Following the German Reformation in 1517 and subsequent English Reformation in 1532, not only was the church shaken theologically but music and the arts flourished in new and remarkable ways. In both Germany and England, music for the church saw creative and innovative settings of historic and new texts and tunes. At the heart of this music was a family of string instruments called the viola da gamba. Used as a consort of instruments during the medieval and renaissance periods, the viol enjoyed a relatively brief but incredibly rich era of prominence. Both Anglicans and Lutherans utilized the whole family of instruments — from the tiny treble to the large bass — to their fullest color and virtuosic abilities. “Breaking Free” explores instrumental and vocal music by Byrd, Gibbons and Tompkins from England, and music by Weckmann, Capricornus, and Georg Bach from Germany.