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The Parley of Instruments

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Biography

In the crowded field of period instrument groups, the Parley of Instruments distinguishes itself by focusing on the repertoire for the early violin, from the Renaissance and early Baroque periods, and by applying its knowledge of this and seventeenth century vocal music to its performances of later Baroque and early Classical works. The ensemble was established in 1979 by Peter Holman, harpsichordist and organist, who remains the group's director. The other three performers who form the core of the ensemble are violinists Judy Tarling and Theresa Caudle and bass viol and cellist Mark Caudle. Depending on the program, as many as two dozen other performers are added to this core to form a full violin consort, giving it the flexibility to perform works by Praetorius, Lully, Biber, and Purcell, among others. It has even expanded to the size of a Classical period orchestra to make period instrument recordings of early nineteenth century English music. Catherine Bott, Michael Chance, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Elizabeth Wallfisch, and Paul O'Dette are just a few of the soloists who have appeared with the Parley. A recording of Cavalli's Messa concertata with the vocal consort Seicento was the beginning of an examination of important seventeenth century pieces. The Parley's programs are concentrated on one aspect or type of music, for example, "Lachrimae and the Music It Inspired," "Couperin & Charpentier Motets," and "The Concerto in Georgian England." The programs are performed throughout England, in both concert and workshop forms and in BBC Radio broadcasts, and many of them have been recorded on the Hyperion label. The Parley combines its members' knowledge and skill to create a consistent performance style and to present early music for strings as it was first imagined.

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Formed:

1979 in London, England

Genre
Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s