SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2015, 8PM Pre-concert lecture by Howard Posner, 7pm Segerstrom Center for the Arts Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
VENICE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA AVI AVITAL, MANDOLIN
Sinfonia in C major for strings and basso continuo, RV 114 Allegro–Adagio–Ciaccona
A. VIVALDI (1678-1741) AVI AVITAL (UWE ARENS)
Sinfonia in D minor for strings and basso continuo, RV 127 Allegro–Adagio–Allegro
ViValdi: Sinfonia in C major for StringS and baSSo Continuo, rV 114
Concerto for lute in D major, RV 93 Allegro–Largo–Allegro Sinfonia in G major for strings and basso continuo
B. MARCELLO (1686-1739)
Presto–Largo–Prestissimo Double concerto for mandolin and recorder in G major, RV 532 (originally for two mandolins) Allegro–Andante–Allegro
A. VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Anna Fusek, recorder - INTERMISSION Concerto grosso for strings in D minor, “La Follia” (after A. Corelli Op. 5, No .12)
F. GEMINIANI (1687-1762)
Adagio – Allegro – Adagio – Vivace – Allegro– Andante Allegro – Adagio–Adagio – Allegro – Adagio – Allegro Concerto for mandolin in C major, RV 425 Allegro–Largo–(Allegro) Concerto for mandolin in E-flat major
A. VIVALDI (1678-1741) G. PAISIELLO (1740-1816)
Allegro maestoso–Larghetto grazioso–Allegretto Concerto in G minor, “Summer,” RV 315, from The Four Seasons
A. VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Allegro non molto–Adagio–Presto TOuR DIRECTIOn: Tim Fox and Alison Ahart Williams Columbia Artists Management LLC | new York, nY | www.cami.com
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Musical forms and musical instruments both exist in a state of constant change, as do the words describing them. In the eighteenth century, the meaning of words like “concerto,” “symphony” and “mandolin” depended on when and where the words were used. And even then, they could be elusive. A case in point is a hybrid of the three-movement concerto and the three-movement sinfonia that by 1700 had become the standard way to begin an Italian opera, and would in later generations turn into the most important form of orchestral music. This freestanding three-movement work, a concerto without a soloist, was called concerto a quattro (“concerto in four parts”), concerto ripieno, or sinfonia. Vivaldi’s Sinfonia in C, RV 114, is from a set of concertos copied by his father in the 1720s, and is now in the Paris Conservatory library. The Ciaccona last movement seems to be a nod to French taste: French operas typically ended with a chaconne consisting of variations over a descending ground bass like the one Vivaldi uses here. They typically digress into the minor mode, as Vivaldi’s Ciaccona does. until the very Vivaldian signature at the end, it could almost pass for French. The middle “movement” consists of only three chords. ViValdi: Sinfonia in d minor for StringS and baSSo Continuo, rV 127 Vivaldi’s Sinfonia in D minor, RV 127, is another concerto a quattro, but the four parts include only one violin part, which is unusual, and an independent contrabass part, almost unheard-of until Beethoven’s middle-period symphonies. The single violin part seems even stranger in that it has descending scale passages of the sort that Vivaldi normally divided up, with the second violin answering first violin. The outer movements are pure energy, in a relentless near-perpetual motion.
