Dorothee Mields | Magdalene Harer
Boreas Quartett Bremen | Hathor Consort

On Byrd’s Wings

A musical journey to (post-)Elizabethan England as it transitioned from the renaissance into the early baroque period: consort songs, fantasies and dances by William Byrd and his successors in colourful interpretations by the Boreas Quartett Bremen, the Hathor Consort and the sopranos Dorothee Mields and Magdalene Harer.

William Byrd | Henry Lawes | Thomas Campion | Robert Johnson | Thomas Tomkins | Thomas Simpson | Orlando Gibbons

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John Coprario

Marnix De Cat

Romina Lischka

John Coprario. Parrot or Ingenious Parodist

Fantasias on Madrigals by Ferrabosco, Palestrina, Marenzio, Monteverdi, De Macque, Vecchi

Was John Coprario taking credit for someone else’s work when, under his own name, he made transcriptions of more than fifty Italian madrigals for a consort of viols? Such an accusation would be based on false premises, as anything resembling copyright was unknown at the beginning of the seventeenth century and for long afterwards; the use of musical material by someone else was rather considered as a respectful examination of ideas that were so promising that one wanted to think them through further. When transcribing these Italian madrigals, Coprario was not only extending an established tradition but also transcending it. He did not simply omit the text in his madrigal fantasias as had been customary in the 16th century, but also took the polyphonic setting even further, enriching it with instrumental possibilities that voices alone could not match. He also rearranged certain parts so that the original vocal work is not always immediately recognisable. Coprario, besides being one of the first to give ensemble music an instrumental identity, was no musical parrot, but an ingenious parodist.

Release date: 2 September 2022
Duration: 55 min

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Composers: Tobias Hume, John Dowland, Uday Bhawalkar, Elway Bevin

Artists: HATHOR CONSORT, Romina Lischka, Uday Bhawalkar

Dhrupad Fantasia

Dhrupad is the oldest and purest genre within the North Indian classical music and can trace its origins to the recitation of Sanskrit texts in Hindu temples more than two thousand years ago. Dhrupad reached the Mughal courts in Rajasthan in the 16th century, where it developed into a classical art form. Dhrupad Fantasia is a meeting of the court music of Queen Elizabeth I of England with that of the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great; both monarchs reigned from about 1550 until 1600. Romina Lischka has created a wondrous fantasy in which the modality of Indian ragas is interwoven with the polyphony of Elizabeth I’s England. She, the Hathor Consort and dhrupad vocalist Uday Bhawalkar have created an imaginary world by combining improvisations based on modal ragas and polyphonic instrumental music, both of which originated in the art music of the aforementioned courts.

Release date: 18 February 2022
Duration: 78 min

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Johann Sebastian Bach left us three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord. He made various transcriptions of the gamba sonata in G major, one of which was of the last movement as a trio sonata for organ. Several movements of the six organ trio sonatas themselves are also reworkings of previously composed material from his cantatas, organ and chamber works. This practice inspired the Bach for Two programme by Romina Lischka and Marnix De Cat, in which they have assembled the most beautiful combinations of viola da gamba and organ in both original and arranged versions of Bach’s chorale preludes and trios. Bach is a master of both the head and the heart. With text and melody as his starting point, he created small musical worlds in his chorale preludes for organ and takes the listener on the most varied of inner journeys. To experience musical joy, to find inner peace through every possible emotion, to be comforted in one’s search or sorrow, to be moved to the depths of one’s being — this is the art of Bach, the magician of sound.

Release date 1 October 2021
Duration 76min

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Pumkin Hut

Composers: Samuel Scheidt, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Hildebrand, Heinrich Albert, Johann Bach, Andreas Hammerschmidt

Artists: Dorothee Mields, HATHOR CONSORT, Romina Lischka

Heinrich Albert’s Pumpkin Hut

Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) was a rare haven of peace during the Thirty Years’ War thanks to its geographical location. Many people, including artists and musicians, fled there from the horrors of plague and war. Heinrich Albert, a pupil of Heinrich Schütz (his cousin) and Johann Hermann Schein, the Thomaskantor in Leipzig, was appointed cathedral organist in the city in 1630. His garden hut, overgrown with pumpkin vines and suitably dubbed the ‘pumpkin hut’ ( Kürbishütte ), became the meeting place of the Königsberg Circle of Poets: a refuge and a space for cutting-edge creativity, spared from direct involvement in the war.
Five musical tableaux, depicting different stages in the war, take the listener on an emotional journey and reflect the everyday emotions people of the period experienced: hope, fear, a longing for peace – but also despair and wrestling with faith in the face of the devastation of war.

