tunings : one in C G d ad’, another in C G d g c’, another one in E G d a e’, and one in Eb Bb f c’, with the fifth string tuned to AAb. Special effects of resonating overtones, chords and multiple stops that would be otherwise impossible to obtain, become possible almost by magic, thanks to the adoption of the new tunings.