From the Netherlands to the Main Line

Exploring the 17th century with Filament's Music for an Inner World II

2 minute read
Three musicians dressed in black, a multicolored wall with chipped paint behind them. Smith holds a cello, Few has a violin.
Filament brings chamber music to Rosemont this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Filament.)

With the hectic crush of holidays in the rear-view mirror and a possibly dreary winter now settling in, the Baroque ensemble Filament is offering a warming and embracing program of early music. The ensemble first began to explore the composers in this concert as they were preparing for an August 2021 virtual presentation in conjunction with a jewel-like exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania’s Arthur Ross Gallery. Titled An Inner World, that show featured a small group of intimate Dutch genre paintings.

A musical look inward and back

In researching works to play in conversation with those early Dutch artworks, the trio studied 17th-century music from the Netherlands. As they delved into the repertoire, they were struck by the musical and cultural similarities to English composers from the same period, finding reflective works that shared a sense of an “inner world.” Their continuing exploration has resulted in Music for an Inner World II, presented on February 6 as part of the well-regarded Main Line Early Music Series at Rosemont’s Church of the Good Shepherd.

The upcoming concert further explores this cultural and musical transit between the Netherlands and the British Isles. Filament notes that "we planned this concert as a sequel to the Dutch and English music that we performed last year in dialogue with the Gallery’s fantastic exhibition.” After playing that concert, the trio continued to explore more of the “intimate and strange repertoire that traverses Renaissance and Baroque ideals, and this forthcoming program is the fruit of our ongoing discovery."

Composers on the program include some that are well-known in early music circles, like William Lawes and Matthew Locke, as well as works by John Jenkins, John Coprario, Johann Schop, and the mysterious, anonymous Dutch composer of the Susanne van Soldt Manuscript.

Filament—comprised of Evan Few (violin), Elena Smith (gamba/cello), and John Walthausen (harpsichord)—is quickly gaining a reputation for both their exploratory repertoire and their lively, visceral interpretative flair. The group regularly concertizes in this region and in New York City, and Early Music America (the US journal of record for early music) has named the trio as one of their 2021 Emerging Artists.

This in-person concert will have tickets available at the door (no advance sales). It will also be streamed live on February 6 at 4pm and archived to watch online indefinitely. Purchase a viewing link (provided via email) by donating any amount to Main Line Early Music.

What, When, Where

Music for an Inner World II. Conducted by Filament. Evan Few (violin), Elena Smith (gamba/cello), and John Walthausen (harpsichord). $30-$40, $10 for students, free for those under 18. February 6, 2022, at 4pm, Church of the Good Shepherd, 1116 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA; streaming on-demand to view indefinitely via donation. (610) 525-7070 or

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