… at the “Festtage für Alte Musik” in Basel, presenting “Il Dolce Conforto’s” second concert programm: Spanish Chambermusic with transverse flutes, salterio, theorbo and violoncello. Beautiful music – intimate and expressive at the same time. Festtage Alte Musik Basel

… at the “International Barocktage Melk” in June 2017! We could not imagine a more beautiful concert location for our debut as the Kolomanisaal of the convent Melk in Austria. Being organized by a lovely team and having performed for an enthusiastic audience, this concert will remain for ever in my heart! Standing ovations and 60 CDs sold afterwards…IMG_8433

In Spring 2017, “Sacred Salterio” with Neapolitan passion cantatas for soprano, salterio and basso continuo was released under Christophorus label (CHR 77408). I am incredibly grateful for the international reviews of this CD and the awarding of the Pasticcio-Price of Austrians Culture Radio Ö1!
BR Kultur (June 2017, Dirk Kruse): “Diese Debüt-CD ist ein Ereignis: rar und schön!”
MWI review (June 2017, Michael Wilkinson): “This CD will give immense pleasure as well as historical interest.”
Musica dei Donum (April 2017, Johan van Veen): “Undoubtedly this is a most fascinating disc, for historical and musical reasons. The music is of fine quality […] We can only hope that more repertoire with salterio will appear on disc.”
Rondo Magazine (April 2017, Michael Wersin): “Wunderbar mischt sich der leicht verhangene Saitenklang des von Franziska Fleischanderl souverän beherrschten Salterios mit Miriam Feuersingers klarer, gerade geführter, unaufdringlich expressiver Stimme.”

In October 2016 I was invited for the first time to present at an international conference, organized by the Conservatory of Reggio Calabria in Italy. I was talking about the use of the Italian salterio in Vivaldi’s music and its related performance practice. It was a beautiful experience, as I could share this special moment with my lovely and intelligent supervisor Teresa Chirico, who guided me trough preparing my presentation and helped  with language issues at the spot… And we had lots of good food!

… was a big challenge for me. Being used to play the Hackbrett with two sticks since I was a child, I was quite frightened to study a completely new playing technique in adulthood. Day by day, I studied, being an autodidact, having just the Early Sources on salterio and the instrument by Michele Barbi as a teachers. But these teachers were incredibly efficient – the salterio from 1725 taught me through its sound, how it needs to be plucked and soon many crucial questions on the pizzicato technique could be solved. The picture below shows my first performance with the pizzicato technique, playing Vivaldi’s salterio-Aria “Ho nel petto un cor sì forte”…IMG_5670-1

In 2016, it was time to found an ensemble to present the Italian salterio repertoire to the audience, having now the perfect instrument for doing so. Our first activity was the recording of our first CD “Sacred Salterio” in the church of St. Gerold (Vorarlberg/Austria). I was honored to work with fabulous musicians – Miriam Feuersinger (soprano), Jonathan Pesek (violoncello) and Deniel Perer (organ) – and a very experienced sound engineer: Markus Heiland from Trituonus Musikproduktion! It was not easy to record a full CD of challenging cantatas for salterio obligato, just after one year of playing this instrument. But we did it… 😊

Like a irony of destiny, I returned to Basel in September 2015, just one year after having graduated in Contemporary Chamber Music at the Hochschule für Musik Basel. This time, I inscribed just at the building next doors, at the famous Schola Cantorum Basiliensis to gain knowledge on historically informed performance practice. I am grateful for the intense two years I spent here – and the beautiful morning walks on the Johanniter-Brücke to have a room with a harpsichord to practice on…IMG_3464

In Spring 2015, I got accepted at Leiden University for a doctorate trajectory (docARTES) on the history and the playing techniques of the 18th century Italian salterio. I am very happy to be supervised by Ton Koopman, Dinko Fabris, Teresa Chirico and Frans de Ruiters! My fellow students and I are trained in the inspiring Orpheus Institute in Ghent – a life full of new knowledge, conferences, presentations and writing starts….IMG_4610

In Spring 2015 I started my first researches on the history of the Italian salterio. At random I chose Bologna – and I fell absolutely in love with this city.
After having read thousands of pages of 18th century documents, I was many testimonies on salterio practice richer! It was an absolutely fabulous time!

Suddenly after having bought the salterio, I had to decide some crucial questions about the restoration process: How should I let it restore? And most of all: by whom? Should I give it to the hand of an instrument builder, specialist for making sound a piece of wood? Or should I give it to a restorer, experienced with early instruments but never with the aim of making them sound again?
I have decided for the latter! And it was a good decision!
I finally trusted in the skills of Massimo Monti, Roman specialist for early Italian harps and salteri and I was very grateful for his courage to do it!
One year later, in Spring 2015, it was done: I could hear and feel for the first time the sound and the resonance of this unique salterio – it was finally clear that this acquistion was a spectacular one!
I definitely can not describe in words how I felt when playing my salterio from 1725 for the first time! THANK YOU, MASSIMO!!!