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.
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