Cordis in Custodia
In the great era of the 17th and 18th centuries, Italy has given to the
world some of the greatest composers, along with their renovations in new writing techniques and virtuoso style. The golden stars of those periods were the castrati singers: many of these pieces were written to demonstrate their singing skills and special voices, whether on the opera stage, in the church, or in private chamber concerts.
This program will provide a glimpse of what that experience would have sounded like: a duo of two countertenors, accompanied by theorbo, cembalo and cello will perform highly expressive virtuoso duets and arias. The golden thread of this musical journey will be the word painting technique, also known as madrigalism. By using this method, widespread during that age , representing the new ideal of beauty and harmony, the composer creates a profound connection between the music and the text itself: the musical structure reflects the literal meaning of every word being sung. For example, ascending scales would accompany words concerning going up or flying; abrupt cut-off notes in the middle of words like “sospir” (sigh); extreme transitions between slow and very fast music when describing opposite concepts of contradictory words (as life and death, agony and bliss); and so on. The composers in this program all worked at some point around north-west Italy, and this geographical influence is what provides this program its stylistic coherence, in spite of the differences in generation and origin between the composers.
Among the highlights of this program are the deeply emotional Duetti da Camera by Giovanni Bononcini (from the late baroque period), and the demanding duets by Monteverdi (from the early baroque period).
Jesuitenkirche Solothurn, Switzerland
29.05.2021, 20:00 & 21:30
Schloss Werdenberg, Switzerland
Reformierte Gsteig-Interlaken, Switzerland