Music & Spaces in Mantua

On Friday 11 May we went to Mantua and saw some remarkable buildings and pieces of music. First we had a private tour of Palazzo Ducale by Paola Besutti. We were incredibly fortunate to have her as our guide. The tour began with the recently rediscovered Hall of Mirrors, a place where Monteverdi’s music was frequently performed. There will be more on that in a separate post. Next we explored the palace areas that are open to the public. Some sections are still closed due to the earthquake damage last year, but there was still a ton to see. Continue reading

Pre-course Research

I am very excited to be a part of this project. I look forward to being in Italy, doing hands on work with such a large collection of manuscripts, and of course the food.  It also gives me the opportunity to do research in England. The university lets us choose choose the date and destination of our flights before the course starts (provided you get yourself to Ostiglia on 5 May) and after the it ends. This allows us to more easily do research at many important European libraries.

I have chosen to fly to England before the course starts to do research in Oxford and London so that I can be back in Indiana to teach after the course ends. I arrived in London the morning of 27 April and went straight to Oxford. It was wonderful just to ride by the buildings that house the music I’ve been studying on microfilm and some modern editions for years. In Oxford I will study manuscripts of 17th century English viol music and documents relating to it at the Bodleian and Christ Church libraries. I will then go to London to study similar repertoire at the British library and historical stringed instruments at the Horniman Museum & Gardens and Victoria & Albert Museum.

Our preparation for the Ostiglia course during the spring semester has made me think more about collectorship in general.  I’ve started to ask questions about how the different collections I study in 17th century English repertoire came to be, who was involved in this process, and how this can change our perception of the music. I’m excited to begin looking at this more closely when the libraries open on Monday and learn even more about it in Ostiglia. For now I’m going to enjoy exploring Oxford!

DRN