Bassifondi Musicali, a Baroque Popular Music Concert

Project location: Italy, Ferrara
Project start date: March 2014 - Project end date: May 2014
Project number: 2013-074
Beneficiary: Associazione Culturale Musicale Musicangelica


The Bassifondi musicali it's a concert performance of early italian baroque popular music: instrumental dances, popular airs and cantatas.

In the baroque era music was a constitutive part of the everyday life. In the Italian streets, during the XVII century, it could have been listening to folk songs, instrumental dances and tunes. All this great music patrimony was part of everyday life of "classical" composers too, who often were inspired in their compositions by the musical expression of the "normal" people.
From the streets were carried out suggestions for arias, sonatas and cantatas: this music with a new "dressing" was played and sung in noble families courts in both public and private performances.
The concert "Bassifondi Musicali" features both original popular music and "court" music that comes from it: the program outlines a sound path that starts from the end of the sixteenth century and land at the turn of the new age, the eighteenth century.
The music studied and chosen for this project wants to be a "sound" homage to the Bassifondi del Barocco. Roma dei vizi, della miseria e degli eccessi, progetto di ricerca sulla vita e le opere degli artisti stranieri a Roma nel Seicento research project. In the concert will be performed the true "voice" and sound of the paintings from the exhibition curated by Professors Francesca Cappelletti and Annick Lemoine. Which music foreign artist could find in baroque Rome? What foreign musicians living in Rome took from the popular roman and Italian musical heritage? This concert could give a musical answer to these two questions.
The heart of the musical program is a mid-XVIIth century musical manuscript preserved in the Neapolitan library "San Pietro a Majella". The music notated on this book is all instrumental: one will find in this volume popular roman dances and tunes together with sonatas of the beginning of the XVIIth century.
This book is a precious anthology of folk music of the time: an anonymous seventeenth-century musician wrote down on paper the music of the streets, reabsorbing and making it his own; he wrote also his personal variations on popular themes scoring it for violin and basso continuo.
Other songs and compositions by baroque composers will be performed in order to demonstrate how the musicians of the XVIIth century from Italy and abroad have merged their art with the music from the people.
The popular roman music was not only profane: great importance had the so called "lauda". The Lauda is a typical expression of the Oratorian spirituality. A sacred or moral text is "covered" with a simple melody often coming from popular roman songs of that time: everyone who attended the Oratorio could give their musical contribution and pray through music. The Lauda has the typical Oratorian characteristic of fraternal joy and simpleness.
The manuscripts will be interpreted, re-discovered, studied and transcribed in modern notation from the musicians in order to make possible the modern performance.
The performance will follow as much as possible an "historically informed" execution: the musical performance will tend as much as possible to recreate the same "popular" sound overall similar to the ancient one.
The musical concept itself will try to be very close to the music of the Italian baroque folk.

The project, which received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation, consists in a concert performance of baroque popular music appropriate to the theme of the "Bassifondi del barocco" research project.
A musical group, led by Valerio Losito, will be involved to perform the music.
Musicians are: Soprano solo voice, violin and viola d'amore, theorbo and baroque guitar player and a bass string instrument (violoncello or violone).
The musical program will be constitute of:

- The "folk" baroque music: instrumental dances and popular songs
- Music in the popular devoutness: the Lauda
- Echoes of popular music in the "court" music: vocal and instrumental music by Italian and foreigners composers like Kapsberger, Ortiz, Frescobaldi, Ariosti etc. until beginning of XVIII century

The musical program of the concert is close to the theme of the exhibition "Bassifondi del Barocco".
The concert gives a "sound" to the paintings creating a strong synergy between diverse arts such as painting and music. This is an opportunity to perceive by the ear what it's seen with the eyes.
The support of the Peretti Foundation will allow the creation of cultural relationships and dialogues.
Also the viola d'amore Ferdinando Gagliano will be used in the concert, giving an added value to the project.

Associazione Culturale Musicale Musicangelica
think global, act local
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