In 1650, the scholar Athanasius Kircher wrote for the first time about a phenomenon that had been familiar to the music world for some time: rhapsodically free instrumental music-making, in which virtuosity is expressively in the foreground and compositional inspirations sometimes disregard the rules of harmony. Kircher called this „stylus phantasticus“.
With the development of the monody in Italy around 1600, vocalists initially moved the hearts of the audience, but soon the best instrumentalists emulated them in their own way. The melody instruments swung into their own solo and duo songs, which even today impress in rhetoric and emotionality without words. The listeners at that time were almost in ecstasy, as contemporary reports say.
CordArte presents outstanding examples of this new art under the motto "Rapsodia italiana". Here, the violin in particular can make its mark as a new virtuoso instrument. But the viola da gamba also comes into its own, both alone and in dialogue. Last but not least, the harpsichord and organ demonstrate their qualities both as harmonic accompanists and as soloists.