In spite of its noble past, the Italian salterio is almost unknown today. But hundreds of compositions for virtuosos and laymen demonstrate the interest of the upper class of society in this instrument. In the 18th century, the nobility grew more and more fascinated by this trapezoidal instrument, which led to its play being taught in the circles of Italian aristocrats. In 1749, the salterio was banished from the church by order of Pope Benedict XIV. Nevertheless, in the second half of the century, the salterio came into fashion in the sacred repertoire and was played especially in nunneries.
In the Lamentations for the Holy Week for obbligato psaltery, soprano and basso continuo coming from the Benedictine monastery of San Severio (Apulia), we find a fine example of the Italian rococo, full of colourful textures and unusual sounds, masterly rendered by the soprano Miriam Feuersinger and the psaltery specialist, Franziska Fleischanderl.