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Aries Point

Composers: Bastian Stein, Ronny Graupe, David Helm

Artists: HATHOR CONSORT, Bastian Stein, Ronny Graupe, David Helm


Since my first encounter with the Hathor Consort, it has been obvious to me that the sound of the viola da gamba complements the harmonic and melodic style of my compositions wonderfully well and with utter naturalness. The pieces on Aries Point therefore not only combine two musical eras, but also give the sound colour of the viola da gamba a central place as a key compositional element. Its unique timbre influences the process of composition and improvisation and resonates in a completely new musical context. Its subtle intensity brings out textures which, in their turn, inspire jazz musicians to adopt new forms of melodic and sonic expression in the course of their improvisations.
In jazz, the process of improvisation could also be called ‘instant composing’. A central element is the variation of the themes and the interaction between the musicians. In composition too, the repeated variation of patterns – through changes in key, rhythm, note order – creates material that serves to weave the melodies and harmonies of the work.
With the Aries Point project, I wish to introduce a wider public to the beauty and diversity of improvisation, that ancestral form which lies at the source of all musical expression.
– Bastian Stein

Release date: 22 January 2021
Duration: 51min

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Biber - Tuma

Romina Lischka

Marnix De Cat



Animam gementem cano

With the world premiere recording of a rediscovered Stabat Mater, a late work by the Bohemian master František Tůma, Pluto-Ensemble and Hathor Consort expand the Baroque discography with an emotionally gripping work. The version presented here, one of Tůma’s five settings of the text, long lay forgotten in the Abbey library in Ottobeuren, until Marnix De Cat (artistic director of the Pluto-Ensemble) rediscovered this gem. It is heard here with the Requiem in F minor by H. I. F. Biber and instrumental works by Biber, his teacher J. H. Schmelzer and his Salzburg colleague A. C. Clamer.

Animam gementem cano (‘I hymn the grieving soul’ – the first two words quote the Stabat Mater text) takes us on a journey through many of life’s most significant moments: we are confronted with life and death, but also with our personal path towards consciousness. The programme is intended not only to provide comfort for the ‘captive grieving soul’ of every flesh-and-blood human being, but also to offer every curious music lover a voyage of discovery.

Release date: 4 September 2020
Duration: 61 min

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Ghalia Benali, Romina Lischka, Vincent Noiret


The viol player and Hathor Consort director Romina Lischka, a specialist in early European music, and the Tunisian singer, dancer, poet and actress Ghalia Benali, ambassador of Arab music, join forces in this fascinating project in order to explore the intersection of their musical cultures. In combining for instance music by Marin Marais with classical Arab maqams on Arab poetry and with classical Indian Dhrupad ragas, they reveal the universal truth in music and poetry of different cultural and historical contexts and grasp their common spirit. A dialogue that takes the soul on a journey back to the first prayer that ascended… Coming from totally different backgrounds, Romina’s and Ghalia’s experience of common ground and mutual understanding underlines the connecting elements in different cultures – a powerful message in our day. The harmony emanating from their musical venture deeply touches concert audiences of all cultures, and has now finally been recorded.

Release date 15 May 2020
Duration 71min

Mr. Demachy

Pièces de violle en musique et en tablature

Demachy is one of those composers of whom history tells us little. Nevertheless, he is one of the key figures of the French viola da gamba tradition during the reign of Louis XIV. According to Jean Rousseau (Traité de la Viole, 1687), he was a pupil of Nicolas Hotman (1610–1633), like Saint-Colombe (ca.1640–ca.1700).

Demachy left a single collection of 8 suites for solo viol: Pièces de Violle en Musique et en Tablature, differentes les unes des autres, et sur plusieurs Tons. They contain two books, and are the first to have been published to date, published in Paris in 1685. This is quite a significant work, since it is the first French publication to present pieces for solo viol, a year before Marais published his first book.

