Posted on August 1, 2022February 29, 2024 by Dale Phillips Letter from London Letter from London by Theron R. McClure Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Vol. 3, #5 & 6, 1975 he early music buff finds much to enjoy in wintry England. During the first two weeks of December, 1975, Renaissance and Baroque music concerts were presented nightly at London’s Queen Elizabeth, Purcell, and Wigmore halls. The quality of performance specialists was held to the highest level; the dozen of early performance specialists was held to the highest level; the dozen of early performance specialists had a wonderful skill. In most performances nineteenth century playing mannerisms had been excised: e.g. vibrato was not heard from London violists. But the teaching of Arnold Dolmetsch and his followers were given little heed. In an all-Dowland concert at the Purcell room, only one ornament was heard from the instrumentalists the whole evening. Early music concerts draw full houses. There is a saying in London, that the old people go to the new music and the young people to the old. But a price has to be paid for this popularity: the larger the audience, the more the viols sound like the celli. Performers can’t keep from straining their instruments toward a commonplace tone. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.