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cosė facciamo
period music reflected in the present

Cosė facciamo is a period performance ensemble, founded by former students of Nikolaus Harnoncourt's Salzburg seminars on historical performance practice in the 1990s. The group belongs to the younger generation of early music interpreters, who have the benefit of the research and vast resources of knowledge acquired and assimilated over many years by the pioneers of the ancient music revival movement, amongst whom Harnoncourt of course stands out tall. Very much imbued by his spirit, period instruments are an obvious choice and are used matter-of-factly, their employment in itself not being an issue anymore. However, the emphasis has shifted from striving for historically authentic interpretations towards translating the novelty and significance of early forms of musical expression into a contemporary context ­ ultimately to revive and communicate music appropriately, taking both its historical as well as its contemporary merit and meaning into consideration.

Cosė facciamo ­ and here the name challenges the increasingly narrow and ever-repetitious cosė fan tutte musical mainstream ­ in addition strives to bring neglected repertoire back into the concert circuit. It follows the conviction, that any concert should be a spontaneous and dramatic musical experience, rather than a formal museum-like presentation. Elements of staging and the odd surprise action occasionally find their way into cosė facciamo's concerts.

The ensemble performs in a variety of formations, depending on the repertoire, which spans from Renaissance lute songs to contemporary chamber music and includes fully staged Baroque operas. It is especially in this last genre, that cosė facciamo ­ as a touring opera company ­ has built itself a reputation for dramatically stirring productions. The group's own realization of Monteverdi's mature masterpiece L'Incoronzione di Poppea for example has, on invitation, been performed 15 times to date.

Following the obvious and general habit of performing music of one's own time (prevalent at all times save for the 20th century!) the group also ventures into contemporary music, however still utilizing Baroque instruments. It thereby strives to balance and connect innovation with tradition, a quality invariably missing in both extremes of avant-garde expressions or purely historical concerts.


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