Late sixteenth-century musicians and poets spent much time attempting to re-make contemporary culture in the image of the Ancients: the intellectual-sounding chitarrone was one of the more unlikely fruits of this movement. But with its long second neck and eccentric tuning it soon acquired a reputation for comedy, and was nicknamed tiorba, (an old man’s hurdy gurdy), and in England, ”theorbo”. Player-composers explored experimental harmonies and, flowing tunes underpinned by its deep bass strings. Today’s composers are taking the instrument into new imaginative terrain, exploring its twin identities. This programme features Nico Muhly’s Berceuse, written for Liz Kenny in November 2018.