The principal output of the project is a CD recording, Venice 1629, made by the Gonzaga Band, and released on the Resonus Classics label in July 2018. The Gonzaga Band is a flexibly-constituted ensemble, its line-up changing according to the requirements of each programme. For Venice 1629 the performers were:


Jamie Savan – director and cornett

Faye Newton – soprano

Helen Roberts – cornett

Oliver Webber – violin

Theresa Caudle – violin and cornett

Steven Devine – organ

Adrian Hunter – engineer and producer


These musicians are leading practitioners in the field of Historically-Informed Performance, and as such were essential collaborators in the research during the rehearsal and recording process.  


The full recording is available in streamable MP3 format at the conclusion of this exposition, together with a PDF of the CD booklet. Selected reviews are available here, and further information about the release is available via the Resonus Classics website, where the album is also available to purchase as a physical CD or in a variety of high quality download formats.


This exposition documents several stages of research preparatory to the final recording:


1. Selection of musical materials: surveying some 40 publications from 1629 Venice, which were identified using the RISM database and consulted on microfilm or as digital scans. 17 pieces by 10 different composers were chosen for the final programme.


2. Transcribing and editing the selected pieces. Seven of these pieces were edited for the first time, while three new editions (of Schütz and Monteverdi) correct errors and misreadings in existing modern editions.


3. Investigation of performance practice questions, including interpretation of rhythmic proportions, ornamentation and instrumentation.



The exposition begins, however, with a fully-referenced version of the CD booklet essay, which provides the historical context for Venice 1629.



[1] Hugh Macdonald, Music in 1853: The Biography of a Year (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2012). 

[2] See especially: Jerome Roche, ‘What Schütz learnt from Grandi in 1629’, The Musical Times 113 (1972), 1074-75; Jerome Roche, North Italian Church Music in the Age of Monteverdi (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984); Denis Arnold, ‘The Second Venetian Visit of Heinrich Schütz’, The Musical Quarterly 71 (1985), 359-374.

[3] Rebecca Cypess, Curious & Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo's Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).



This performance-led research project explores a cross-section of music published in Venice in 1629, famously the year of Heinrich Schütz's second visit to the city to learn of the latest developments in modern Italian music. The aim of the research was to look beyond received historical-canonical narratives of stylistic transmission, which tend to focus on the meeting of Schütz and Monteverdi as the ‘Great Men’ of the emerging Baroque style, and instead to investigate a broader musical ecology including lesser-known composers, performers and publishers active in and around Venice at this time. 

The project was underpinned by the primary research question: what new understandings of the diverse musical scene of 1629 Venice can be achieved through a systematically curated recital programme as a basis for investigation in and through performance?


The methodological approach was inspired in part by Hugh Macdonald’s notion of 'horizontal biography', and the fascinating new insights and connections that are made possible by the detailed study of a single pivotal moment in music history.[1] The project builds on the work of pioneering musicologists Jerome Roche and Denis Arnold who were among the first to draw attention to the little-known repertories of early-seventeenth-century Venice and its environs,[2] but also draws on the historical-cultural insights of more recent contextual studies such as Rebecca Cypess's Curious & Modern Inventions which situate musical developments of the 1620s within a broader milieu of artistic and scientific discovery.[3] The project thus seeks to contribute a new perspective to current musicological debates about innovation and canonicity, as well as the more obvious field of Historical Performance Practice.