Anima creates engaging and inspiring programs that capture the imagination — a blend of music, poetry and exemplary musicianship on authentic and original instruments. Our concerts are intimate and joyful as we explore the coloristic possibilities of different instrumental combinations, varying sparse and thick textures and contrasting music from different eras and places.

A Cabinet of Wonders

And so you may have, in Small Compass, a Model of Universal Nature made private. -- Francis Bacon (attr.), Gesta Grayorum, 1599

Rembrandt, like many other scholars and gentlemen of his time, collected beautiful and rare objects – paintings, antiquities, items of scientific interest, and specimens of nature. These curiosities together were meant to represent the world and its history in microcosm. Inspired by his example, we have gathered an assortment of remarkable pieces from Rembrandt’s home country of the Netherlands, as well as from Germany, Italy, England, and as far afield as Spain. We invite you to visit our cabinet of musical wonders, which we have classified variously as “antiquitates” or pieces based on historical forms of music, “artificialia” or works of human artifice, and “naturalia” or works imitative of nature. (Works by Schop, Purcell, Walther, Hidalgo, Navas, and others.)

A Musical Remedy

... and therefore to such as are discontent, in woe, fear, sorrow, or dejected, [music] is a most present remedy: it expels cares, alters their grieved minds, and easeth in an instant. -- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1632

A program inspired by The Anatomy of Melancholy, by Robert Burton. Burton combed through literature to find references to the causes, effects, and cures for the many maladies involving melancholy. His inimitable display of rich prose, dappled with underlying humor is as much about the condition of mankind as of melancholy. We lead our imaginary protagonist on a journey out of despondency into life, so as to leave him better than we found him, with his tears dried and his heart at rest. (The poet Anne Kingsmill Finch, Philipp Henrich Erlebach, Marco Marazzoli, John Milton, Arcangelo Corelli, and Johann Jakob Walther)

Nightly Cares
Music for Sleepless Nights

Thoughts, activities and preoccupations of the evening and the night that keep us from sleep. The stage is set by a solo recorder playing Jacob van Eyk’s Den Naghtegael. Night is the time for rest and pieces of beauty and serenity follow (Tobias Hume’s Sigismondo d’India, and Tarquinio Merula). Night is the time for love and songs about secret trysts and distant lovers, contrasted by comic songs about lunatics singing to the moon (John Dowland, Henry Butler, Biagio Marini). Lastly, while nighttime can be outwardly quiet, its very silence can reveal the turmoil of our inmost thoughts (Thomas Campion, John Dowland). We close our program with Henry Purcell’s beautiful, glowing and restful Evening Hymn.

Vive l’Italie!

The style of Italian compositions is piquant, florid, expressive; that of French compositions is natural, flowing, tender. -- Sebastian de Brossard, Dictionnaire de Musique, 1703

An Exploration of the musical intersection and interplay of French and Italian styles in the late 17th- and early 18th-Century. The quintessential and highly influential Italian violinist and composer, Arcangelo Corelli invented the sonata, so he is represented here by two: a trio sonata and a sonata for solo viola da gamba. Corelli’s fame was widespread throughout Europe and earned him many tributes and as well as imitators. We play a programmatic suite by the important French composer François Couperin, L’Apothéose de Corelli, which describes Corelli’s elevation to the realm of the gods, and also thoroughly synthesizes the two national styles. Jean-Henri d’Anglebert left us with a treatise on how to play in the French manner, so we include a harpsichord suite by him as an exemplar of purely French music. Michel Pignolet de Montéclair is known for his commentary on ornamentation, particularly on French vocal style, and for his French cantatas, and the concert ends with an Italian cantata on the death of Lucretia that clearly departs from that style!