Ensemble “La Novella” was formed in September 2005 by five advanced students from the Early Music departments of the conservatories of Den Haag and Utrecht. The group's name (which simply means, “The New One”) comes from a piece by Giuseppe Scarani, “sonata decima ottava sopra La Novella”, which appeared in his “Sonate concertnate a tre, due canti e basso”, published in Venice, 1630.
The group’s rather unusual combination of instruments (recorder, baroque violin, baroque cello, bass violin, baroque harp, theorbo and lute) allows for great flexibility in choosing repertoire and orchestrating the pieces: dance music and ricercate in mixed-consort formation, ricercate for one or two instruments, sonatas for one or two instrument and basso continuo, pieces for two high instruments, bass and basso continuo, etc.
Since its formation, the group has had coaching sessions with Sebastien Marq, Christina Pluhar (Sprezzatura master class, Utrecht Early Music Festival, 2006), Nigel North and Peter van Heyghen.
In the summer of 2006 it performed for the first time at the Utrecht Early Music fringe concerts.
A year later the group returned to Utrecht for another fringe concert, this time with a program focused around the music written by Jewish-Italian composer Salamone Rossi, written for Hebrew texts.
In july 2009 the group was invited to play concerts at the Brezice festival, Slovenia.
Currently, the group focuses on Italian music from the late Renaissance and early Baroque: late 16th century instrumental consort canzoni and dance pieces, as well as improvised variations on contemporary famous bass-lines (a well-known practice at the time), and early 17th century sonatas, trio sonatas, variation sets etc. In the future, ensemble “La Novella” intends to explore all the possibilities 16th and 17th century music has to offer…