Scherzi Musicali




Achten is a Renaissance musical polymath, directing the excellent band Scherzi Musicali from the theorbo, harp, harpsichord and bass cittern – as well as singing in the majority of items, and writing a thoroughly articulate and illuminating essay


In about 10 years, Scherzi Musicali has become one of the brightest stars in the early music cosmos, and is renowned for its dynamic interpretations of seventeenth and eighteenth century repertoire which its musicians explore with insatiable appetite and zeal. Whether uncovering lost gems of a forgotten musical heritage or revisiting staples of the baroque repertoire, the musicians of Scherzi Musicali apply the same exacting approach to all of the works they interpret, using philological research and reflection to guide them in their never-ending quest for the most accurate and historical performance style.

With anywhere from three to over twenty musicians, the ensemble was founded and is directed by Nicolas Achten (b. 1985), one of the few modern classical singers to accompany himself, variously, on the lute, the harp, and the harpsichord, reviving this forgotten practice. He collaborates with singers and instrumentalists with whom he has developed a sonic identity built on the interaction of continuo instruments and vocal rhetoric.

Scherzi Musicali has performed in many of Europe’s finest festivals and concert halls, including the Festival de Wallonie, Festival van Vlaanderen, deBijloke, deSingel, Concertgebouw Brugge, Amuz, Bozar, Automne Musical de Spa, Operadagen Rotterdam, Ferrara Musica, Amici Della Musica di Padova, the Venetian Festival of Baroque Music, Tage Alter Muzik Herne, Musikfestspiele Potsdam, Muzikverein Wien, Kölner Philharmonie, Itinéraire Baroque en Périgord Vert, Festival d’Ambronay, etc.

Committed to its pedagogical role, Scherzi Musicali collaborates with "Jeunesses Musicales" and "Jeugd en Muziek", to put scholarly understanding of early music at the heart of educational establishments.

Scherzi Musicali has recorded 7 CDs, including 5 world premières: Giulio Caccini (2008), “Dulcis Amor Iesu” - motets by Giovanni Felice Sances (2009), “Petits Motets” - Joseph Hector Fiocco (2009), “La Catena d’Adone” - Domenico Mazzocchi (2010), "How pleasant 'tis to Love" - songs by Henry Purcell (2012) and “Il Pianto d’Orfeo” - Monteverdi, Caccini, Peri… (2013) and  Antonio Bertali’s oratorio “La Maddalena”, (2016). A second volume of Fiocco motets is beeing published in march 2017, whereas “Dialoghi Amorosi”- Sances -  is set to appear in October 2017. These recordings have been edited by a number of different labels, including Alpha, Musique en Wallonie, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony, and Ricercar, which is now the ensemble’s exclusive recording partner.

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