I n more than ten years of existence, the Belgian collective Scherzi Musicali has become an essential ensemble in the world of early music, renowned for its work on the repertoires of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which it explores with insatiable pleasure. Rediscovered or great repertoire, Scherzi Musicali aims to approach music with the same objectivity, and each of the parameters of their interpretation is the subject of research and reflection, in search of the most appropriate philological choices to approach each musical style.
Composed of three to more than forty musicians, the ensemble is centred around its founder and artistic director, Nicolas Achten (°1985), who sings with the lute or theorbo, the harp or the harpsichord. He is surrounded by a nucleus of young singers and instrumentalists with whom, concert after concert, he develops a sound identity focused on basso continuo instruments and their interaction with the rhetoric of singing. He is surrounded by a nucleus of young singers and instrumentalists with whom, concert after concert, he develops a sound identity focused on basso continuo instruments and their interaction with the rhetoric of singing.
Scherzi Musicali speelde al concerten over heel Europa: Festival de Wallonie, Festival van Vlaanderen, deBijloke, deSingel, Concertgebouw Brugge, Amuz, Bozar, Automne Musical de Spa, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Operadagen Rotterdam, Ferrara Musica, Amici Della Musica di Padova, the Venetian Festival of Baroque Music, Tage Alter Musik Herne, Musikfestspiele Potsdam, Musikverein Wien, Kölner Philharmonie, Itinéraire Baroque en Périgord Vert, Embaroquement Immédiat, Festival d’Ambronay, enz.
Aware of its educational mission, Scherzi Musicali regularly collaborates with the “Jeunesses Musicales” and “Jeugd & Muziek” to introduce young audiences to early music.
The discography of Scherzi Musicali includes ten recordings to date, eight of which are world premieres: “L’Euridice” – Giulio Caccini (2008), “Dulcis Amor Iesu” – motets by Giovanni Felice Sances (2009), “Petits Motets” – Joseph Hector Fiocco (2009), “La Catena d’Adone” – Domenico Mazzocchi (2010), “How pleasant’tis to Love” – songs by Henry Purcell (2012), “Il Pianto d’Orfeo” – Monteverdi, Caccini, Peri… (2013) and “La Maddalena”, oratorio by Antonio Bertali (2016). A second volume of Fiocco’s motets was published in March 2017, followed by “Dialoghi Amorosi”- Sances (2017) – and “O Penosa Lontananza” – unpublished cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti (2018)- & “O Splendida Dies” – motets de Giovanni Paolo Colonna (2019). These albums have been published by Alpha, Musique en Wallonie, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony and Ricercar, for whom the ensemble now records exclusively.
Each of their recordings has generated real enthusiasm in the international press: Diapason d’or découverte, Choc (Classica), Joker (Crescendo magazine), Octaves de la Musique, La Clé (ResMusica), Prelude Classics Award, 4 stars (Monde de la musique), Muse d’Or & Muse du mois (Muse baroque), Golden Ring (Classic Info), Outstanding (International Record Review), Pix Cæcilia, etc.
Scherzi Musicali is supported by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (Directorate General for Culture, Music Department) and is “artist in residence” at the Koninklijk Museum Voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen from 2018 to 2022.
Scherzi Musicali is…
lute, archlute, theorbo
Benoît Vanden Bemden
in memoriam Eriko Semba (1973-2018)