Inês de Avena Braga publicly defended her thesis Dolce Napoli: Approaches for performance; Recorders for the Neapolitan Baroque repertoire 1695-1759 on Thursday July 2nd at 15h00, at the Academiegebouw Leiden.
Inês researched the repertoire composed in Naples for the recorder, uncovering a rich and forgotten corpus of music written and copied between 1695 and 1759, which sets the recorder in an important place during the period in which the Partenopean city reached the peak of its fame. Equally interested in original instruments, Inês embarked on the search for the Neapolitan Baroque recorder, eventually extending the study to all Italian Baroque recorders currently known, unjustly neglected among the instruments that have customarily been used by period performers.
In her thesis, Inês compiled the information currently known about the makers of these recorders, as well as technical drawings, measurements and photographs of all the thirty-four Italian and anonymous instruments included in the study. Her practical experience with the copies of a few recorders was described, offering a more musical dimension to this data. The Neapolitan recorder works were also listed with a brief analysis and further commentary on the recorder part, with a view of connecting the works with the instruments that might have once been used to play them. Furthermore, an overview of the social and cultural atmosphere of Naples in the early eighteenth century is offered as contextualization to the musical ambience, aided by iconographical references.
The release of the homonymously-titled CD as a first artistic outcome of this study has brought together the two main aspects of the research: 'new' instruments and 'new' works. In conclusion, Inês reflected on the role of the instrument in affecting the player, and became conscious of a different ideal for her approach to Early Music and period instruments.