I went to this concert last night because a friend had an extra ticket. It's the first concert on this series, and I recommend you check them out. You can catch the same concerts at the Somerville Museum.
Carol Lewis, viols, and Chris Henriksen are married, and have been performing together for several decades. It's a nice combination, because both instruments can be used either solo or as accompaniment, and both performers are good at both roles.
Last night's concert was about the lute and viol music people in London were playing during the tumultuous years of the early Stuarts, the Commonwealth under Cromwell, and the Restoration. Chris said he'd done a lot of music from this period before, but always looked at it from the point of view of what was happening at court. This time, he realized that London was at that time one of the few places in Europe (Hamburg was another) where there was a thriving music scene independant of the court, with nobles and even well-off commoners paying professional performers and composers for lessons on viol, lute and guitar.
A lot of these same composers also wrote for recorder, so I was familiar with a lot of the names. One revelation was a composer named Thomas Mace (ca. 1612 — 1684), who wrote one of the latest lute method books, Musicke's Monument in 1676. The Saraband that Chris played from that was the jazziest piece on the program.
I really enjoyed the music; both performers are very good; I wish they got a slightly more animated audience. I couldn't see anyone else laughing at the jokes in this extremely witty music, and several audience members were clearly asleep.