Hausbrandt Foundation: Monteverdi and the motions of the soul

Established at the behest of President Martino Zanetti, an entrepreneur and eclectic intellectual and artist, the Austrian Hausbrandt Foundation aims to promote cultural and artistic events, enhancing studies and research in various fields of knowledge, with a special focus on musical theatre and architecture.

This is the context for the round table Monteverdi and the motions of the soul, organised at the “Emanuele Da Dalto” conference room of the Tenuta Col Sandago (Susegana, Treviso). Under the scientific direction of Dr. Flavia Buzzetta, the meeting aimed to highlight studies on the frames of recitar cantando and the lesser-known aspects of the artistic, musical and architectural languages of musical theatre.

President Martino Zanetti introduced the event, illustrating the discoveries concerning the Villa Maser that gave rise to the Hausbrandt Foundation and that are set against the backdrop of a programme centred on the web of convergences between knowledge and traditions.

The meeting presented new research perspectives on a central figure on the European intellectual and artistic scene, who in a period of transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque determined the birth of a new musical language capable of expressing the passions of the soul.

The ‘motions’ of the soul were examined by Prof. Enrico Reggiani (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan), who in his paper Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly? Shakespeare, Monteverdi and the motions of the soul, proposed a comparison between Monteverdi’s language of the emotions and Shakespeare’s expressive power, identifying several points of contact and convergence, for example, in the expression of sadness and sadness.

Prof. Denis Morrier (Conservatoire du Pays de Montbéliard et d’Analyse Musicale au Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris), again from a comparative perspective, proposed a study on Palladio – Monteverdi. Une nouvelle conception des rapports entre architecture et musique, de l’analogie à la métaphore. In his presentation, structured according to five reasonings on the Renaissance model, he showed the close relationship between harmonic relationships and architectural proportions, between the works of Palladio, Barbaro and Monteverdi. In this web of relationships and correspondences, the characteristic elements of a stratified thought emerged in the “symphonic” plurality of its converging ramifications.

Prof. Paola Besutti (University of Teramo), in her speech on ‘Mosse l’Arianna per esser donna. La personificazione degli affetti nel teatro in musica di Claudio Monteverdi’, focused on the expressive dimension of the body as an essential component in the interpretation of Monteverdi’s works. The motions of the soul are thus manifested in the action of the face and looks that complete the musical and artistic creation. Prof. Baldine Saint Girons (Université Paris Nanterre), proposed a reflection on Acte esthétique, vibration et représentation. In her talk, she examined the notion of the sublime in relation to Monteverdi’s work and the second practice that “makes the shrewd, obscure and oblique energies of the sublime vibrate” and makes the motions of the soul resonate within us. The day ended with a Renaissance lute concert by Maestro Marco Saccardin, who performed works by Monteverdi, J.H. Kapsberger, A. Piccinin and A. Grandi.

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