Hans Performing "Gadbad" for 2 viola d'amores,

Performing Josť (Joseph) Herrando sonate V in A

And here some information about a lovely instrument: the viola d'amore.

The viola d'amore shares many features of the viol  family. It looks like a thinner treble viol without frets and sometimes with sympathetic strings added. The six-string viola d'amore and the treble viol also have approximately the same ambitus or range of playable notes. Like all viols, it has a flat back. An intricately carved head at the top of the peg box is common on both viols and viola d'amores, although some viols lack one.

Unlike the carved heads on viols, the viola d'amore's head occurs often with blindfolded eyes to represent love. Its sound-holes are commonly in the shape of a flaming sword (suggesting a Middle Eastern influence in its development). This was one of the three usual sound hole shapes for viols as well. It is unfretted, and played much like a violin, being held horizontally under the chin. It is about the same size as the modernviola.

The viola d'amore usually has six or seven playing strings, which are sounded by drawing a bow across them, just as with a violin. In addition, it has an equal number of sympathetic strings  located below the main strings and the fingerboard which are not played directly but vibrate in sympathy with the notes played.

A common variation is six playing strings, and instruments exist with as many as fourteen sympathetic strings alone. Despite the fact that the sympathetic strings are now thought of as the most characteristic element of the instrument, early forms of the instrument almost uniformly lacked them. The first unambiguous reference to a viola d'amore without sympathetic strings does not occur until the 1730s. Both the types continued to be built and played through the 18th century

Largely thanks to the sympathetic strings, the viola d'amore has a particularly sweet and warm sound.Lepold Mozart, writing in hisVersuch einer gründlichen Violinschule, said that the instrument sounded "especially charming in the stillness of the evening."

The first known mention of the name viol d'amore appeared in John Evelyn's Diary (20 November 1679): "for its swetenesse & novelty the Viol d'Amore of 5 wyre-strings, plaid on with a bow, being but an ordinary violin, play'd on Lyra way by a German, than which I never heard a sweeter Instrument or more surprizing..."

Below the information text I have listed some works I am performing....

On my programme:
Concerti Contemporary
Attilio Ariosti (1666-1729) Stockholmer Sonatas for viola d'amore and b.c.
Johann (?) Pfeiffer ( 16987-1761) Trio for viola d'amore, violin & cello
Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812) : quartetto II in D-Dur
Antonio Vivaldi: (1678-1741) concerto in d (rv393)
Hans Vermeersch (1957) Bhalobasha (love) for viola d'amore and CD ( Innsbruck 2012 )
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) Sonatas for viola d'amore and b.c.
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): Divertimento for viola d'amore, viola & cello.
Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812): quartetto IV in D-Dur
Antonio Vivaldi: (1678-1741) concerto in D ( rv392)
Hans Vermeersch (1957) Gadbad (confusion) for 2 viole d'amore,cello (gamba) & cembalo ( Innsbruck 2012 )
Jose Herrando (1680-1763) Sonatas for viola d'amore and b.c.
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809) 2 partitas for viola d'amore,violin & cello
Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812): quartetto in D (ed.K. Stumpf)
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) concerto for viola d'amore,oboe d'amore,flute & strings
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704) Partia VII a 2 viole d'amore e b.c.
Carlo Martinides (1731-1794) Divertimento for viola d'amore,violin,viola & cello
Christoph Graupner (1683-1760) concerto in D for viola d'amore,viola,2 violini, viola e Cembalo.
Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler (1756-1840) Quintetto 1 for viola d'amore,violin,viola,cello & violone.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) St. John Passion No. 19 (or 31) Betrachte, meine Seele, and No. 20 (or 32) Erwäge, wie sein blutgefärbter Rücken ( + solo's in cantata Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn BWV 152 and cantata Schwingt freudig euch empor BWV 36c )