TIBICINES> Imperiale prima (G. Fantini)

The ensemble TIBICINES performs on instruments that resemble their 17th and 18th century counterparts down to the minutest detail.

The Renaissance trumpet, which remained virtually unchanged throughout the baroque and classical era, produced sound via the natural overtone series, an acoustic phenomenon occurring in Nature. In the 1960’s it was deemed impossible to recreate this forgotten technique and so German acousticians developed a system of vent-holes which allows the modern player access to the repertoire of the baroque trumpet but it changes the quality of the sound. Around a dozen recordings exist today which make use of the originally intended baroque trumpets not involving vent-holes. The level of difficulty of the pieces in this programme would have been deemed unplayable only a few years ago.

Today they astonish the specialists of early music: it is no coincidence that leading ensembles and orchestras are increasingly recruiting instrumentalists prepared to perform on the originally intended instrument rather than the vent-holed version, TIBICINES gathers the best of them.

The performers involved here are professionals regularly engaged by the most important European baroque orchestras (La Petite Bande, Orchestra of the 18th Century, Les Arts Florissants, La Grande Ecurie, Le Concert Spirituel, etc).

This natural instrument has a strong impact, the listener is bewitched, how is it possible to produce such variety and quality of sound from a tube held in one hand?

Initial novelty is transformed by the natural seductivity, the charm and elegant beauty of the sound, mirroring how the composer’s intentions and the performance practice of the day.

This is how the music was, this is how it sounded.

 

The Imperiale per sonare in concerto and its Entrata, written by Girolamo Fantini, was printed in Florence in 1638.

These pieces play an important role and are of great historical importance, being a precious testimony to the music performed on ceremonial occasions at the beginning of the 17th century by city trumpeters. It is likely that the conservation of such rare examples, is to be attributed to the secular oral tradition that determined daily performance practice. Only towards the end of the sixteenth century the necessity to visually fixate their executions generated a number of collections dedicated to the use of this instrument (Lübeck, Thomsen, Bendinelli).

Fantini, actually, does not introduce substantial modifications to this art, consolidated and in use in the major Italian cities and European courts. However, it turns out to be an essential support for the style and for the present reproduction of such music.

 

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