La Serenissima has built an entire repertory exclusively from its own ground-breaking research and performing editions for over twenty years. As such it occupies a unique position amongst its peers. Since its foundation, the group has brought to life ‘blockbuster’ baroque works re-illuminated as well as revealing untapped music and composers, many of whom have proved integral to the development of mainstream baroque music.
Adrian Chandler discusses the violin ‘in tromba marina’.

Under the direction of Adrian Chandler, the ensemble has rehabilitated unknown or little-known composers including Brescianello, Dall’Abaco, Matteis The Younger, Navara, Sieber and Composer X. The group has pioneered the use of Venetian pitch in its performances, and has been responsible for commissioning a number of wind instruments to enable consistent use of this principle.

Recent landmark projects have included the reconstruction of the violin ‘in tromba marina’ – a metal-strung (three-stringed) violin with trumpet-like rasp – an exciting collaboration between Vivaldi scholar Professor Michael Talbot, luthier David Rattray and violinist Adrian Chandler which was a modern-day ‘first’; the group celebrated its 21st birthday with a new performing edition of the rarely-utilised ‘Manchester version’ of The Four Seasons, performing at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall with the manuscript source on display.

We have commissioned an Italian viola d’amore as part of our 25th Anniversary flagship performances; the instrument will represent a near-unique opportunity to hear Italian repertoire played on this largely ignored model. Our d’amore will be based on drawings by Antonio Stradivarius, from the Cremonese archive, for an instrument which does not survive, representing a significant contribution to Stradivari scholarship. The group will also further its commitment to performance at Venetian pitch by commissioning a chalumeau (related to the clarinet) capable of playing at A=440 Hz; the use of correct pitch gives Vivaldi’s music a far brighter hue. The instrument will be used in a recently-discovered setting of the Nisi Dominus. La Serenissima remains a unique champion of this principle.

To find out more about our research work or to support a project, please contact us.

‘…the whole underpinned by a scholarly attitude to programming and performance style which is yet worn with light grace.’

‘The Italian Job’ CD review Gramophone Magazine, Editor’s Choice May 2017

‘La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler’s magical band of instrumentalists and singers, who for 25 years have steeped themselves in the music of 18th-century Venice, work from manuscript or contemporary sources in their quest for authentic interpretation’

Wigmore Hall concert review (The Observer, September 2018)


© Fatkoala Images

We want to share our love of Italian baroque music with the broadest possible audience. To do this we regularly give pre-concert talks and interviews, which enable audiences to ask questions and understand more about the work we do and the music we research and play.

We offer bespoke workshops and visits to music hubs, schools (primary and secondary), universities, conservatoires and in partnership with performing venues, where participants can learn directly from our musicians and get up close to the historical instruments.

And we’re looking forward to expanding this activity over time.

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