“Pianississimo” and “sospiroso come il Ponte dei Sospiri” – this is how the Museum of Musical Instruments at the Benedetto Marcello conservatory in Palazzo Pisani, Venice, unveils itself

“Pianississimo” and “sospiroso come il Ponte dei Sospiri” – this is how the Museum of Musical Instruments at the Benedetto Marcello conservatory in Palazzo Pisani, Venice, unveils itself

Do you like music? Do you like to see how it is miraculously produced? The Museum of Musical Instruments of the Venice Conservatory displays a number of musical instruments, nice to look at yet more or less mysterious to the non-expert eye. Observing them, though, might open a glimmer of light and, maybe… pierce through darkness…

Celestial harmonies: musical instruments in Venetian paintings currently on display at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice

Celestial harmonies: musical instruments in Venetian paintings currently on display at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice

Music almost dates back to the time men and women first appeared on Earth, but it is only in Medieval times that paintings started suggesting Heaven was even more beautiful with angel musicians playing music. At the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, we can see how ancient instruments (for which paintings often provide rare testimonies) were originally only played by angels, followed by brothers during processions and religious festivities and later also by poets or simple musicians.

Pietà now as then

Pietà now as then

Pietà is a truly moving institution that has existed ever since it was first established in 1346 to help those children – initially exclusively from poor families – who were abandoned in the streets of Venice, a city that suffered from this plague like many others.
But it is also touching for its extraordinary developments, both involving or not involving music, connected to private and public generosity and, at the same time, for teaching its “daughters” a lot thanks to the work of composers and musicians such as Vivaldi who dedicated almost forty years of his life to them.