All pictures of L'Archicembalo's inauguration concert are published here by courtesy of Pietro Cunazza

L’ARCHICEMBALO: A brief history

L’Archicembalo comprises four violins (concert master Marcello Bianchi, Paola Nervi, Marco Pesce and Efix Puleo), one viola (Elena Saccomandi), one cello (Claudio Merlo), one violone (Matteo Cicchitti), and the harpsichord (Daniela Demicheli, who is also the group’s artistic director).

L’Archicembalo’s sound, elegant and sinewy, is already making its mark in the music world, with a unique interpretation of Vivaldi’s “violent grace” and the hypnotic haze of his slow movements. Before converging into L’Archicembalo, each of the ensemble’s artists also collaborated individually with the greats, among whom Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gustav Leonhardt, Christophe Rousset, Sigisvald and Bart Kuijken, Ton Koopman, Simon Preston and Chiara Banchini to name a few, and with some of the most prominent orchestras and ensembles, such as Concentus Musicus Wien, Europa Galante, Academia Montis Regalis, La Venexiana, Orchestra Barocca della Cappella della Pietà dei Turchini. As a group, L’Archicembalo will now be performing in some of the major international festivals.

Although L’Archicembalo interpret a vast range of Baroque composers on period instruments, and have several Italian/German programs on their fingertips, they are especially committed to the Italian repertoire from the seventeenth and eighteenth century and they truly are “Vivaldian to the bone”, displaying their own irresistibly Italian exhuberance. Their original interpretation of Vivaldi is centred around a pulsating rhythmical urgency which springs from the deliberate choice to treat the harpsichord on a par with the seven strings.

“Il cembalo arpeggia”, Vivaldi notably writes whenever he wants to achieve the Venetian mist effect in some of
his slow movements, while the strings are in charge of the harmony with long-held notes. Daniela Demicheli, L’Archicembalo’s artistic director, says that the result “seems to emanate directly from a Venetian calle”.

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