Castello & Venice: Forgotten Grapes and A Forgotten Composer


Castello & Venice: Forgotten Grapes and A Forgotten Composer

Forgotten Grapes & A Forgotten Composer with Bat & Bottle

“Italy boasts perhaps the world’s richest variety of individual wine styles, distinctive terroirs, and indigenous grape varieties… Her wines have a vivacity, originality, savour and flair all of their own…” to quote Jancis Robinson and Hugo Johnson. Alongside the music of Dario Castello – long-forgotten Venetian composer, highly popular in his day and overdue a renaissance now – we explore some similarly forgotten Italian grape varieties from the same North-Eastern region of Italy as Castello’s home. In the company of Italian wine expert Ben Robson from Bat & Bottle, we will indulge in white, red, and sparkling wine from the regions around Venice in a pre-concert and interval tasting.

The Academy of Ancient Music aims to make the first complete recording of Castello’s sonatas in 2020 and so bring them to a new, modern audience; and Ben Robson believes just as passionately in introducing contemporary palettes to some of Italy’s finest native grapes. From Rossanel (on the verge of extinction) to Erbaluce di Caluso (perhaps Piemonte’s finest white varietal) via Cividin, Schioppettino and more, this promises an evening of musical and vineous discovery – both in London and in Cambridge.

‘Whether from Italy, Spain or Portugal… We have developed a taste for wines made by men and women who cherish the history and traditions of their hills and valleys.’ BEN AND EMMA ROBSON


Glories of Venice 

The Academy of Ancient Music returns to a revolutionary period of Italian music with the Second Book of Sonatas by Venetian man of mystery Dario Castello.

Working at the same time as Claudio Monteverdi, Dario Castello wrote innovative and ground-breaking sonatas that had a profound effect on generations of Italian composers. But next to Monteverdi, Catello enjoys a more modest reputation. Indeed, there is some question around whether he existed at all or whether the name is an anagram of that of the real composer of his music.

AAM Music Director Richard Egarr is a lifelong advocate of Castello, and following his critically acclaimed performances and recording of the First Book of Sonatas in 2016, he directs members of AAM in this Second Book of fiercely virtuosic, adventurous and expressive sonatas that are full of imagination and colour.

Ben Robson - Director
Concert details
Ben Robson Director
Concert dates
West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 | 6.30pm
Tickets: £75
Box office: 01223 357851
Milton Court Concert Hall, London
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 | 6.30pm
Tickets: £75
Box office: 020 7638 8891