This recording presents two suites in tablature (D major and minor) and two others in normal musical notation (G major and minor), which follow the classical form of the French dance suite as it existed toward the end of the 17th century.

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The Art of Fantasy

Alfonso Ferrabosco II, composer

Romina Lischka

Catalogue No RAM1806

The Art of Fantasy

Alfonso Ferrabosco The Younger

Alfonso Ferrabosco the Younger, viol player at the court of Elizabeth I and Charles I, was the most innovative and influential composer of viol consort music of his generation. Following the steps of his father, composer Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder, he continued the specifically English « In Nomine » tradition for viol consort into the seventeenth century while adding his own special touch in the « In Nomine through all parts » in using the cantus firmus in all voices with various rhythms and transpositions. His greatest achievement was the development of an imitative counterpoint perfectly adapted to the viol. The particular character of Ferrabosco’s music was determined by his love for architecture and symmetrical forms which were integrated in all possible ways into his Fantasies: flexible motives, augmentations and diminutions of themes and a clear harmonic structure.

Release date: 28 September 2018
Duration: 76min

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Thomas Hobbs tenor
Romina Lischka tenor-, bass and lyra viol
Sofie Vanden Eynde lute

Orpheus Noble Strings

Dowland, Pilkington, Hume, Corkine, Danyel, Ferrab

Orpheus and his lyre: how to better picture the power of music? Orpheus could move stones to tears, he even moved to pity the gates of death. Music overturns the world, this the composers of the English Renaissance knew very well. Even more, music is the soul of the world, a unifying force. Thomas Hobbs celebrates the many facets of music in lutesongs, in particular those of by T. Campion and J. Danyel. It is not solely the lute which accompanies the song, but also less frequently heard instruments such as the lyra viol, the bandora, the orpharion. With their generous strings, these instruments bring to the ears the sound of Orpheus’ magical lyre.

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Romina Lischka & Sofie Vanden Eynde


Marais, de Visée & Sainte Colombe

The viola da gamba and the theorbo are string nobility: an artistic duo embodying the height of grandeur and sophistication. Indeed, the sense of intimacy that can arise between the two in French baroque repertoire provided the impetus for this recording. Though different in appearance and technique —one is bowed, the other plucked — both instruments have more in common than might at first seem.

The viola da gamba’s finest hour, however, both in terms of composition and performance, was undoubtedly the result of the work of one man, Marin Marais (1656-1728). It is of course possible to hear echoes, in Marais’ eccentric style of performance and composition, of his beloved and inspiring teacher Sainte Colombe (c. 1658–1701), about whose life and career we sadly know very little. It was however Sainte Colombe who pioneered the technical innovations needed to make expressive and virtuosic solo performance on the bass viol possible, e.g. by introducing silver-wound strings, which produced a more clearly defined sound. He also added an extra bass string and modified playing technique to allow the left hand to move more freely. Marin Marais’ haunting instrumental lament ‘Tombeau de Ste Colombe’ is a pupil’s enduring testament in honour of his master.

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John Dowland

Composer: John Dowland

Artists: HATHOR CONSORT, Romina Lischka

Dowland: Lachrimae or Seaven Teares

The Hathor Consort was founded in 2011 by the Austrian gambist Romina Lischka. This Brussels-based ensemble explores consort music going from the Renaissance to the Baroque era, using diverse instrumental combinations with, as a starting point, the viola da gamba. The name comes from the goddess Hathor, a female divinity of ancient Egypt, who embodied love, joy and everything having to do with the heart. For this first recording, the ensemble has chosen a pièce de résistance of the consort repertoire: the collection Lachrimae or Seven Tears by John Dowland (1563- 1626). The seven pavanes for five viols and lute form the core, each being based on the song ‘Flow My Tears’. Dowland’s music often expresses melancholy, and with the title of the piece Semper Dowland, semper dolens (‘Always Dowland, always suffering’), contained in this collection, the composer himself openly underscores this aspect of his music.

Release date: 21 April 2014
Duration: 67 min

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