[Here you will find (while completing the project) all the information about the recordings: links to order the physical CD’s and the links to download all the files]
The music. Unearthing forgotten masterpieces
As 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 in 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
“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! More or less this is 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 one 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 to take up less space and be able to bring a larger amount of musical treasures to Dresden.
A fascinating journey that has left us a legacy of incalculable value: a sincere, intimate and personal musical image of the early eighteenth century 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 the travels of Pisendel 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 became tellers of a personal and intimate journey: The Suonata à Solo fatto per Maestro Pisendel Del Vivaldi where Vivaldi left empty space for Pisendel to complete the sonata with a movement of his own. A mysterious sonata by Valentini: an autograph dedicated not to Pisendel but to Montanari (who was Pisedel’s teacher), how this valuable and personal score ended up in Pisendel’s hands is a mystery. 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 have never been performed since the eighteenth century.
Chapter II: Complete Violin Sonatas by __________ [All unrecorded]
We are excited to present the world premiere of this great Italian composer which has been 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. The present recording will be the exciting world premiere of all the Dresden Sonatas by this composer.
Chapter III. The Anonymous Manuscripts [All unrecorded]
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 its beauty but also because of its unusual virtuosity and its originality. A musical treasure that has never been performed in modern times.
Second Part: A Cabinet Full of Hidden Treasures
Pisendel was also 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. 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.
Chapter 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 skillful 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.
Chapter V. A Cabinet Full of Hidden Treasures. The Dresden Anonymous Manuscripts [All unrecorded]
A majestic chaconne copied with several ink colors, 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 master of forgotten name. Unnamed treasures that come to light after three hundred years of silence.
More than an exciting recording project
This project means much more than recording several CDs’. We want to create something really original and special. The sound, the design, the booklet, this website, or 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 are sculpting the air and when the concert finishes, the sculpture is gone. Music is just alive when it is created. But there is something, almost magical, that allows us to catch this moment forever: recordings. The way sound is captured is an essential part of the recording. Through an original and a deeply informed technique and a new approach to the recording methods our sound engineer will create a live and exciting image of the music 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 to be downloaded. These recording have a superior quality that is not possible to achieve in 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 include some original design linked to the content of the album, making each CD special.