5 CD recordings, +25 world premieres, +25 editions of unpublished works, and much more

The Cabinet II Project is an ambitious project started by Scaramuccia and his label Snakewood Editions that includes five CD recordings (mostly featuring world premiere recordings with 1717. Memories of a journey to Italy being the first CD), editions of unpublished scores, audio, videos and articles that accompany the discovery of a mostly forgotten repertoire contained in the private collection of Pisendel in the Dresden archive, known as Cabinet II.

– We will use the best sound recording techniques available.

– We will include extensive research reworked into the booklet essays.

– We will make the critical editions of unpublished musical works and we will include collaborations with musicologists of worldwide fame.

– This dedicated website, where we will publish and offer all these materials plus extra recordings, texts, and multimedia.

– An appealing graphic design.

The music. Unearthing forgotten masterpieces

Like chapters in a novel, we will build five programs, it will be an organized and well-thought-out travel to the past. Our novel will be divided into two main parts: Memories of a Journey to Italy (3 recordings) and A Cabinet Full of Hidden Treasures (2 recordings).

First Part: Memories of a Journey to Italy [3 Recordings]

“Pisendel’s journey through Italy is a story that deserves and has yet to be told”

Prof. Michael Talbot

Imagine that you have the opportunity to fill your suitcase with the best music of your time. What would you take and what would you leave? Remember you do not have room for everything and you have to choose! This is more or less what happened to Pisendel (the concertmaster of the Dresden orchestra and one of the greatest virtuosos of his era) during his trip to Italy in 1717. For almost a year the young Pisendel toured Italy and met the greatest masters of his time, and throughout his sojourn, he collected the best compositions he could find and filled his suitcase with them. Incidentally, he was forced to use a smaller type of paper, taking up less space in his suitcase and allowing him to transport more musical treasures to Dresden

A fascinating journey that has left us a legacy of incalculable value: a sincere, intimate and personal musical image of early eighteenth century Italy.

CD I:  1717, Memories of a Journey to Italy

Pisendel’s musical diary of his journey to Florence, Rome and Venice. Works by Vivaldi, Albinoni, Montanari, Valentini, Fanfani [World Premiere] and Pisendel [World Premiere].

We start our journey taking a general overview of Pisendel’s travels across Italy. The baggage of Pisendel is filled with masterpieces by the great masters of Italy. But there is more than just music behind these pieces: they tell of of a personal and intimate journey. In the Suonata à Solo fatto per Maestro Pisendel Del Vivaldi,  Vivaldi left empty space for Pisendel to complete the sonata with a movement of his own. In a mysterious sonata by Valentini, an autograph dedicated not to Pisendel but to Montanari (who was Pisendel’s teacher). How this valuable and personal score ended up in Pisendel’s hands is a mystery.

In addition, we have the exciting presentation of two world premiere recordings: a sonata by Pisendel that contains modifications by Montanari, and a sonata by Giuseppe Maria Fanfani that has not been performed since the eighteenth century.

Valentini's dedication to Montanari

CD II:  Complete Violin Sonatas by __________ [Complete world premiere]

We are excited to present the world premiere of the complete violin sonatas of this great Italian composer which were rediscovered just a couple of years ago. Student of Corelli and rival of Vivaldi, his sonatas, written at the very beginning of the eighteenth century are full of virtuosity and represent the highest development in Corelli’s style.  Let’s keep his name anonymous for now. This recording will be the exciting world premiere of all the Dresden Sonatas by this composer.

Dresden Sonata in A major. Final part of a 4 voices fugue

CD III. The Anonymous Manuscripts [Complete world premiere]

Here comes one of the most exciting parts of our project. There is a corpus of anonymous manuscripts from the scores that Pisendel brought from Italy that seems to shine with its own light. The hand of a genius is undoubtedly behind the notes of these sonatas. These sonatas stand out from the rest of the archive due not only to their beauty but also because of their unusual virtuosity and originality; a musical treasure that has been rarely or never performed in modern times but which represents one of the most valuable and influential repertoires of the European Baroque.

Anonymous Italian Violin Sonata. Adagio

Second Part: A Cabinet Full of Hidden Treasures [2 Recordings]

Pisendel was an avid collector and a laborious copyist. His personal collection kept in the Cabinet II is a perfect portrait of such a personality. Among the clean copies of sonatas by well-known composers it is possible to find hidden jewels of music, buried, sometimes in the form of handwritten copies, not intended for publication or for hands other than those of Pisendel himself.

CD IV. A Cabinet Full of Hidden Treasures. [Mostly unrecorded]

Works by Cattaneo, Vitali, Weiss, Schreyfogel, Visconti, and other great but forgotten composers .

The virtuosic works of Cattaneo (who succeeded Pisendel as concertmaster and who was praised as the most skilful violinist of his time), or the magical chaconne by Vitali, a piece believed to be composed in the twentieth century because of  its originality and the innovative and imaginative compositional and rhetorical techniques used in its composition, are just some examples of these hidden treasures of the Cabinet II, some of them never performed in modern times.

Parte del Tomaso Vitalino

CD V. A Cabinet Full of Hidden Treasures. The Dresden Anonymous Manuscripts [All unrecorded]

A majestic chaconne copied with several ink colours, as to be a really valuable possession both musically and materially, and the virtuoso anonymous sonatas that resemble Pisendel’s style so much that it is very plausible that they are yet unknown music by Pisendel himself, are just a few examples of these completely forgotten hidden treasures found in the Cabinet II. A collection of masterworks written by a forgotten master. Unnamed treasures that come to light after three hundred years of silence.

Anonymous Chaconne

More than an exciting recording project

This project means much more than recording CDs. We want to create something really original and special. The sound, the design, the booklet, this website, and the publication of the critical editions of all the music will make this project unique.

Recording with meaning. The Sound

Imagine the sound of a concert. The vibrations of the music sculpt the air and when the concert finishes, the sculpture is gone. Music is most alive when it is created. But there is something, almost magical, that allows us to catch this moment forever: recording. The way sound is captured is an essential part of the recording process. Through an original and deeply informed technique and a new approach to recording methods, our sound engineer will create a live and exciting image of the musical performance.

Beyond CD quality

Besides the traditional distribution of the CD on online platforms, the special process used in the recording will allow us to make extra quality recordings available for download. These recordings will have a superior quality that is not achievable on a CD and will provide a full listening experience.

Beautiful inside and outside

As soon as each CD is ready we want to make it available separately and at the same time we want to offer the opportunity to complete the set. The series will have a unified graphic design, which will give it a recognizable image. Under this recognizable image, each CD will have an original design linked to the content of the album, making each CD special.

Texts and music

It is very important to tell the story behind the pieces, so a full booklet essay will accompany each recording. We are aiming for high quality CD essays that sustain and enrich the musicological value that this repertoire already has as a final product of exciting artistic and academic research.

Critical editions of the music

We want to publish the critical edition of all the music contained in the CD. This will be a significant complement to the entire work, providing an extra insight and a deeper knowledge of this repertoire.

Each piece will be transcribed into modern edition, making the performance possible for every musician, by correcting mistakes, comparing with other sources, including missing information or translating the old notation into modern conventions. Each score will be accompanied by notes about the piece: historical context, sources and edition procedures.

These editions will help introduce this new and relevant repertoire to the performance scene and to make this project an actual recovery process of an important part of the European musical heritage of the eighteenth century.

Scaramuccia © 2017. Lupi fecit