‘Settecento’ is the style of art, music and architecture that emerged in Italy in the early 18th century, celebrated here by La Serenissima and Adrian Chandler with a collection of works from that era.
The works are grouped by the areas of Italy where each composer worked, including the Kingdom of Naples (Scarlatti, Mancini), Republic of Venice (Dall’Abaco, Vandini, Tartini & Vivaldi) and the Papal States / Bologna (Brescianello).
The ensemble La Serenissima is recognised as the UK’s leading exponent of the music of 18th-century Venice and connected composers. Uniquely, the group’s entire repertoire is edited from manuscript or contemporary sources. It has become synonymous with virtuosity, dynamism and accessibility, uncovering new repertoire and making it available to all through live performance, recordings and educational initiatives.
The ensemble La Serenissima is recognised as the UK’s leading exponent of the music of eighteenth-century Venice and connected composers. Uniquely, the group’s entire repertoire is edited from manuscript or contemporary sources. It has become synonymous with virtuosity, dynamism and accessibility, uncovering new repertoire and making it available to all through live performance, recordings and educational initiatives.
Since its first CD release in 2003, La Serenissima has been universally applauded by publications including BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, Gramophone Magazine, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, The Strad, La Stampa and Goldberg Magazine. Its records have been nominated many times for Gramophone Awards; in 2010 the group’s release Vivaldi: The French Connection was awarded the Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Instrumental CD and the 2017 release The Italian Job repeated this success. La Serenissima celebrated its 21st birthday in 2015 by recording Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Manchester version). The record spent several weeks in the UK Specialist Classical Chart, featured as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone Magazine, ‘Concerto Choice’ for the BBC Music Magazine, and featured in the 2019 film Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Portrait of a lady on fire). The ensemble’s 2018 release Vivaldi x2 was a disc of double concertos for pairs of horns and oboes, and violin and cello, which spent many weeks in the Classical Chart, and achieved wide recognition: ‘They really put the rock into baroque!’ John Suchet, Classic FM. The 2019 release on the Signum label The Godfather also featured in the UK Classical Chart and attracted outstanding reviews, with Gramophone Magazine’s critic writing ‘Bright, clear, open and gloriously brassy …. all is light and energy …. it is nothing short of magnificent’. This was followed by a 2020 release, also on Signum Classics, of a CD entitled Extra Time.
The ensemble prides itself on bringing seldom-heard works to the concert platform, including Vivaldi’s operas Ottone in villa, Giustino, Tito Manlio, La Fida Ninfa, Catone in Utica, L’Olimpiade and Teuzzone, and it has recently given the UK premieres of Brescianello’s opera pastorale Tisbe and Caldara’s Lucio Papirio Dittatore for the Buxton International Festival. A host of instrumental rarities feature in the ensemble’s touring repertoire, many of which have been committed to disc.
La Serenissima has appeared at many of the UK’s leading festivals including Bath, Beverley, Buxton, Cheltenham, Lichfield, South Bank, Spitalfields, Swansea and York Early Music, and venues including St George’s Bristol, Snape Maltings, Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall. The group has also performed in Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mexico and Spain to great acclaim. A long-standing affiliation with Martin Randall Travel has allowed La Serenissima to perform numerous bespoke programmes at music festivals throughout Europe.
La Serenissima is privileged to have the support of its Honorary Patron, His Excellency The Italian Ambassador to the UK. Follow La Serenissima on Twitter @LaSerenissimaUK and on Facebook; visit the website www.laserenissima.co.uk for up-to-date news.