Ensemble Musica getutscht

Erika Tandiono, soprano · Julius Lorscheider, harpsicord · Bernhard Reichel, lute and theorbo

From the project description:

Recitar / Catando
The Secret Art

In Baroque music, ornamentation begins with the performance, through the introduction of character by adding character, gestures, tone colour, dynamics or added notes. In his classical work »Musik als Klangrede«, Nikolaus Harnoncourt states that in music before 1800, the work. i.e. the composition, was written down, and that the performance with all its interpretative parameters could not be read from this notation (with a few exceptions we will come to later). In his words, it is only from around 1800 that notation can be read as a performance instruction.

However, it is difficult to find a history of performance (and thus also ornamentation), if you consider that the great musicians of the Italian modern era were also actively creating music. Women were generally excluded from creative activities, though, since they were neither considered to have the intellectual skills nor were they trained accordingly. Their art has only been passed down in a vague form and only found its way into the great canon in an indirect manner. But in the musical history of women, it is possible to find what more or less corresponds to the contemporary concept of the interpreter: the performance of someone else’s work. Thus a history of musical ornamentation can also be read as a socio-political history of women.

When searching for the art of musical ornamentation, the ensemble »Musica getutscht« came across a number of oral traditions and secret arts of the women of the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque periods. We would like to follow this thread over more than a century:

Starting with reconstructions of sonnet recitations (ornamentation of texts through music) at the court of the patroness Isabella d’Este, we will then continue our journey with the art of ornamented singing of the »Concerto delle Donne« in Ferrara und will finally arrive at the incredibly virtuoso singer Vittoria Archilei only whose ornamentation gave meaning to compositions, as Jacobo Peri claimed. The circle will then close with Francesca Caccini’s art of recitation and singing, as well as the male adoption of this art of ornamentation in the early Baroque period.

On this journey of discovery we will encounter female poets and composers who freed themselves from the corset of being only the »muse« and became active creators against all resistance, blurring the boundaries between ornament and composition, between composer and interpreter, and we will realise that the significant artistic skills of women in the Italian early Baroque period have had a lasting impact on music history.

Concert Programme

… »cantar sonetti« at  the court of Isabella d’Este 1500–1550
Francesco Da Milano, Ricercar
Bartolomeo Tromboncino, Come haro dunque ardire (Michelangelo Buonarroti)
Bartolomeo Tromboncino, Hor che’l ciel e la terra (Francesco Petrarca)
Modo di cantar sonetti 1505, Sonnet by Tulla d’Aragona
Modo di cantar sonetti 1505, Sonnet by Gaspara Stampa

The secret art of women 1550–1600
Maddalena Casulana, O notte, o cielo, o mar (1570)
Isabella de Medici, Lieta vivo et contenta
Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Ricercar
Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Aura suave (c. 1580)
Cristofano Malvezzi / Vittoria Archilei, Dalle più alte sfere (1589)

recitar cantando 1600–1620
Giulio Caccini, Tutto’l dí piango (Francesco Petrarca) (1601)
Jacobo Peri, Al fonte, al prato (1609)
Giovanni Kapsperger, Aria di Firenze
Francesca Caccini, La Pastorella (1618)

Singing Torquato Tasso
Sigismondo d’India, Sovente, allor che su gli estivi ardori (1609)
Sigismondo d’India, Indi dicea piancendo (1609)
Sigismondo d’India, Forse avverrà se’l ciel benigno ascolta (1609)