Baltazar Richard (1600 – post 1660)– C minor ‘Violino Solo’

Posted on November 2nd, 2017 by

Baltazar Richard (attrib,) (1600 – post 1660)– C minor ‘Violino Solo’

Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Girolamo Amati 1629, St Mary Aldemary 26th October 2017

Recording courtesy of Colin Still

We know almost nothing about Balthazar Richard. He seems to have been born around 1600 in Mons (although the perpetually unreliable François-Joseph Fétis suggests earlier), and perhaps died in Brussels in 1660, where he is mentioned as having been in the service of the the daughter of Philip II of Spain, the Regent,Isabella Clara Eugenia, who ruled the Netherlands jointly with her cousin/husband Albert VII, Archduke of Austriaas duke/count and duchess/countess. He is mentioned in reference to a scandal in 1657, and it seems that the bulk of his surviving works were destroyed, bizarrely in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. All that survives is this exquisite, melancholy solo, copied out by Franz Rost, in his codex.

Here it is, live in St Mary Aldemary. After this performance, the violinist Alice Barron, wrote to me that she was struck by it’s relationship to Carnatic violin playing. I find this sole piece of of wreckage from a career exquisitely beautiful