Treasures of Neapolitan instrumental music

La Divina Armonia

Stefano Barneschi, Mayumi Hirasaki  violins

Marco Testori cello

Lorenzo Ghielmi harpsichord and conduction


Arcangelo Corelli (1653 – 1713)

Trio Sonata in D major op. III n° 2 (Rome, 1689)

Grave, Allegro, Adagio, Allegro

Giuseppe Avitrano (1670- 1756)

Trio Sonata op. I n° 3 in E minor (Naples, 1697)

Adagio, Allegro, Adagio, Presto

Domenico Scarlatti (1685- 1757)

Sonata in D minor for violin and continuo (manuscript)

Grave, Allegro, (Allegro), Allegro

Arcangelo Corelli (1653 – 1713)

Trio Sonata in G major op. IV n° 10 (Rome, 1694)

Adagio – Allegro, Adagio – Grave, Gavotte time

Giuseppe Avitrano (1670- 1756)

Trio Sonata in G minor op. I n° 8 (Naples, 1697)

Grave, Lyric-Allegro, Vivace, Allegro

Salvatore Lanzetti (1710 – 1780)

Sonata op. I n° VIII in E minor (Paris 1736 ca.)


Nicollò Porpora (1686 – 1768)

Simphony in trio V in E minor (Paris, 1736)

Affetuoso, Allegro, Adagio, Giga-Allegro

Arcangelo Corelli gained fame throughout Europe already during his lifetime, such as to become the model par excellence of many composers throughout the 18th century: his trio sonatas for two violins and bass, were reprinted in many editions both in Italy and in major European capitals and his music experienced adaptations for all instrumental ensembles. The fate of many Neapolitan composers was quite different, whose music could well have measured itself for quality and compositional skill. Also due to local publishing house, not able to spread its products in Europe, many Neapolitan musicians were unable to cross the city borders. For example, Giuseppe Antonio Avitrano, violinist at the Naples court orchestra from the late 1690s until his death, who published two series of trio sonatas op. 1 and 2. Avitrano dedicated these collections to Marzio Carafa, Duke of Maddaloni (1650 – 1703) but his work has remained unfairly unknown to this day. Domenico Scarlatti‘s fame is linked to his harpsichord sonatas, but among these we find some where the writing suggests a destination for a melodic instrument (probably the violin) and continuo. In the 1830s, more and more Neapolitan musicians sought their fortune by moving throughout Europe. If the fame of the Neapolitan school was increasingly linked to vocal music and in particular to opera music, some musicians, who grew up in the nurseries of the Neapolitan Conservatories, became great virtuosos of an instrument: among them Salvatore Lanzetti, a great cellist. Born in Naples around 1710, he studied at the conservatory of S. Maria di Loreto. In 1727 he moved to Turin, hired as a cellist at the Royal Chapel, by the will of King Vittorio Amedeo II himself. From 1729 he was recognised as a concert performer not only in Italy, where he gave some concerts in Sicily, but also in Europe: in 1730 he stayed in Paris and London. In the latter city he spent long periods of time that can be documented at least until 1754. In 1736 he was again engaged in Turin by the Regio orchestra, making, like the most famous musicians of the time, such as the violinist Giovanni Battista Somis and the oboist Alessandro Besozzi, the conspicuous remuneration of 500 liras, as evidence of a now recognized professional position. In May of the same year he was invited to play again in Paris, for the prestigious Concerts spirituels, where he presented some of his cello compositions to the public. Still in 1736, in Amsterdam, the 12 Sonatas for solo cello and continuo, op.1, were published, which had a subsequent re-edition at Le Clerc in Paris. The same year one of the musicians destined to occupy a place of great importance among the operas of the 18th century, published one of his first instrumental music works in Paris: Nicollò Porpora‘s Sinfonie a tre rework the Corellian writing with a Neapolitan vein and with great modernity of attitudes, continuing – a generation later – to revive sonatas for an ensemble destined to become a symbol of the Baroque: the combination of two violins with a cello supported by the harmonies of the harpsichord. (LGh)

Lorenzo Ghielmi

For years he has dedicated himself to the study and performance of Renaissance and Baroque music. He holds concerts throughout Europe, Japan and the United States, and his radio and record recordings are numerous (Winter & Winter, Passacaille, Harmonia mundi, Teldec). His recordings of Bruhns, Bach, Handel’s concerts and Haydn’s concerts for organ and orchestra have been awarded the “Diapason d’or”. He has published a book on Nicolaus Bruhns and studies on organ-making art of the 16th and 17th centuries and on the interpretation of Bach’s works. He teaches organ, harpsichord and ensemble music at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan, at the Institute of Early Music. Since 2006 he has been entrusted with the chair of organ at the Schola Cantorum in Basle. He is appointed organist of the Ahrend organ of the Milanese basilica of S.Simpliciano where he performed the complete works for organ by J.S. Bach. He is part of the jury of international organ competitions (Toulouse, Chartres, Tokyo, Bruges, Freiberg, Maastricht, Lausanne, Nuremberg) and is entrusted with lectures and specialization courses from numerous musical institutions (Academy of Haarlem, Mozarteum of Salzburg, Conservatoire national supérieur de Musique in Paris, Hochschule für Musik in Lübeck, New England Conservatory in Boston, Krakow Academy of Music). He followed the design of several new organs, including the great instrument of the Tokyo Cathedral. He conducts the instrumental ensemble “La Divina Armonia”.

La Divina Armonia Ensamble

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote down in the margins of his bible: “Where there is soulful music, God is always present there with his grace”. Music is an expression of the transcendent, harmony representing the divine design: Western culture has always lived these truths by entrusting music with the task of accompanying  prayer, from Gregorian to classical polyphony, from organ music to the great sacred masterpieces of the Baroque and Romanticism. For many composers, the ultimate desire in creating music has been to bring us closer to the spiritual dimension of our existence, guiding us to discover, in the play of consonances between sounds, the resonances between man, creation and the creator. Therefore, philological research and an interpretation that comes as close as possible to the intentions of the authors are the sign of respect for that soulful music, which brings us closer to contemplating the beauty of divine harmony. The Divine Harmony ensemble was formed in 2005 by Lorenzo Ghielmi. Each member of the group has a long experience behind him in the field of baroque music, while preserving the enthusiasm to create something new and unrepeatable. The group first played in some seasons in Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium. Since 2008 it has been a guest in important Italian and European seasons (Serate musicali in Milan, Aosta International Festival, Bozart in Brussels, Les Arts Renassants in Toulouse, Bach-Gesellschaft in Salzburg). The ensamble records for the Belgian label “Passacaille”. The recording of  Handel’s Concerts op. IV  and Haydn’s Concerts have both won numerous awards (the “Diapason d’Or”, the Cd of the month recognition by the German magazine “Toccata” and the Italian magazine “Amadeus”). Last year the group collaborated with the Toelzer-knaben Chor directed by M ° Schmidt-Gaden in a program entirely dedicated to Haydn. The Passio secundum Joannem is scheduled in Basle, Brussels, Oslo, Salzburg, Hall in Tirol, Bruges.

Do you need any informations?

Contact us
Subscribe to our Newsletter