Claude Starck, 1 November 2019

You are such an expressive performer and a master of ornaments.

Gabrielli, Bach. It is as if a musician from the Settecento came to us to demonstrate the style of that time in Bologna. Freedom of imagination, expression, agogics, but above all the playfulness in the sense of the ornaments. Here Bach is not the starting point of the great cello works, here he is integrated in his time. Especially in the juxtaposition of Gabrielli’s ricercare one experiences wonderfully the sense of time. The ornaments give the Ricercare a strong expressive value. They are like a fresh wind blowing through the CD. The whole thing is a great musical experience, which sets itself clearly apart from previous interpretations. Your Bach style is compelling, again and again I feel the need to hear a few phrases. I am completely taken with the sense of realism that you convey.

Bach’s Art of the Fugue admirably interpreted by Accademia Bizantina

We don’t know what pinnacle our minds can possibly reach. What is certain is that in composing Die Kunst der Fuge (the Art of the Fugue) Johann Sebastian Bach went with his musical speculation reaching out to the Absolute so far that he almost touches it. This was the concert by Accademia Bizantina, in a sextet on this occasion, that took place on the 10th of July in Sant’Apollinare in Classe. It was part of the 29th Ravenna Festival.

Ottavio Dantone, conductor and harpsichordist, was coordinating the other five musicians as a princeps, beating times and suggesting feelings, interpreting Bach’s masterpiece so as to offer the public a shining example of beauty in its most refined form. This Bach work surely is one of the most difficult to perform: its instrumental destination is difficult to tell. Accademia Bizantina offered a reading with a rich tone palette thanks to the string quartet, a harpsichord and an organ. As a consequence the range of effects that they can use is broad. The two players who contributed to this amazing tonal rang more than the others were certainly the organist Stefano Demicheli and Mauro Valli: from his cello came musical pearls that could have easily been close to the Absolute.

Murcia, 30.04.2018

… directing (conducting) a small group of stupendous instrumentalists, Musica Alchemia, among which a fabulous cellist, Mauro Valli has distinguished himself masterfully.

His solo performance in Vivaldi’s Concerto in G major left us speechless for a level of virtuosity, certainly comparable to that of Lina Tur herself.

Authentic, original or philological?

The progressive success that has accompanied the performances with original instruments over the last fifty years, has complex reasons even if at the same time logical.

There are two main factors that summarise the rediscovery and the increasing appreciation of “ancient music”: semantic understanding and use of the most suitable tools to implement it.

Ottavio Dantone, 25 March 2018