The ensemble Odhecaton, founded in 1998, takes its name from the first printed piece by the famous Ottaviano Pettruci, Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, issued in Venice in 1501. In the very first years of its artistic activity, the group was recognised as a supreme vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of early music. Their specific declamatory interpretation was rated as excellent by numerous global music critics, including the French magazine Diapason, which described their appearance on the scene with the words entrée fracassante, dramatic entrance into the world of Renaissance polyphony.
The fundamental repertoire of the ensemble mostly contains pieces by Italian and French composers who acted on the territory of Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries. Depending on the said repertoire, the number of Odhecaton members varies. The ensemble features the best Italian vocal soloists, specialised in the performance of pieces from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Odhecaton artists are gathered, trained and led by the vocalist, organ player and musicologist Paolo da Col.
The past achievements of the ensemble have been recorded on eight records dedicated to the musical opus of the composers Nicolas Gombert, Heinrich Isaac, Francisco de Peñalosa, Josquin des Prez, Loyset Compère… In addition, they have recorded the rich and insufficiently researched repertoire of Spanish and Portuguese 17th century polyphonic music. The ensemble’s attention is currently turned to the interpretation of sacral pieces by Italian masters Palestrina, Gesualdo da Venosa and Claudio Monteverdi, which will be performed at this year’s Korkyra Baroque Festival.
For their tireless artistic engagement and high level of professionalism, the ensemble Odhecaton won a number of European and global awards, among which the following: two Diapason d’Or awards for records featuring the performances of O gente brunette and Missa Papae Marcelli (2010), and three recording industry awards (Diapason d’Or de l’année, Choc and Grand Prix International de l’Académie du disque Lyrique) for the record featuring previously unknown motets of Claudio Monteverdi (2012).