This recording project is the result of a long-lasting collaboration of musicians who enthusiastically work together since 2012.
Pizzicar Galante includes mandolin player Anna Schivazappa, harpsichordist Fabio Antonio Falcone, gamba player Ronald Martin Alonso and theorbist Daniel de Morais. The goal of the ensemble is the discovery and diffusion of Baroque eighteenth-century music for mandolin and continuo. According to the different programs offered by the ensemble, different instruments are used, among which an original Neapolitan mandolin built in 1768 by Antonio Vinaccia. The scholarly background of all the members of the ensemble ensures the high musical and historical standard of their performances.
Previously, the ensemble worked and performed the mandolin works of Domenico Scarlatti – some of the most challenging pieces for this setting.
It was on this repertoire that we started to work together, finding common ground and experimenting with different colors. This first project was met with success and enthusiasm on several occasions in France and Italy.
The success of this first project encouraged us to go on and further develop in finding less-know repertoire. Two collections of mandolin sonatas published in Rome at the beginning of the eighteenth century were remarkably interesting: the sonatas per il flauto traversiero, col basso che possono servire per violino mandola et Oboe, op. 12, by Roberto Valentini and Divertimenti per camera a violino, violone, cimbalo, flauto e mandola op. 2 by Pietro Giuseppe Gaetano Boni.
In the same years when Corelli was enchanting Europe with his music, these two collections are the first example of sonatas for mandolin and continuo. In those years Rome was at the height of its splendor and all the noble families were looking for artists to increase their own prestige. In this period of artistic and cultural effervescence, Academy of Arcadia was founded. A new sensibility started to give preference to classical balance rather than Baroque exuberance. These sonatas display a strong reference to Corelli’s sober and elegant style, full of energy and contrasts. The bass line is not just an harmonic background, but often a second counterpoint lain, equal to the first. That is why we decided to add a gamba, whose deep sound remarks this function.
The sonatas by Roberto Valentini and Giuseppe Gaetano Boni are written for mandola, an instrument frequently used in Rome from the mid of the seventeenth century in large and small ensembles. For the recording, we shall use two different instruments: a six-course mandolin after Antonio Monzino (1792) and a five-course mandola, manufactured by Milanese maker Tiziano Rizzi.
The recording, a world premiere, will take place on fall 2015, in the beautiful church of St. Giuseppe in Montevecchio di Pergola, located on the green Italian hills. The CD will be released in 2016 by Dutch label Brilliant Classics.