The Monteverdi String Band is dedicated to celebrating the sound and style of the early violin consort in both well-established repertoire and creative new programmes. Our instruments are modelled on originals from the early decades of the 17th century; enhanced by pure gut strings in equal tension, they lend the ensemble a rich, grounded and blended tone. As one critic wrote, “The MSB’s sound is quite unlike any that of any other ensemble I know that plays this music”.
Our new programmes have been inspired by the rich cultural milieu of Italy around 1600, and have been greeted with great enthusiasm: Galileo, based on the life, thought and music of the great scientist, premiered at the Brighton Early Music Festival in 2016 (“the drama offers a platform for excellent singing and playing from the small forces of the Marian Consort and the Monteverdi String Band” – The Observer), while our reimagining of Monteverdi’s Combattimento in its original context was described as “utterly gripping in its mixture of eroticism and violence” by The Guardian.
Immersing ourselves in the repertoire (both vocal and instrumental), idioms and literature of Monteverdi’s time helps us to bring extra insight to the well-known repertoire such as the remarkable Vespers and the genre-defining operas; we were delighted to read of our 2017 production of L’Orfeo in Brighton, co-directed by MSB director Oliver Webber, that “The musical production has an immediacy and vitality that I found breath-taking” – The Argus.
The Madrigal Transformed, premiered in Sardinia in 2014, in which we interleave “modern” (17th century!) and ancient (16th century) madrigals with contemporary readings, was the first of these creative ventures, and we are delighted to be bringing it to the Korkyra Festival.
News, photographs, articles and video clips can be found at www.monteverdistringband.com