ARTISTIC RESIDENCY & CD RECORDING: 'BAROQUE VENICE'
The cultural production of Baroque Venice is one of the richest musical legacies in the world and its diverse music-making enjoyed a significant position in the life of the city then. Composers such as Monteverdi, Gabrielli and Vivaldi are still regarded as pillars of classical music, and countless works written for Venice have become part of the classical music canon. Nevertheless, a large amount of the production of the time remains to be discovered and/or made relevant to the modern public.
Recorder player Inês d’Avena and harpsichordist Claudio Ribeiro have been invited by the Emily Harvey Foundation for an artistic residency in Venice. The 1,5 month residency will give us a chance to immerse ourselves in the cultural past of Venice, in preparation for a recording project with Venetian Baroque music. During this residency, we will search for unknown repertory for recorder and basso continuo/harpsichord written and/or performed in Venice, focusing on the 18th century, in order to combine what we find with other Venetian pieces already known to us from previous investigations. The results will be presented on CD as well as promotional video with recordings of a few of the tracks of the CD (to be filmed on the last day of the recording period).
Some of the works that we already look forward to record:
- Vivaldi's Sonata RV 806 (please see in the attached CD-ROM a video of us performing the last movement of this sonata)
- Sonatas by Santini, Siber and Bigaglia only extant in Venetian collections (such as that of the Fondazione Querini-Stampaglia)
- works for harpsichord extant in Venetian collections - one potential such work for harpsichord to be recorded is the unpublished, anonymous ‘Suonata’ for harpsichord, found by Inês d’Avena a couple of years ago in Venice (please find in the attached CD-ROM a live audio recording of one of the movements performed by Claudio Ribeiro)
Anonymous - Suonata [sic] per cembalo, second movement
Biblioteca della Fondazione Querini Stampalia (MSS 1129)
If we make new discoveries, we would like to edit and publish those pieces in order to make the repertoire more easily available to a wider audience, besides recording.
The residency will have an initial period of research in archives and libraries of the city, such as the Fondazione Querini Stampaglia, the Biblioteca Marciana and the library of the Istituto Vivaldi, which will be preceded by preparatory communication with these institutions (before arriving in Venice). We will also contact the relevant musical institutions of the city (Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, Scuola di Musica Antica di Venezia, Venetian Center for Baroque Music) to try to develop a connection with the musical scene, in view of possible future release concerts of the CD. In parallel, we will visit previously chosen recording locations and as well as those recommended to us by musicians active in the previously mentioned musical institutions. The recording location will eventually be chosen based on the following criteria:
- acoustic and historical connection with the repertoire: priority will be given to venues from the time the repertoire was composed which haven’t been heavily altered since. We aim to find a large room in a Venetian Palazzo (considering much of this music was performed at homes) or a small church.
- costs: as rental prices can be very high in Venice, this is also a factor to be considered in our choice.
- practical issues: ease of access for bringing the harpsichord and recording equipment, sufficient silence for the recording, appropriate and stable temperature etc.
We are in conversation with a few record labels at the moment and will still contact a few others in order to find the best partner for this project. Our aim is to have a quality label with good world-wide distribution.
The motivation for this residency comes from our passion for the Venetian culture, especially that of the Baroque period, combined with our plans to increase our connections with the Italian classical music scene. The motivation for the recording itself was that, aside from presenting new works to a worldwide audience, after various recordings in larger ensembles we look forward to a period of immersion in this repertoire as a duo. This formation gives us great flexibility of performance and offers us a challenge for the recording, where we will strive to present a multitude of textures and colors on only recorder and harpsichord. The acoustic of the historical setting as well as the period of research that will precede the recording should offer further layers of interest for the audience.
In each recording we have to modify our interpretation in order to adapt it to acoustic of the location in which we are recording. By recording at a location as close as possible to the ones in which the performers of the period would have played, we expect to be influenced in the same way they were, and therefore acquire a deeper understanding of the repertoire. This makes this recording project a unique experience to us and, hopefully, to the listener.