I first came into contact with historically informed continuo playing at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. This sparked my interest in basso continuo research and my career has since been led by the desire to combine research and performance practice. My approach towards accompanying radically changed and has hence been central to both my performing career as well as to my teaching. I taught harpsichord and basso continuo at the mdw – University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna from 1989–2021 and completed a PhD on Simone Verovio in 2015. A revised version appeared in print in 2018. It explores both printing aspects as well as performance practice facets and the relationship between the two around 1600.
My passion lies in the music of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Together with Markus Grassl I have organised two conferences on music of this period: cantare nel gravicembalo in 2019 and universum rei harmonicae concentuum absolvunt: the harpsichord in the 16th century in 2021. Both conferences have been followed by publications (2022 and forthcoming).
After a performing career which led me all over Europe, North and South America in the 1980s and 90s, I spent more time on research. Recently, I am starting to put my research to practice and am occasionally performing. I prefer to play in small settings for colleagues and amateurs – in the sense of lovers of music. I have initiated a series of house concerts where we play for each other without the constraints of having to play sellable concert programs and adapting to concert halls. We experiment with new ideas and compositions.
On my copy of a sixteenth-century harpsichord by Joel Katzman, I have been experimenting with early fingerings, hand positions and ornaments and the effect these have on the aural results. I actively seek out the vocal aspects of music as a means of communication to move the passions and affects of the soul, as Vicentino among others puts it:
‘moderare le passioni e affetti dell’animo’.
J. P. Sweelinck Paduana Lachrymae
MA. Cavazzoni Madame vous aves mon cuor
MA. Cavazzoni recercare primo
Videos by Martin Rainer and Magdalena Hasibeder
Photos by Ivan Kitanovic
Augusta Campagne studied harpsichord and figured bass in Amsterdam and Basel and until recently taught these subjects at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Since first publishing on early basso continuo in 1995, she has focussed on researching keyboard accompaniment around 1600 as well as music printing in the same period. In 2015 she completed a PhD. A revised version of her thesis Simone Verovio: Music printing, intabulations and basso continuo in Rome around 1600, appeared in print in 2018. Together with Elam Rotem, she published Keyboard accompaniment in Italian music around 1600, an online publication for the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (2022). Besides publishing widely on topics of music around 1600, Augusta has performed and recorded on historical keyboard instruments all over Europe, North and South America, both as a soloist and as a continuo player.