Dietmar Berger (viola da gamba) (Naxos) (2 CDs)
Here's one for the specialist. The Manchester Gamba Book, the largest extant manuscript of solo viol music, dates from c 1660 and contains 258 pieces in 22 different tunings. Despite rejoicing in such quaint titles as Whoope Doe Me No Harm, Queen Maries Dumpe and A Thump, the 46 examples recorded here are for the most part lugubrious offerings from a variety of pens, including Stephen Goodall, Richard Sumarte and Alfonso Ferrabosco, gathered into a collection that Dr Henry Watson purchased in 1909 and housed at Manchester Public Library. Dietmar Berger plays with admirable commitment but it's heavy going for all but the most avid devotee.
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