Città della musica is an appropriate epithet for Venice if one imagines all the musicians working in religious and secular institutions during the 16th and 17th centuries, and in the hospitals and palaces of the city's patricians; not to mention the extent to which the music-publishing industry of the city spread across the entire world. If not the destination, Venice was at the very least an essential stopover for all who, in one way or another, maintained links, whatever their strength, with music. The music composed and heard in Venice and its surroundings was a model which every musician, whether Venetian, Italian or trans-alpine strove to know, if not imitate. Carlo Filago, whose works are performed here for the first time since the time of their creation, was without doubt one of the outstanding Venetian musical personalities of the first half of the 17th century, and one of the greatest organists of his time. First organist at St Mark's under the master of the chapel Claudio Monteverdi, he had at once the good fortune to work with one of the greatest musicians of the western tradition, and the bad luck to remain in his shadow, subsequently to be forgotten for centuries, despite being comparably gifted. Filago's work is like a magnificent, shimmering tableau, lying for centuries under the dust in an attic. Today, finally brought to light, it easily withstands exposure, as well as comparison with the works of the great masters of its time. The ambition of the present recording is to allow these treasures — otherwise hidden within the history of music — to be heard again.
Constanze Backes, soprano
Gerlinde Sämann, soprano
Hermann Oswald, alto
Markus Flaig, bass
INSTRUMENTA MUSICA is specialised in German and Italian music of the late Renaissance and the early Baroque period, focussing on repertoire largely neglected until now. The ensemble concentrates on research into an historically appropriate instrumentarium, sometimes experimenting with new ways of using instruments well described in historical sources but often ignored in performance practice today. The copies of historical instruments used are as faithful as possible to their originals. The intention of the ensemble is to make the beauty and affective richness of the music of this period accessible in an authentic and intuitive way. Instrumenta Musica is closely connected with the Frauenkirche in Dresden, where the ensemble has regularly played since 2006 during the parish fairs, mostly performing works by Heinrich Schütz. Instrumenta Musica also works regularly with Officium (Wilfried Rombach), the chamber choir of the Dresden Frauenkirche directed by cantor Matthias Grünert, Sächsisches Vokalensemble (Matthias Jung) and Les Amis de Philippe (Ludger Rémy).
ERCOLE NISINI is one of the most sought-after trombonists playing on historical instruments. After having studied modern trombone with Abbie Conant in Trossingen and holding a position in the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano under the direction of Riccardo Chailly he fully dedicated himself to historical performance practice. He completed his studies of historical trombone with Wim Becu at the Institut für Alte Musik in Trossingen with distinction. His interest in, and passion for, the repertoire and the instrumentarium of the late Renaissance and the early Baroque periods led him in 2004 to found the ensemble Instrumenta Musica. Ercole Nisini has performed in numerous concerts, CD and broadcast recordings throughout Europe with ensembles such as La Petite Bande, Marini Consort Innsbruck, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Moderntimes_1800, Capriccio Stravagante, Weser-Renaissance, and Musica Fiata. The central aim of his work is to rediscover and revive the trombone repertoire from the Renaissance to the Romantic period using original instruments — or faithful copies of them — and appropriate playing techniques.