Claudio Monteverdi – Vespro della Beata Vergine

ENG Monteverdi vespers have been subject of intense interest among early music performers for many years. The dedication to Pope Paul V, the grand dimensions, the vocal and instrumental virtuosity, the musical colour and extraordinary variety displayed in the collection… Read more »


Schütz/Buxtehude/Bach/Beethoven ENG Primitive instruments with embouchures made from animal horns were traditionally used by hunters and shepherds for summoning and signalling. In cultures and traditions throughout the world, their distinctive sound is often associated with ritual, rites of passage –… Read more »

L’Arte de Correa de Arauxo

From Franco-Flemish Polyphony to the Spanish organ tradition Correa de Arauxo’s surviving music is all contained in a single volume entitled Libro de tientos y discursos de música practica, y theorica de organo intitulado Facultad organica (Alcalá, 1626). This publication is exceptional in many aspects: the number and… Read more »

Enchanted forests – Guédron/Praetorius/Monteverdi

In Italy prior to the invention of opera, composers conceived of musical interludes mixing song, dance and theatre around large mythological frescos. In France, court ballets also married poetry, vocal and instrumental music, choreography and scenography. From the beginning of… Read more »

Musica ex Machina

Composers and theorists of the Renaissance cultivated a strong fascination with the internal mechanisms of music. Counterpoint was conceptualized as a perpetual reflection of the universe’s divine organisation: intervals, time signatures and proportions could be perfect or imperfect. InAlto performs… Read more »

Det Store Bilager – 1634

A royal wedding at the danish court Ruled by King Christian IV from 1596 to 1648, Denmark is the most powerful nation in northern Europe and on the Baltic sea at the beginning of the 17th century. As a great… Read more »

Teatro Spirituale

Lent and penance in Rome ca.1600 The « Chiesanuova » was built in Rome in the second half of the 16th century, on the older Santa Maria in Valicella, as the base for the Congregation of the Oratorio, founded by Filippo Neri…. Read more »

Collegium Musicum

Instrumental music in Hamburg ca.1660 Matthias Weckmann has a central role in the 17th century music history in Europe. He studied with Schütz, was a close friend of Froberger and founded the Collegium Musicum in Hamburg together with Christoph Bernhard,… Read more »

Mein Herz ist bereit

Christmas in a desolate land Heinrich Schütz published his second opus of Symphoniae Sacrae in 1647, just a year before the peace treatises of Westphalia finally put an end to the thirty years war (1618-1648). Recent demographic studies claim that… Read more »

E vidi quattro stelle

This program is built around two of the most influential writers in Italian medieval literature: Dante Aligheri and Francesco Petrarca. Their texts were extremely famous among composers of the 16th  and 17th century composers looking for a very deep and… Read more »

Song of Songs – Light on light

Sacred love in Christian and Sufi tradition Considered as one of the most touching set of texts of the Old Testament, the Song of Songs has been interpreted in many different ways by theologists throughout the centuries. The poems speak… Read more »

Gli ultimi cornetti

The famous Giovanni Legrenzi, appointed Maestro di capella in Saint-Marc in Venice in 1685, complains about the lack of instrumental support in the forces of the Basilica and insists to hire two cornett players. Girolamo Cortini, cornett player, plays together… Read more »

Ich will schweigen

Johann Hermann Schein and the heritage of the Leipziger Stadtpfeiffer When Johann Hermann Schein takes up the position of Kantor in Saint-Thomas in Leipzig in 1616, he has to tackle a delicate problem: on the one hand he has to… Read more »

La liberazione di Venezia

Music as a remedy From the 13th century onwards Venice quickly became a fascinating melting pot, opened towards the occidental world as well as towards the Mediterranean cultures and those of the Orient. This strategic situation will bring La Serenissima… Read more »

Schütz and his legacy

ENG Heinrich Schütz and his most illustrious followers Heinrich Schütz was remarked at an early age by Moritz von Hessen-Kassel as an extremely gifted singer and very promising musician. The Landgrave decided to personally take over his education and paid… Read more »