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Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble


Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble

ARMONIOSA was founded in 2012 by the artistic and cultural activities experienced within the Diocesan Institute for Liturgy and Music of the Diocese of Asti, thanks to the ideas of the artistic team, Francesco and Stefano Cerrato, Marco Demaria and Daniele Ferretti. Armoniosa involved the great harpsichord player and basso continuo praxis expert, Michele Barchi, who is now a permanent part of the artistic team of the group.

The ensemble aims to be an excellence in the international panorama, and adopts a rigorous method of study and work concerning style and interpretation. The ensemble chose to use original instruments in order to have the best sound result and apply to a veritable interpretation, creating a job ”environment” based on the friendship between the members and the sharing of ideas and professional experience.

Armoniosa was invited by Reinhard Goebel for a collaboration and a superior course in the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria), during the Academic Year 2013/2014. In September 2016 Trevor Pinnock worked with Armoniosa on the Händel, Concerti Grossi op.6 during a special Masterclass in Asti. These important meetings are a true “luggage” for the artistic growing of the Ensemble.

Armoniosa was invited to join the prestigious catalogue of the German record label MDG – Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm with Italian repertoire of the XVIII century. “La Stravaganza” op. 4 by Antonio Vivaldi (2015) had a dazzling debut and wonderful reviews from the most important international press, like Gramophone (UK), Fanfare Magazine (USA), Klassik.com (D).
In 2016 Armoniosa released the second production, the “TrioSonatas for violin, violoncello and continuo” by Giovanni Benedetto Platti, with very successfull reviews around Europe.

In 2016 Armoniosa was congratulated by Trevor Pinnock who added that "The ensemble comes across with a really nice character: good sound, good rhythm, good intonation and, most importantantly, with real humanity."

Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble
Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble press kit

Download the Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble pdf press kit

No cuts or alterations of any kind should be made to this biography without the consent of Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble.

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Website: http://www.armoniosa.net/

Platti: 6 Trio Sonatas For Violin, Violoncello And Continuo

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Vivaldi: La Stravaganza Op. 4

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Forthcoming engagements for Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble

14 May 2017: Recording 14 - 18 May – RedDress Recording Studio (Asti, Italy)
Recording Session for the next Armoniosa's Release for Rubicon Classics. Carlo Graziani, 6 Sonatas op.3 for Violoncello and Continuo

24 May 2017: "Estri&Follie" – Kaisersaalkonzerte in Kloster St. Mang, Füssen (Germany)
Music by G. B. Platti, C. Graziani, H. von Biber, J. S. Bach, A. Vivaldi

23 June 2017: “Estri e Follie” – Casa dei Mezzo - Makrigialos - Crete
Armoniosa will take part in the 2017 Summer Concert at Villa "Casa dei Mezzo" in Crete - Greece
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25 June 2017: Baroque night at Casa. – Casa dei Mezzo - Makrigialos - Crete
Baroque night with Guest soloist Ingeborg Christophersen, flute : Georg Friedrich Händel 1685 - 1759 “Re dell’Huom” (Hege Høisæter) Antonio Vivaldi 1678 - 1741 “Sorge l’irato nembo”, from “Orlando Furioso” (Hubert Wild) Francesco Durante 1684 - 1755 “Danza fanciulla gentile” (Hege Høisæter) Claudio Monteverdi 1567 - 1643 “Pur ti miro”, from “L’incoronazione di Poppea” (Duet) Georg Friedrich Händel 1685 - 1759 “Lascia ch’io pianga”, from “Rinaldo” (Hubert Wild) Antonio Caldara 1670 - 1736 “Come raggio del sol” (Hege Høisæter) Georg Friedrich Händel 1685 - 1759 “Son nata a lagrimar”, from “Giulio Cesare” (Duet)
Event website >

8 September 2017: "Estri&Follie" – "Settimana mariana", Asti (Italy)
Music by G. B. Platti, C. Graziani, H. von Biber, J. S. Bach, A. Vivaldi

Request more information about Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble or phone +44 (0)20 7381 9751


MUSICA review:"Armoniosa's main strengths were the cohesion of the players' sounds and their ability to produce a soft and bright timbre. Armoniosa carefully avoided any of the harshness normally associated with using the original instruments. The performance was enhanced by the use of agogic technique, which led to a production that felt both natural and bright throughout. The quality of the music was perfectly suited to the group's name, Armoniosa- as it was harmonious, persuasive, dreamlike, yet always very pleasant."
Claudio Bolzan, MUSICA, April 2017 (Italy)
"... Armoniosa has set itself the goal to belong to the top. You can see that on this recording."
Uwe Krusch, Pizzicato (Luxembourg)
TOCCATA MAGAZINE review: "The interpretation is fascinating, elegant, light and flaky. The music seems pulsating, nuanced, lively and technically clean. And this interpretation sparkles with a liveliness and sensuality, as the music from Italy does very well. Platti, so played – is simply cool!"
Robert Strobl, on TOCCATA MAGAZINE (Germany)
MUSICALIFEITEN review: Within the new "Discography Comparisons" this recording comes 2nd after Rachel Podger. If in comparison with Vivaldi's "average" violin concerto we are here talking more about experiment and phantasy [or fancy] then these vital, brillant young Italians prove it.

