The Bacheler Consort is named after the late-Elizabethan lute virtuoso Daniel Bacheler (1572–1619), a most imaginative composer of instrumental music whose genius is becoming more widely known today. The Consort varies its ensemble size and instrumental lineup to offer a variety of music concerts, from intimate recitals of lute music to fully-staged masques and dramatic works. The Consort has been together since 2003 and has acquired a reputation for combining scholarly research with cutting-edge historical performance practice. It is in this alchemy that the Consort aspires to conjure up the more elusive aesthetics of Renaissance music-making.
For their Pacoloni project the Consort had specially made a matched set of six-course lutes (soprano, tenor, bass) by Grant Tomlinson, and a proportionally sized diatonic cittern by Malcolm Prior, which is based on an instrument found in a ship sunk off the coast of the Low Countries. The Consort’s gut lute strings were made by Damian Dlugolecki and Dan Larson; the brass and iron cittern strings, by Malcolm Rose.
Christopher Morrongiello, the group’s director, is a former British Marshall Scholar and Marco Fodella Foundation Scholar. He is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, Royal College of Music, and University of Oxford, where he earned a doctorate in musicology. In recognition of his excellence as a scholar, teacher, and performer, the Lute Society of America conferred upon him its first Patrick O’Brien LSA Summer Seminar Lectureship in 2006.
Matthew Weinman, residing in New Jersey, graduated from the Mannes College of Music in Historical Performance and earned his master’s in music from Columbia University. He has published The Renaissance Fake Book, The Continuo Players Book of Grounds, among other works for Turtels & Twins Press, for which he is editor and proprietor. He is also a composer for the lute, who demonstrates vast knowledge of 16th-century compositional forms as a stimulus to invention.
Diann Flanagan, from Long Island, has been involved with lute and guitar music for more than twenty years. With Christopher Morrongiello she has edited the complete works of Giovanni Pacoloni and a number of important lute manuscripts copied out by sixteenth-century women. For the past five years she has been working on a study of the cultural and social significance that the lute played in these women’s lives.
Doc Rossi has performed as a soloist and with various early music groups across Europe and America. He has published The Compleat Cittern, a method for 18th-century cittern, and a modern edition of Thomas Robinson’s complete music for cittern (1609), plus articles dealing with guitar and cittern history, and with Shakespeare, Brecht, and the Beat Generation. Doc also performs with guitarist Julien Coulon.
Photograph by Marianne Trager.