Erin Headley, Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs and Alexander Weimann - four of the world’s leading Baroque instrumentalists - are Tragicomedia. With its unusual instrumentarium of viola da gamba, lute, chitarrone, and harpsichord, the group has played a major role in realizing the musical riches of the basso continuo era. In 1600 Agostino Agazzari described the enormous palette of instrumental color - including lutes, chitarrones, keyboards and lirones - necessary for the effective realization of an accompaniment. This was the inspiration for Tragicomedia. In repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Bach, Tragicomedia explores every musical genre from lute song to fully-staged Baroque opera.
Many of the group’s recordings for EMI, Teldec, Virgin, and Hyperion have won prestigious prizes including a Gramophone award (UK), an Edison award (Holland), and several from the Premio Internazionale del disco ‘Antonio Vivaldi’ (Italy). Tragicomedia has been the continuo ensemble for the Boston Early Music Festival’s productions since 1997; also since 1997 the group has been invited back every year for performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at St. Pieterskerk, Leiden - a live CD recording of the 2002 performance is now out on the ATMA label. Tragicomedia’s recent CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA) has received high critical acclaim. The Observer (August 2001) said: “sublime…Tragicomedia play with such agile dexterity that your concept of seventeenth-century music will be irrevocably changed.”