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Vivaldi’s Concerto in D, RV 93, for lute, two violins and continuo, became one of his biggest hits in the 20th century when guitarists appropriated it, the dreamlike slow movement becoming a particular radio favorite. On the mandolin it has to be played an octave higher than it would sound on a lute, so that the solo part is often in unison with the first violin part. Oddly enough, there was a time (mostly the 1980s) when cutting-edge lute scholarship held that playing the solo part in the upper octave pitch was precisely what Vivaldi intended, and indeed the visual evidence of the music on the page suggested a solo instrument sounding at violin pitch. Opinion changed quickly with the rediscovery of a tradition of writing concerted music in which the lute often doubled the violin part an octave down in tutti passages. When Italian composers wanted a violinsized plucked instrument, they would specify mandolin. benedetto marCello: Sinfonia in g major for StringS and baSSo Continuo Benedetto Marcello was a Venetian aristocrat who held a number of prominent government jobs, including governor of a Venetian district that is now part of Croatia. Composing in his spare time, he managed to produce a sizable body of music, including hundreds of solo cantatas for which he also wrote the words. In 1720, he published Il Teatro all Moda, a satirical volume in which he lampooned the Venetian opera establishment, and in particular its most prominent composer/impresario, Vivaldi. It made fun of many of Vivaldi’s signature devices, such as orchestral accompaniments in unison or without bass. Marcello, who was eight years Vivaldi’s junior, wrote music that occasionally sounds like Vivaldi’s, but he also shows all sorts of other influences. Marcello did not rely on his music for his livelihood, so he didn’t need to worry about appealing to local taste, and didn’t have to stick with whatever style brought him success. ViValdi: double ConCerto for mandolin and reCorder in g major, rV 532 In Vivaldi’s day, mandolino referred to two different types of instruments: one was a small lute with six pairs of gut strings; like a lute, it was tuned in fourths and had gut frets tied around the neck. The stringing lent itself to being played with the right-hand fingers, as the lute was played. It went by a variety of other names—including mandora, mandola, and mandore—that also referred to other instruments, which has caused no end of confusion to modern musicians and musicologists. There was also a newer mandolino napoletano, named for its origin in naples, which had four pairs of metal strings tuned in fifths (to exactly the
pitches of the violin’s four strings), with metal frets set into the fingerboard like those of a modern guitar. It was normally played with a plectrum. (This is the instrument Avi Avital usually plays.) There is less difference in the sound of the two instruments than there is between, say, a classical guitar and a steel-string folk guitar. Vivaldi used the mandolin as a soloist in four concertos, and almost nothing is known about when or why he composed them. They were likely intended for performance at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, a sort of state-supported combination girls’ orphanage, school and conservatory. Musical training was the greater part of the education there, and it became famous throughout Europe for the quality of its concerts. From 1703 until his death 38 years later, Vivaldi was associated with the Ospedale on and off, as violin teacher, as music director, and eventually as composer sending two concertos a month back to the Ospedale from wherever he happened to be in the world. The earlier the mandolin concertos were composed, the more likely that he intended a gut-strung instrument. But at a distance of two centuries, we can’t tell for sure which of the two instruments he meant by mandolino, and odds are that he would not have cared much about it. The Concerto for two mandolins, RV 532, follows the typical Vivaldian model for double concertos, with the two soloists first answering each other, then joining in parallel harmonies. In tonight’s performance, the second mandolin part is transcribed for recorder.
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ViValdi: ConCerto for lute in d major, rV 93
geminiani: ConCerto groSSo for StringS in d minor, “la follia” (after Corelli op. 5, no.12) Francesco Geminiani was nine years younger than Vivaldi, but embodies an older tradition. In the first half of the 18th century, what we now call the late Baroque, Archangelo Corelli (who died in 1704) and Vivaldi were regarded as representatives of opposing aesthetics: Corelli the well-grounded, mature creator of classic, solidly constructed sonatas and concertos; and Vivaldi the dynamic, showy, brilliant representative of the avant garde. The division might be compared to the 19th-century split between the followers of Schumann and Mendelssohn on one side and the “new German school” of Liszt and Wagner on the other. Geminiani was a student of Corelli who became the leading keeper of the Corellian flame in lands north of the Alps. He settled in London in 1715, about the same time Handel did. He is best known for his own concerto grosso sets, and for his influential and informative 1751 treatise on playing violin. The “concerto” on this program is his reworking of the final solo violin sonata of Corelli’s opus 5, a set of variations on the popular “La Follia.” Geminiani created a genuine concerto grosso by adding a viola part and an active second violin part to Corelli’s violin-and-bass texture. 3
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ViValdi: ConCerto for mandolin in C major, rV 425
ViValdi: ConCerto in g minor, “Summer,” rV 315, from The Four SeaSonS
Vivaldi’s concerto for one mandolin is a different animal from the concerto for two mandolins heard before intermission. It seems more determined to show off the distinctively chimey sonority of the instrument than does the robust-textured double concerto. In many performances, the accompanying strings are played pizzicato throughout, which gives the concerto a delicate structure that the mandolin can dominate. This was not Vivaldi’s original intent, but seems to have come up in rehearsal, probably at the Ospedale: a note on the manuscript says it’s possible for the bowed strings to play the concerto without bows (“Si può ancor fare con tutti gli violini pizzicati”).
