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Wednesday, May 11, 2011


As Rolf Lislevand wittingly wrote in the liner notes of a superb Astree/Naive disk, by mr. Lislevand with his Kapsberger Ensemble - "Santiago de Murcia Codex", the use of colascione was an historic joke - i.e. a seldom seen and heard instrument played by a musician - a double bassist - who never played it on seldom played music and no written part for it, the elusive colascione;-)

What's a colascione?

How's made?

Does it REALLY exist?

Definitely YES: it's a three single strings large instrument with an extremely long diapason - i.e. 140 - 180 cm - of the lute family.

The body of a theorbo and a faaaar longer neck... it produced a deep, eerie bass which perfectly - you'd bet it? - blends with lutes, chitarra battente and small percussions, so tipycal instrumentarium of Renaissance music.

A violone or basso di viola (da gamba) would also have been a nice choice, BUT for the more integralists among the ancient music musicians - a strange breed;-) - it simply make MORE sense using same family stringed instruments.

A true dinosaur... yet still present on several Christina Pluhar's Alpha disks and... on Rolf Lislevand's disk, of course - a true beauty!

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