VENICE MUSIC PROJECT
by Elena Longo
A small concert series is investing in Venice and fighting the odds to bring her hidden musical heritage back to life.
The world has heard the Four Seasons played to death. Why not hear Vivaldi’s other masterpieces? And what about the other composers who lived and worked in Venice?
“I am constantly overwhelmed by the musical treasures that I find in archives, of Venetian composers who were incredibly famous in their time, but were completely forgotten once the world went mad for Mozart”, shares Liesl Odenweller, co-founder of Venice Music Project.
“Vivaldi, Galuppi, and Marcello were the rock stars of their time”, adds co-Founder Nicola Favaro, who started his career as a founding member of Venice’s most famous band, Venice Baroque Orchestra. “If someone was having a party, they would commission Vivaldi to write a piece. It is 18th-century pop music!”.
In 2013, Liesl, Nicola, and a group of internationally recognized musicians, tired of traveling the world, decided to create a new musical reality in Venice. Performing on period instruments or exact copies, in exactly the manner of Vivaldi’s time, they spend extensive time on their “musical archaeology”, finding manuscripts of music in archives and libraries, and performing them for the first time in 200-300 years.
Venice Music Project’s resident ensemble, Venetia Antiqua, performs over fifty concerts per season of breathtaking Venetian masterpieces, varying from wellknown and beloved pieces to forgotten works that are equally beautiful. Programs like those in their autumn lineup, which features Venetian Gondola Songs and the first performance in modern times of a short opera composed by Antonio Caldara, are just the tip of the iceberg. Their ambitious program for 2018 is already in the works.