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Martin Randall News

A Festival of Music in Florence

posted on 10/11/2011

Martin Randall Travel's latest music festival took place from 23–29 October in venues in the heart of Florence and two villas in the Tuscan countryside. One hundred and eighty clients were transported on a musical discovery from the early Middle Ages to the Age of Baroque with world-class musicians performing in a variety of the city's spectacular churches and palaces. Highlights of the week included the Orlando Consort's repertoire of 15th-century devotional songs in the exquisite Gothic Church of Santa Trinita and a vigorous performance, led by Alessandro Tampieri, of violin sonatas by Corelli, Gemiani and the Florentine Veracini at the Villa Medicea at Artimino. There was not a dry eye in the nave of the Basilica di San Lorenzo after the Gramophone-award winning group I Fagiolini's unforgettable first live performance of Striggio's 40-part mass, whilst a suitably celebratory performance of Intermedii de La Pellegrina (see video below), first performed for a Medici wedding in 1589, was a triumphant finale to the musical programme by Modo Antiquo.

Our team of expert lecturers, Dr Roberto Cobianchi, Dr Fabrizio Nevola, Charles Nicholl and Dr Antonia Whitley provided scholarly talks on diverse topics including Byzantium on the Arno, Gothic at Santa Croce, the Renaissance at San Lorenzo and Leonardo's Florence. Private receptions at the Palazzo Corsini al Prato and Palazzo Gondi, two fine privately owned Renaissance palaces, provided wonderful insights into Florentine life, both in the 16th century and today.  A concert and lunch in the Villa Medicea La Ferdinanda in Artimino, perched on a hillside overlooking vines and beech trees at their autumnal best, was also a highlight for many.

Renowned musicologist Roderick Swanston entertained the guests with his erudite talks on the music, whilst guest-speaker John Hoenig gave an excellent account of Buontalenti's theatrical designs for the Intermedii. The Martin Randall Travel festival team was the epitome of efficiency and good-humour, ensuring a finely organised and highly enjoyable week.  

Here is just a flavour of some of our clients' comments on the festival:

' It is the nearest that I shall ever be to hearing choirs of heavenly angels' I.S., London

A very special trip which helped us get a real sense of Renaissance Florence.’ M. H. & H. H., London

A memorable week – really enjoyed every aspect of the holiday. Florence is a beautiful setting for such wonderful music.’ A. A., London

Venues out of this world.’ S. T., Gloucestershire

Extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime.’ J. K., California

It was a lovely holiday and as I travel alone it is important to feel comfortable and at ease and I always do. Thank you.’ P. S., Surrey

Superb – all the concerts were of a very high standard and thoroughly enjoyable.’ A. O., London

A wonderfully well planned, organised and presented series of concerts and programme of music.’ R. O., London

This holiday was refreshing mentally, physically and spiritually.’ P. F., London

The programme booklet oozes love and care from every page.’ A. F., London

There were extraordinary high points where music, execution and surroundings came together unforgettably.’ D. L., Oxfordshire

Click here to see a selection of photos of the event.

Click here to see a list of our music events taking place in 2012.

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