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Musica Reservata - Mannerism in Music



Musica Reservata - Mannerism in Music

I Bassifondi

Mirko Arnone: Liuto, Colascione

Gabriele Miracle: Percussions, Colascione

Simone Vallerotonda – Liuto, director


Like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, the artists of this short and unique historical period called Mannerism were facing the enormous legacy of three great masters: Leonardo, Raffaello and Michelangelo. Yet the shadow that these huge personalities inevitably projected onto the new artists has not been endured as a limit, but exploited as a stimulus for the experimentation and research of new languages and ways. New painters and sculptors like Parmigianino, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, just to name a few, as well as new musicians like Terzi, Lasso, Gesualdo, Molinaro, Vecchi, drew strength from the monumental school of the masters of the past. One among all Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was, in his long life, the main exponent of the Counter Reformation that dictated the rules on style and taste in music.

Their experimentation, complex and stubborn on details, meticulous and intellectually structured, gave life to an important musical literature, rich in educated and elegant refinements, wherein the experimentation and the processing of classic material acquired new and surprising forms. Before all this emerged into the great river of Baroque, the musica riservata or di maniera altered the perfection and the simple model of Nature, through the use of colors, the processing of a single musical element almost placed under the magnifying glass, no longer caring for the form in its comprehensive look and entirety, but examining the single detail, nuance, whim, speaking to an audience who is familiar with and has elements for understanding this new language in a manner, precisely, elitist and reserved.

The BASSIFONDI ensemble of musica antica

The majority of the music of the '600 and '700 for lute, guitar, Theorbo and Arciliuto, was imagined and written with the idea of being played together with other instruments. Authors such as Kapsberger, Corbetta, Piccinini, de Visée, Granata, Weiss and many others have written their music with the addition of the part of the basso continuo, or have transformed their tablature for solo instrument into a score for multiple instruments, or have, in more explicit cases, written music directly intended for consort of lutes, or for lute and other instruments. Numerous are the chronicles of the time that testify of a way of playing this music in ensambles. Often the guitarists would be accompanied by tiorbe, colascioni, lutes and vice versa.

On the basis of written testimonies and musical and iconographic sources, the Bassifondi ensemble was created, founded by Simon Vallerotonda, with the intent of rediscovering and providing the audience with a da camera version of this music.



Date: Thursday, December 14, 2017

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : ICI

In collaboration with : CIDIM

Entrance : Free


Italian Cultural Institute of New York