Il Dolce Suono: Music from Donatello's Florence

Roberta Cutillo (February 26, 2015)
Salon/Sanctuary Concerts offers the New York public the opportunity to “travel” to Medieval Florence, Italy through two extraordinary musical performances featuring an organist from the Duomo of Florence and a globally acclaimed countertenor from across the Atlantic.

The innovative “salon-style” concert venue, Salon/Sanctuary Concerts, founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Jessica Gould as an alternative to the conventional concert hall, will be bringing a piece of Medieval Florence to New York City.

This critically acclaimed organization, which can flaunt the endorsement and co-sponsorship of institutions such as the American Philosophical Society, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, theColonial Dames of AmericaCentro Primo Levi, and many others, will in fact be hosting two concerts with the aim to convey the musical essence of Medieval Florence.

The first of these events, titled Music for Brunelleschi’s Dome will be held on Saturday February 28th, inside of Christ and St. Stephen's Church located at 120 West 69th Street. It will feature a recital performed by Lucia Baldacci, an official organist of the Duomo of Florence, the iconic dome built by the Italian artist and architect, Brunelleschi (thus the title of the concert).  

The construction of the grandiose structure was completed in 1436. The repertoire will include the works of composers ranging from the roughly contemporary Dufay, to later Renaissance musicians like Frescobaldi and Zipoli.

The Concert will begin at 7pm but those interested in the Art and History of Florence may choose to also attend a lecture on Donatello and his context in Florentine Art History. This event be held in the same location, at 6pm, just before the concert. It will be guided by Dr. Giovanni Matteo Guidetti, an Art Historian and Guide to the City of Florence.

Another concert will be held on Thursday March 12th. This concert, titled Il Dolce Suono – Ki Kolech Arev, Jewish and Christian Music from Late Medieval Italy, will also be held at 7pm, however not in a Church, but in a Synagogue this time: The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue located on 30 West 68th Street.

It will offer a different and likely unexpected version of Italian Medieval music and culture.

The globally acclaimed countertenor Doron Schleifer will perform accompanied by Corina Marti on the clavisimbalum – an early keybord dating all the way back to the 1300s – and recorders. They will be playing energetic fourteenth century polyphonic tunes, a genre compared that flourished in Medieval Florence, and the main exponents of which were composers of the likes of Francesco Landini, Gherardello da Firenze, Don Paolo da Firenze, Laurentius da Firenze, and Jacopo da Bologna.

True to the dedication of Salon/Sanctuary Concerts to the unconventional, the

performance will also feature the music of the little-known shadow world of Jewish musicians, who lived in Italy during that same period and influenced the music of that time and of times to come.