If the Swiss canton of Ticino is a land of architects (yesterday Solari da Carona, Borromini and Trezzini who played active roles in the construction of the Kremlin in Moscow, Papal Rome and St Petersburg respectively; today Mario Botta, the most famous of all), it is also a land of architects of sound - musicians, with Edwin Loehrer, the great pioneer of baroque music, Hermann Scherchen who, in the 1950s, founded the electro-acoustic music studio of Gravesano (a distant precursor to IRCAM). Later, the Ticinese violinist Chiara Banchini would found her Ensemble 415 which was so important to the rediscovery of Italian baroque music; and today the Martha Argerich Project in Lugano and the figure of Diego Fasolis which form the focal points of Ticinese music.
An organist (he worked with Gaston Litaize in Paris), choirmaster, and conductor, Diego Fasolis is a vital part of baroque music. In 1995 he founded the Vanitas ensemble in Lugano, and then I Barocchisti (literally, the Baroques) which represents the refoundation of the famous Società cameristica di Lugano set up by Loehrer in 1961 to which we owe the first great recordings of Claudio Monteverdi's Madrigals. The ensemble took a great leap forward in its new incarnation under the baton of Diego Fasolis. The Barocchisti's many recordings have been showered with awards and great international soloists regularly come to collaborate with them, including Philippe Jaroussky, Maurice Steger, Max Emanuel Cencic, and, in recent years, Cecilia Bartoli who has set up a close collaboration. This dazzling activity has not stopped Diego Fasolis from being a guest conductor at Milan's La Scala, in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, at the Lausanne Opéra and at the Château de Versailles where he has been a regular fixture since 2013.
Diego Fasolis's discography, which is published across several labels, is very dense and representative of his wide range of activities at the head of various ensembles such as his Coro Della Svizzera Italiana, I Barocchisti, l’Ensemble Vanitas or the Sonatori De La Gioiosa Marca.
Among his great successes, we may cite the album MISSION with Cecilia Bartoli and Cecilia Bartoli-Saint Petersburg, the recording of the Artaserse by Leonardo Vinci (no relation to the painter of the Mona Lisa!) with Philippe Jaroussky, as well as Farnace by Vivaldi with the same artist. In terms of discoveries, we might list Mozart's Les Mystères d’Isis... or the Magic Flute as it might have been performed in 19th Century Paris, or rather as the masterpiece was shamelessly packaged and sold at the time. Even if the reconstruction is thrilling, we can understand why Berlioz came to the fore.
Diego Fasolis's eclecticism is stupefying, and makes stupendous discoveries possible, such as the Requiem Mass by Camille Saint-Saëns, Faramondo by Handel (with Cencic), The Passion of Jesus Christ by Paisiello and works by Steffani, Piccini, Eisler, and Durante. A masterly way of straddling the generations - or, rather, bestriding them like a colossus.
© François Hudry/QOBUZ/November 2017
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Opera - Released December 1, 2017 | naïve classique
Violin Concertos - Released March 2, 2009 | naïve classique
Concertos - Released February 26, 2007 | Arts Productions Ltd
Cantatas (sacred) - Released July 1, 1997 | Naxos
Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | CPO
Full Operas - Released October 30, 2015 | Glossa
Sacred Oratorios - Released January 1, 2008 | CPO
Cantatas (secular) - Released May 1, 2000 | Chandos
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