8 – Concerto – An improvised journey in the XVI – XVIII

Evening Concert

Saturday, 31st October 2020-6.00pm

The Ensemble Arparla (Arpa: Harp, Parla: speak) consist in Davide Monti, baroque violin and Maria Christina Cleary /arpa doppia,/specialised in improvisation within a historical informed approach. They will perform a program demonstrating various musical strategies through the ages for improvising. Notated music invariably includes liberties for the performer to also become co-composer, especially in music from before the Romantic period. The program will show how to transform, elaborate and improvise in melodic and harmonic ways in different styles from the 15th to the 18th centuries.

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Improvvisazione su bordone

Canone alla 5

Diminuzioni su madrigale



Bassi ostinati

– Passemmezzo antico

– Bergamasca

– Passacaglia



Corelli Op 5 n° 3


Vivaldi adagio in D minor


Free improvisation – Jam session

ARPARLA, Davide Monti on violin and Maria Christina Cleary on harp, take their inspiration from a desire to communicate through music – parla in Italian means ‘speak’ – using the soft and refined sonorities of the harp and the expressive range of colours of the violin.

Their repertoire focuses on two specific musical periods in which their instruments perfectly express the synthesis of the Baroque period and the transition period between classicism and romanticism (17th-19th centuries). They study and research Historical Informed Practices across many disciplines including music improvisation, fencing, Commedia dell’Arte, Rhetoric, dance and horsemanship. With this inter-disciplinary knowledge, Arparla’s performances are unique experiences, playing music from earlier epochs yet being firmly founded in today’s society for modern audiences.

Formed in 2005, Arparla’s first tour was to Japan and since then the Monti and Cleary duo have performed on every Continent with energy and enthusiasm, receiving excellent reviews. In 2009 they premiered Spohr’s Double Concerto No. 1 WoO 13 on original instruments.

Besides performing, Arparla is dedicated to education; teaching and lecturing together at Hochschule München, Conservatoire royale de Liège, NUS Singapore, RMIT Melbourne, Early Music Studio Melbourne, Makerere University Uganda, The International University of Kampala, and the Africa Institute of Music. They have sustained the ONG COOPI and also have collaborated with the Menuhin Foundation MUS-E project. Since 2013 they have founded the International School of Improvisation, using the Helicona Method. The Helicona method is supported by strategies taken from other disciplines including Dancing, Theatre, Fencing and Horse-riding. The broad range of supporting “parallel” arts/subjects aim to facilitate the opening of the mind. They are also valuable resources that can be adopted and used in any communication strategies. This course in Music Improvisation aims to accompany musicians in their journey of discovery, gradually and personally, focusing on historical elements as well as modern-day psychological aspects, giving a solid foundation for any sort of stylistic studies.

Arparla has released five duo CDs under the Stradivarius label. Two CDs consist of the chamber works and harp solos by 19th-century composer Louis Spohr, being premiere recordings of this composer using original instruments. Their second CD in 2010, Le Grazie del Violino, is a collection of Italian instrumental music of the 17th century, the only full CD that features the harp as a single continuo instrument and soloist. Their third (Op. 5) and fifth CD (Op. 4, release date 2020) contains works by the 17th-century composer Don Marco Uccellini and solo Toccatas on the harp by Michelangelo Rossi.