Prima Prattica Ensemble is a polyphonic vocal ensmble, meaning a musical ensemble consisting only of voices that perform "a cappella", meaning without instumental accompaniment. Prima Prattica Ensemble is specialized in the performance of music of the Renaissance, and its repertoire includes both secular as well as sacred music.
The name of the ensemble, Prima Prattica derives from what has been considered one of the most famous quarrels in the history of music: that between Giovanni Maria Artusi and Claudio Monteverdi, in the early XVII century. Monteverdi, accused of composing music that did not respect the counterpuntal and harmonic canons of his time, used the term "Prima Prattica" (First Practice) to describe the music of his illustrous predecessors such as Josquin and Palestrina. He gave the name of "Seconda Prattica", on the other hand, to the new compositional style that he himself employed, a style that gives priority to the rappresentation of words and feelings rather than to purely musical expression.
"Seconda Prattica" is that style that places the text as master of harmony and not as its servant"
The name of the ensemble is therefore derived from the repertoire that it has been created to perform, although to which it is not limited, which is to say the compositions written before the coming of the Baroque period, the start of which has been historically attributed to Monteverdi hismelf.
The ensemble was formed within the Conservatory of Rome, "Santa Cecilia", in November 2014, and aims to become an important name amongst vocal ensembles in Italy and abroad. The ensemble performs without a conductor, and the musical expression and contribution of each member is considered vital. The ensemble values and gives full responsability to each of its singers in terms of musical preparation. The organizational and musical autonomy remains therefore one of the founding principals of this group of young musitians.