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Musica Ricercata

musica ricercata

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HELLENIKA - Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna

The interest of MUSICA RICERCATA in music from antiquity is two-fold. On the one hand our studies focus on ancient Greek music theory, and on the elaboration of rare ancient musical fragments (Hellenika) arranged in the form of a ‘suite’ by Michael Stüve. On the other hand, they underline the importance classical culture has played in European musical development, resulting four hundred years ago in the birth of a new musical language (later defined as ‘seconda pratica’) and of opera (cfr. V. GALILEI, Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna, 1581).

Following the performances of ‘Hellenika’ presented together with early Baroque music inspired by classical antiquity at the Festival Internazionale di Monfalcone and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in 1996, the project was selected in 1996 and 1997 by the European Commission within its prestigious cultural programmes ‘Kaleidoscope’. Further concert performances relevant to the project were promoted by the Directorate of Artistic Patrimony in Florence during the ‘Settimana dei Beni Culturali’ 1997 and by the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa during the season of ‘Concerti della Normale 1997-1998’.‘Hellenika’ has also toured with great critical success in Kerkyra (Corfu 1997), where MUSICA RICERCATA was invited by the Directorate of Byzantium Arts to perform with the ensemble ‘The Hellenic Music Archives’ of Athens, as well as in Vienna (1997, 1998) where the group played with the Capella Academica Wien, directed by Stüve himself.

The project also brought about an intense collaboration with the Archaeological Museum of Florence, thus instigating a series of concerts in the museum. It has also led to various didactic activities, in particular seminars and seminar-concerts held at various prestigious institutions such as the Conservatory ‘Luigi Cherubini’, the Casa Buonarroti Museum and the Laurenziana, Riccardiana and Nazionale Centrale libraries of Florence, which preserve a number of important sixteenth-century documents relating to music from antiquity and the birth of opera in Florence.


  • Euripides Fragment from Orestes (Pap. Vienna G 2315)
  • Athenaios Paean Keklyth', Helikôna bathydendron (Delphi, inv. 517, 526, 494, 499)
  • Anonymous Interludes (Anon. Bellermann, §§ 97, 100, 104)
  • Seikilos Funeral Epitaph and song Hóson zês (Copenhagen, inv. 14897)
  • Mesomedes Invocation of the Muse Áeide mûsá moi phíle (published for the first time by V. Galilei, Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna, Florence 1581)
  • Mesomedes Invocation of Calliope and Apollo Kalliópeia sophâ (V. Galilei, Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna, Firenze 1581)
  • Anonymous Dramatic lament on the death of Ajax Autophóno cheri (Pap. Berlino, inv. 6870)
  • Anonymous Chryséa phórminx (Prelude of the First Pythian Ode by Pindar, Athanasius Kircher, Musurgia universalis…, Rome 1650)
  • Limenios Processional (Paean, Delfi, inv. 214)
  • Mesomedes Hymn to Nemesis Némesi pteróessa (V. Galilei, Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna, Florence 1581)
  • Anonymous Fragmentary instrumental piece (Pap. Berlino, inv. 6870)
  • Anonymous Fragmentary Christian hymn Sigáto, med’ ástra phaesphóra (Pap. Oxy.1786)
  • Mesomedes Hymn to the Sun Chionoblepháru pater Aûs (V. Galilei, Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna, Florence 1581)