The “Bassetto Manfredo” Reloaded

We just launched our first crowdfunding campaign, in order to support the restoration project of a small double bass from the eighteenth century, a rare instrument that needs some repairs in order to resound again. You can help us reaching the goal on the Kickstarter platform at this link:

The Bassetto Manfredo (as we called it) belongs to the Comune di Faenza, in Italy, and was part of the Museo del Teatro. It was probably used in the local theatre and possibly also in the music chapel in the Duomo of the town. It is the work of an unknown local luthier, and is a rare instrument because it has not been modified in its structure. Read more about it on the kickstarter page, and support us! We are really looking forward to use it in our next projects!


L. Boccherini – Stabat Mater

We just received the first copies of our last recording, the Stabat Mater G 532 by Luigi Boccherini, in the 1781 version for soprano and string quintet (with two cellos). The soprano Francesca Boncompagni provides an enchanting interpretation of this intense sacred work.

The recording is based on the new critical edition prepared by Luca Levi Sala for the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, and was published by UtOrpheus in 2015. We are the first ensemble to perform and record this music from this new edition, which provides new interesting points of view, especially for the treatment of the bass lines.

To complete the album, the String Quartet Op. 41 n. 1  G 214, in c minor: this work is tightly related to the Stabat Mater, as some of the melodies of the sacred work has been used for the Flebile and the Trio of this string quartet.

The album is now available on our website and you are more than welcome to order your copy right now! Check the Shop section.

Viotti’s exile
A short excerpt from Giovanni Battista Viotti’s letter to his first patron, Prince della Cisterna from Torino, written in Schonfeldz on 30 June 1798, during his forced exile from England.
In this intense passages we can find all the emotional distress of his last years. The letter was translated (from French to English) by Warwick Lister, and is included in the appendix of his really interesting book Amico (Oxford University Press, 2009). […]

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Avison on the Tenor
“In the four principal Parts there ought to be four Performers of almost equal Mastery […]. But this Rule is generally neglected by placing one of the worst Hands on the Tenor; which, though a Part of little Execution, yet requires so much Meaning and Expression, that the Performer should not only give a fine Tone, (the peculiar Quality of that Instrument) but by swelling
and singing of the Notes, and entering into the Spirit of the Composer, know, without destroying the Air, where to fill the Harmony; and, by boldly pointing the Subject, keep it up with the greatest Energy”
Charles Avison, An Essay on Musical Expression, London, 1753, pp. 132/133
Ensemble Symposium for Kito Onlus
During the concert of Bach. His Music & His Words in Llysworney on 16/1 we raised £ 230 for the charity, to support health projects in the Philippines! Thanks to Laura Massarotto, who organized the event, and to Cristina Sciarrillo!
Gabriele Piozzi and his Six String Quartets: an Italian musician in Wales
Gabriele Piozzi (Quinzano d’Oglio, 1740 Tremeirchion, 1809) by George Dance, pencil, 1793 Born near Brescia, Gabriele Piozzi lived for several years England and Wales, working as tenor singer, teacher and pianist. Piozzi arrived in England in 1776, and during his stay in the British isles, he published six collections of works for keyboard, strings and voices. His public career was relatively short, but he had strong connections with the cultural elite of the time, namely with Charles Burney and Samuel Johnson, at least until 1784.

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Musick ought not to be treated in that mercenary footing
You don’t perhaps know that I have already some time been thinking of leaving off professing Musick and the first opportunity that offers I shall really do so. It is very well, in your way, when one has a fixed Salary, but to take so much for a Concert, so much for a teaching, and so much for a Benefit is what I do not like at all, and rather than go on in that way I would take any opportunity of leaving off Musick; not that I intend to forget it, for it should always be my chief study tho’ I had another employment. But Musick ought not to be treated in that mercenary footing. (Herschel to his brother, 12 April 1761)

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