The concertos we call The Four Seasons were published in Vivaldi’s opus 8, a 1725 collection of twelve concertos (in which the title “Four Seasons” does not appear), but likely had been circulating in manuscript copies for years before that.
paiSiello: ConCerto for mandolin in e-flat major If Giovanni Paisiello composed the mandolin concerto attributed to him, it was an unusual foray into instrumental music for a composer who devoted his career to vocal music, and achieved stardom through it. Though he always considered himself a neapolitan and always returned to naples, the great demand for his music carried him as far as St. Petersburg, where he was Catherine the Great’s music director from 1776 to 1783. Years later, he held the distinction of being napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite composer. napoleon convinced him to come to Paris in 1801 to act in some official capacity, but no one seems to have worked out the details of what his job was. He did contribute a mass and a Te Deum for napoleon’s 1804 coronation as emperor before returning again to naples, where he soon found himself a royal employee of napoleon’s brother Joseph, who became king of naples and Sicily in 1806. Paisiello composed 89 operas, many of which became repertory standards. His 1782 opera Barber of Seville was so popular that an unruly Rome mob disrupted the February 1816 premiere of Rossini’s Barber because they thought it an affront to Paisiello (a sentiment shared by Paisiello, who died four months later). Paisiello was born eight years after Haydn, and his music normally inhabits the stylistic world that we now call the High Classical. The mandolin concerto in E-flat is elegant and tuneful, but has elements of Baroque construction. For example, it contains sequences of a phrase or motif repeated at progressively higher pitches, a hallmark of Italian Baroque style but rare in later music, including Paisiello’s. This may be a sign that the concerto is an early work by Paisiello. It may also be a sign that another composer wrote it.
The feature of The Four Seasons that drew the most positive and negative attention when they were new was the one aspect that was largely ignored when, after two centuries of obscurity, they started to get played again around 1960: their pictorial literalness. Vivaldi included a sonnet for each concerto explaining what was going on, supplying not just descriptions, but performance instructions. The sonnet verses are printed not only as prefaces to each concerto, but also in all the instrumental parts, amid the tempo and dynamic markings. This is something that can pass unnoticed by modern audience of listeners who aren’t looking at the notated music. But in Vivaldi’s day the audience for his publications consisted mostly of accomplished amateur players, who would have been keenly aware that the sounds they were making represented specific scenes. The Corellians did not care for it. Geminiani could only have been referring to The Four Seasons when he wrote, "Imitating the Cock, Cuckoo, Owl and other birds…and also sudden Shifts of the Hand from one extremity of the Finger-board to the other, accompanied with contortions of the Head and Body, and all other such Tricks rather belong to the Professors of Legerdemain and Posture-makers than to the art of Musick." In Summer, the opening bars represent the “merciless summer sun” and sweltering “man and flock.” In the first solo, the violin is an ornamented cuckoo—it’s the soloist’s task to make the bird’s call distinct in a barrage of 16th-notes. The second solo depicts the turtledove and goldfinch, and rustling of the gentle Zephyr breeze, which is then joined by the violent north wind in the full orchestra. The wind subsides long enough to let us hear how a shepherd weeps because he fears a coming storm, his agitated state depicted in a sequence of chromatically descending diminished chords—dissonances that lead to other dissonances instead of resolving. The second movement continues the mood of the first, in the same key, which is unusual in a Vivaldi concerto. The shepherd, though weary, cannot rest because the insects (represented by an accompaniment figure in the second violins and violas) give him no peace and the distant thunder makes him afraid. The third movement brings the long-awaited storm, with thunder, lightning and cropdestroying hail.
