Friday 5 February, 19.30 at YouTube & Facebook


Con Arte e Maestria

A joint presentation by Monteverdi String Band and Brighton Early Music, broadcast online. Con Arte e Maestria is the phrase used by Milanese violinist Francesco Rognoni to describe his spectacular 1620 embellishment of a Palestrina madrigal. Inspired by this extraordinary tradition, this programme features intricate and virtuosic works by Rognoni, Giovanni Bovicelli, Michaelangelo Rossi and Giovanni Gabrieli.

Date & Time: Friday 5 February, 19.30

Venue: YouTube & Facebook


Con Arte e Maestria refers to the title of Francesco Rognoni’s spectacular 1620 reworking of a Palestrina madrigal, ornamented “with art and skill”; it represents the culmination of a tradition of improvised ornamentation that had flourished in northern Italy for generations.

Monteverdi String Band members Oliver Webber (“bowing with rapier-like eloquence” – Gramophone) and Steven Devine (“poetic and precise” – Classical Ear) showcase the diverse musical personalities on display in this tradition: the measured brilliance of Girolamo dalla Casa, the exquisite daring of Riccardo Rognoni, the sensuous fluidity of Giovanni Bovicelli, and finally the fiery virtuosity of Francesco Rognoni – the first of these to write specifically for the violin, exploiting its techniques to the full with trills, runs, varied articulation, dotted rhythms, leaps, and echoes.

Inspired by the examples of these great musicians, Webber adds to the corpus with his own embellished versions of madrigals and chansons, and Devine offers intricate and virtuosic keyboard works by Giovanni Gabrieli and Michelangelo Rossi to complement the collection.

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