CATALINA VICENS – Il Cembalo di Partenope: A Renaissance harpsichord tale
aaamusic | On 04, Jul 2017
The intimate Chilean born award-winning musician Catalina Vicens, from Basel in Switzerland, was invited to record the debut CD of an impressive treasure held in the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, USA. The harpsichord is believed to be the oldest playable instrument of its kind.
Unfortunately, it’s quite a rarity for early 16th century instruments to be well-preserved. It’s unknown which skilled craftsman made this particular Neapolitan harpsichord, made in Naples circa 1525, but it’s been carefully restored by John Koster, curator and conservator of keyboard instruments at the National Music Museum. He’s one of the leading specialists in his field.
Il Cembalo di Partenope, published on Carpe Diem Records, features keyboard music played on this extraordinary instrument and written between the early to the last quarter of the 16th century in Rome, Naples and Venice. Included are works published by Andrea Antico (1517), Marc’ Antonio Cavazzoni (1523) and Antonio Valente (1576). The talented sound engineer on the CD is Jonas Niederstadt.
This is a colourful, curious and elegant recording which takes the listener on an engaging and vibrant journey to the Renaissance. Within the gate fold album is also a poetic and imaginary tale of the life and story of the harpsichord, written by Catalina Vicens and created by skilfully combining inspiration with historical fact.