VeniCe baroque orCheStra (anna Carmignola)
VeniCe baroque orCheStra Founded in 1997 by Baroque scholar and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, the Venice Baroque Orchestra is recognized as one of the premier ensembles devoted to period instrument performance. The Orchestra has received wide critical acclaim for its concert and opera performances throughout north America, Europe, South America, Japan and Korea. Highlights of the 2013-14 season include extensive tours of Europe, the united States and Asia with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky; concerts with contralto Marie-nicole Lemieux in France and Belgium, performances with cellist Gautier Capuçon including in Vienna’s Musikverein; and tours with recorder player Maurice Steger this winter and violinist Giuliano Carmignola next summer. The past two seasons have included a nine-city united States tour of the Orchestra’s Baroque concertos program featuring internal soloists; the season-opening concert of Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica; Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater and Gloria at the Bruge Concertgebouw; concerts in Lisbon and France with soprano Patricia Petibon; performances of Metastasio’s L’Olimpiade in London, Dijon, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Siena; performances with Mr. Carmignola at the Enescu, Gstaad and Dubrovnik festivals; with recorder player Anna Fusek in the Czech Republic, and in Italy and Russia with mezzo-soprano Romina Basso. In 2010, the VBO premiered Philip Glass’s violin concerto, The American Four Seasons, with violinist Robert McDuffie in a 28-city tour of the united States. Additional highlights that season included a tour of Japan and Korea
Committed to the rediscovery of 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces, under Mr. Marcon’s leadership VBO has given the modern-day premieres of Francesco Cavalli’s L’Orione, Vivaldi’s Atenaide, Andromeda liberata, Benedetto Marcello’s La morte d’Adone and Il trionfo della poesia e della musica, and Boccherini’s La Clementina. With Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Orchestra has staged Cimarosa’s L’Olimpiade, Handel’s Siroe, and Galuppi’s L’Olimpiade, and reprised Siroe at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in new York in its first full staging in the united States.
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with Mr. Carmignola; concerts in Europe with soprano Patricia Petibon, Mr. Capuçon and Ms. Basso; Vivaldi’s La senna festeggiante at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at Théâtre des Champs Elysées with soprano Veronica Cangemi and contralto Sara Mingardo; Monteverdi’s Vespers in Leipzig, and a tour of festivals in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland featuring mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená.
The Orchestra’s newest recording, of Porpora arias featuring Philippe Jaroussky with special guest Cecilia Bartoli, was released by Erato in autumn 2013. Its 2012 release on naïve, a pasticcio of Metastasio’s L’Olimpiade featuring the recording premieres of many 18th-century opera arias, was awarded the Choc du Monde de la Musique. The VBO has an extensive discography with Sony and Deutsche Grammophon. Its world-premiere recording of Andromeda liberata for DG was followed by violin concertos with Mr. Carmignola; Vivaldi sinfonias and concertos for strings; Vivaldi motets and arias with soprano Simone Kermes, two discs with Ms. Kožená—Handel arias and Vivaldi arias; Vivaldi violin concertos with Viktoria Mullova and Mr. Carmignola, and Italian arias with Ms. Petibon. The Orchestra’s earlier discography on Sony with Mr. Carmignola includes The Four Seasons, previously unrecorded Vivaldi concertos, and a collection of Bach arias featuring Angelika Kirchschlager. The Orchestra has been honored with the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Echo Award and the Edison Award. In addition to frequent radio broadcast of its concerts, the Orchestra has been seen worldwide through several television specials, including films by the BBC, ARTE, nTR (netherlands), and nHK. It has been the subject of three recent video recordings, in Romania, Croatia, and Lisbon. Its performances were also featured on Swiss TV in the documentary film by Richard Dindo, Vivaldi in Venice. The Venice Baroque Orchestra is supported by Fondazione Cassamarca in Treviso.
