a continuo specialist, one of my main interests is the variety of lutes
which were used in different places at different times. I have examined
many of the surviving historical continuo lutes, and my own collection
of instruments includes copies and reconstructions of several different
which I can offer in my own lecture recitals, concerts and recordings.
The choice of the right kind (or at least an appropriate kind) of continuo
lute can transform the sound of an ensemble and also radically affect
what one plays within it. Obviously today some compromise is often necessary:
if a concert includes music by Monteverdi, Purcell, Charpentier and
Telemann, it would be impracticable to take along four different continuo
lutes. However, an awareness of what different composers would have
expected or had available, and of what the different types of continuo
lute can do, can dramatically influence the way in which one plays,
and is an important aspect of the modern continuo player's education.
solo theorbo, or 'théorbe de pièces'
also called mandora, gallichon, colachon, calchedono