In the course of my PhD-researches, I found several salterio sticks in the collection of the Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels. Two pairs of those can be defined as Italian salterio sticks, as their construction corresponds with numerous Italian documents from the 18th century. After having analyzed the sticks in collaboration with the museum, the wonderful bow maker Martha Breit accepted to make the first 1:1 replica of those sticks. And she did a great job! These sticks not just changed my way of playing by their lightness (some weight just 1 gram!), they also sound marvelous on my instrument! Thank you Martha – you definitely helped my instrument to sound even better!!
Website of Martha Breit
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In April 2017, my salterio and I were honored to be the first “star-guests” of [me:mo], Lukas Henning’s successful You-Tube Blog on lute playing, Early Music and art history. Check out [me:mo]! Lukas Henning’s work is fabulous! And here is our video…

… 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