O r C h Es t r a r O s t E r
aVi aVital, mandolin Acknowledged by The New York Times for his “exquisitely sensitive playing” and “stunning agility,” Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital is one of the world’s most exciting and adventurous musicians. He is deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance in a range of genres and commissioning new works for mandolin. Avi Avital is internationally regarded for his performances at venues including Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall), Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonie, KKL Luzern, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and Wigmore Hall. He has appeared as soloist with the Berliner Symphoniker, Orchestre national de Montpellier, Oxford Philomusica, Sczczecin Philharmonic, Potsdam Kammerakademie, Philharmonischer Kammerorchester Berlin, Metropolis Ensemble nY, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Geneva Camerata, Israel Philharmonic, I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. He has collaborated extensively with artists such as Giora Feidman, Dawn upshaw and Richard Galliano and has also been featured at the Tanglewood, Luzern, Spoleto, and Ravenna summer Festivals. Avi Avital is the first mandolin player to receive a Grammy nomination in the category “Best Instrumental Soloist” (2010) for his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto (Metropolis Ensemble/Andrew Cyr). He has won numerous competitions and awards, including Germany’s ECHO Prize for his 2008 recording with the David Orlowsky Trio and the AVIV Competition (2007), the preeminent national competition for Israeli soloists. Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel, in 1978, he began learning the mandolin at the age of eight and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his charismatic teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha nathanson. He later graduated from the
Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padova, Italy, where he studied the original mandolin repertoire with ugo Orlandi. Avital has released various recordings in the disparate genres of klezmer, Baroque and contemporary classical music. He now records exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon and his debut release featured his own transcriptions of J.S. Bach Concertos for harpsichord and violin. His second disc, “Between Worlds,” introduced chamber music compositions from Ernest Bloch and De Falla to traditional Bulgarian Folk tunes and was released in 2014 to critical acclaim. He recorded Vivaldi Concertos with the Venice Baroque Orchestra for release in 2015. Recent highlights include concerto performances at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Performances of “Between Worlds” at the Salzburg Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus, Poisson Rouge nY, Bremen Sendessaal, Rolandseck, Seoul, Castellar Festival and the Riga Festival, while recitals included the Rheingau Festival, Musikfest Bremen, Schoss Elmau, Bristol Proms, Carnegie Hall Presents and Vancouver Recital Society. Forthcoming engagements include concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Kölner Akademie, Geneva Camerata, Israel Camerata, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra,Wroclaw Philharmonic, Hamburg Symphony and I Musici di Roma and an extensive tour of the u.S. and South America with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. He makes his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall and other recitals include the university of Chicago, Stanford university, Cremona, Salle Gaveau, Globe Theatre in London, Manchester Chamber Concerts Society, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Montreal Bach Festival, Verbier Festival, Buenos Aires, Taiwan, Cartagena Festival (Colombia) in collabroations with Mahan Esfahani, Ksenija Sidorova, Ray Chen, David Greilsamer, Andreas Scholl and the Danish String Quartet.
VENICE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA FIRST VIOLIN Gianpiero Zanocco Giacomo Catana Anna Fusek Matteo Marzaro
SECOND VIOLIN Giorgio Baldan Francesco Lovato David Mazzacan Giuseppe Cabrio VIOLA Alessandra Di Vincenzo Meri Skejic
CELLO Daniele Bovo Federico Toffano DOUBLE BASS Alessandro Pivelli LUTE Ivano Zanenghi
HARPSICHORD Shalev Ad-El MANDOLIN Avi Avital
Published on Feb 24, 2015