Regarding Francesco Cerrato we are talking about the debut CD made by a young, enthusiastic and very good youthful ensemble who know the devices of the authentic line. They care for strong accents and useful [wholesome] contrast. Within the slow movements they take advantage of the ornamental options. As it should be, the continuo is shared by harpsichord and organ. Altogether a promising, refreshing and admirable debüt. To realize this you should listen, for example, to the last movement of no. 6, the second movement of no. 7 or the last movement of no. 2. Moreover everything has been wonderfully recorded.
Giovanni Benedetto Platti, Trio Sonatas for Violin, Violoncello and Continuo (MDG, 2016) Klassik Heute review: The sonatas are all very elegant, sometimes seductive and suggest a pleasing to playful tone. Imitatorically, the fast sets of assuming ease, expressive melody lines in the slow movements - all this speaks for Platti's Italian heritage. Coupled with an insensible sensitivity, Platti's sonatas in their departure from the strict counterpoint, but also to what is called the gallant style. The ensemble Armoniosa - based on original instruments and historically orientated - makes this music completely unpretentious for itself. It is true that some of the rhetorical aspects might be somewhat more elaborate, or a little more attention may be given to the emotional content of many sentences. But the clear articulation and excellent phrasing art, at all, the fine elasticity and the natural vocal expression in the play of the entire ensemble, taken for granted.
Christof Jetzschke, KLASSIK-HEUTE.COM, 6th December 2016 (Germany)
VIVALDI La Stravaganza Gramophone review: The exquisite chaconne from the final concerto of Vivaldi's La stravaganza may be worth the entry price alone. But this second set of 12 concertos for violin and strings with continuo – published, like the hugely influential 1711 set L'estro armonico, by Estienne Roger of Amsterdam – positively o'er brims with further musical delights. So it's hard to believe it was less well received than its predecessor, especially when performed by such persuasive advocates of Vivaldi's bravura originality as Italian period instrument band Armoniosa and violinist/director Francesco Cerrato.

Cerrato and Armoniosa enter, well, if not a crowded field then one distinguished more by quality than quantity, and among my enduring favourites are the suavely elegant Monica Huggett with the Academy of Ancient Music under Hogwood, the characterful Rachel Podger with Arte dei Suonatori and the ardently stylish Fabio Biondi with Europa Galante (Virgin, 7/11 – though the latter's is not a complete recording). But the new kids on the block – Cerrato founded Armoniosa only in 2012 – have convincingly staked their claim with this debut recording for MDG. Using both harpsichord and organ continuo for colouristic effects throughout, the general approach is however immediately apparent with the opening B flat major concerto. The strongly accented down-bows of the Allegro anchor a gentler flow enlivened by strong contrasts between solo and concertante episodes, presaging Cerrato's deliciously ornamented line in the Adagio before he cuts loose in the final stages of the closing Allegro with some typically Vivaldian high-register passagework.

And so it goes on. Armoniosa render the following dramatic E minor concerto (No 2) with the requisite chiaroscuro, connecting with the sfumato of the atmospheric slow movement of the A minor concerto (No 4), marked Grave e sempre piano. The relaxed expansiveness of the Largo of No 7 in C – the only four-movement concerto – is masterly and recalls La Serenissima's approach (Avie, A/09). The brisk antiphonal exchanges between the two solo violins in the D major No 11's Allegro create an electricity that dissipates in the following Largo, which features a particularly rich cello accompaniment. An impressive debut indeed.
William Yeoman, Gramophone
VIVALDI, La Stravaganza, Fanfare Magazine review: This is an extremely elegant, beautifully poised and nuanced rendering of Vivaldi's Op.4. It stands up to the great recent recordings of Vivaldi, notably by Avi Avital, and will be a brilliant addition to any enthusiast's shelf.

The works themselves are, not to be too obvious, highly Vivaldian. Works such as Op.4 are so acutely emblematic of Vivaldi's composition methods, innovations and approaches to timbre that they could stand as a 'typical' or 'representative' Vivaldi work: and, if you ask me, are delicious precisely for this reason. All those tessellated patterns and cycles of fifths we remember from the Four Seasons, and those virtuosic string flourishes with punchy continuo from the mandolin concerto: these are amply represented here on this enormous double-disc, and the variety here is a testament to both Vivaldi and the editors.

The performances are also exceptional. The first violin (Cerrato) is a truly wonderful player, with such delicate nuance in every phrase. His understanding of Vivaldi is exceptional, and he truly balances that festivity and solemnity always at odds in Vivaldi's corpus. I would buy this pair of discs just to hear him play. It is the most impressive rendering of Vivaldi's string work I have heard for a very long time.

In all, this is one to buy immediately, and not just if you like Vivaldi: if you fancy something richly detailed and complicated, but something moving and fun, then buy this over any other recent recording of Vivaldi or other Venetian Baroque. It is stunning.
Dan Sperrin, Fanfare Magazine Review

Request more information about Armoniosa Baroque Ensemble or phone +44 (0)20 7381 9751