The popularity of music performed inside the Venetian home contributed to the thriving of the publishing industry, as well as an influx of lute builders settling in Venice. This “house music” that was composed and published in Venice in the first half of the seventeenth century is the focus of our programme.

We have chosen to explore this genre in two ways: by comparing the early Italian monody with the relative simplicity of strophic guitar songs, and second, by showing the progression from the beginnings of the Venetian song to the intricate cantatas of Barbara Strozzi.

For this programme we have chosen to utilize the accompaniment of the Arciliuto and the Chitarra Spagnola. The pieces accompanied by the latter instrument were specifically selected from the vast amount of books with Alfabetto guitar accompaniment printed in the 1620’s and 30’s during the height of the instrument’s popularity in Italy.

Our programme will shed light on the huge body of intimate vocal music that existed alongside the large scale works of Monteverdi and Gabrieli and the birth of opera in Venice.

Composers: Barbara Strozzi (1619 – 1664), Alessandro Grandi (1586 – 1630), Tarquino Merula (1595 – 1665), Dominico Obizzi (fl.1620s), Biago Marini (1587- 1663), Giovanni Stefani (fl. 1618-26), Alessandro Rigatti (c. 1613 – 1648), Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643)