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Tue, Apr 30


The Chapel Royal

Thomas Baeté • Solo show “On Solitude”

Following the success of the Irish tour in October 2023 by the Dutch/Flemish ensemble The Spirit of Gambo, Thomas Baeté (a member of the viol consort) returns to Dublin for a solo concert on Tuesday 30th April at 7.30 in the beautiful setting of the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle.

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Thomas Baeté • Solo show “On Solitude”
Thomas Baeté • Solo show “On Solitude”


Apr 30, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

The Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle, Castle St, Dublin 2


M de Sainte-Colombe le père 

Chaconne en rmineur Richartz de Berbesieu, Atressi com l’olifanz 

M de Sainte- Colombe le fils 

Prlude en Mi mineur Philippe Hersant, Le Chemin de Jrusalem

Henry Purcell

O Solitude

Tobias Hume

Good againe

Anonyme Catalan

Soleta so yo ac

Barbara (Monique Andrée Serf)

La Solitude

Spoken text fragments by Montaigne, Nietzsche, Peppernell et al

Venue by kind permission of the Office of Public Works.

This recital is presented in association with Music in Kilkenny.

On Solitude • A personal reflection on solitude and music, performed by Thomas Baeté, viola da gamba and voice.

All through the ages, artists had an intense and sometimes troublesome rapport with solitude and loneliness. As much as they have been attracted by the inspiration and concentration that solitude can provide, they have in an equal urge been running away from the exclusion and loneliness that came with their art.

Musicians especially have always lead their lives between the many solitary hours of practice, the lonely miles of the road, and, on the other side, the need for fellow-musicians and audiences to share their art with.

For the 12th Century troubadour, the absence and unapproachability of the beloved is the very motor of his art.

Baroque composer Henry Purcell was so inspired by the poet Katherine Philips’ eulogy O Solitude, that he composed one of his most hauntingly beautiful melodies to her words. Sainte Colombe built a cabin in a mulberry tree so that he could practice away from the noise and crowds of 17th Century Paris.

For singer-songwriter Barbara, like for Aristotle, solitude is like a curse or an illness to escape from.

I thought that only on stage could I channel all these thoughts and feelings of the past. The melancholic timbre of the viola da gamba enables me to convey them.

Mixed with a handful of spoken fragments, this eclectic programme of songs and viol music spans 9 centuries of reflections on solitude.

I hope that, as I embrace the viol, each listener can embrace his solitude and through that, oddly, feel connected.

On Solitude was one of three projects conceived during the Covid lockdown when Baeté, like musicians everywhere, was robbed of opportunities for public performance, and needed something, in his own words, to keep him sane. Baeté used the time to prepare a meditation on solitude: an eclectic mixture of song, texts and instrumental music from the 12th to the 21st century.

Other lockdown projects were The Natural Violist - a wonderful self-help guide for viol players – and 8 “dialogues” which are collaborations with musicians in other genres and instruments published on YouTube: here he is performing Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade with Griet De Geyter.

Besides playing with The Spirit of Gambo for more than 20 years, Baeté teaches in Belgium and in Ireland and he has performed widely as a soloist and with his early music ensembles Transports Publics and ClubMediéval. His is a unique voice, bringing the plaintive and expressive sounds of the pre-Baroque period to audiences in Europe, Asia and North America.

What critics have said:

Belgian gambist Thomas Baeté, was a revelation. He plays with gallant style and supple phrasing, making the most of his instrument’s sensual, almost human quality.

Special mention must be given to Thomas Baeté whose bass viol is essential to establish a climate of warmth and joy: as a singer, the artist has a voice in tune with his instrument: a treat for the ear!

Read more reviews here…


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