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Vivaldi - Late Violin Concertos (VBO, Marcon - ... [PORTABLE]



Typical of the time, Vivaldi was a composer-performer-teacher, and these roles were inextricably linked with that of the violin maker. The art of violin making reached its apex in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, principally in the workshops of the Italians Antonion Stradivari (1648-?1838) and Guarneri del Gesu (1698-1744), both from Cremona, and the Austrian Jacob Stainer (c.1617-1683.) They built upon the accomplishments of the earliest important violin makers, notably Gasparo da Salo (1542-1609) and Giovanni Maggini (1579-c.1630) from Brescia, and Andrea Amati (c.1520-c.1611) and grandson Nicola (1596-1684) from Cremona.




Vivaldi - Late Violin Concertos (VBO, Marcon - ...


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Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was a Venetian composer, virtuoso violinist and priest. A large number of his concertos were written for the orphans at the Ospedale della Pieta where Vivaldi was employed for much of his life. He was also a successful composer of operas andsacred works.


Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) was born in what is now Piran, Slovenia, which was then part of the Republic of Venice. He took up the violin at age 18 and very shortly became one of the most celebrated violinists of his day. He wrote violin sonatas and concertos primarily, but he also took an interest in music theory and acoustics, publishing several treatises on these subjects in his later life.


The orchestra's 2004-2005 season opened with a series of concerts at the first annual Venice Music Festival in October, including the modern-day premiere of "Andromeda Liberata." Following performances of Andromeda at Carnegie Hall, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Amsterdam and London, the VBO joined Katia and Marielle Labèque for a North American tour of Bach keyboard concertos and Vivaldi sinfonias. In February, 2004, the orchestra toured the American Midwest and West Coast, featuring an appearance at Disney Hall and concert performances of the Handel opera, Siroe, at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, California. Also in 2003-2004, the orchestra performed throughout Germany, at festivals in Istanbul, Lucerne, Ambronay, Passau and Eisenach, and in concert at Sao Paolo, Zurich, Geneva, Lyon and Basel. In 2002-2003, the orchestra enjoyed a critically acclaimed, 20-concert debut tour of the United States with violinist Giuliano Carmignola, followed by appearances in Vienna, Paris, London, and Cologne with mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirschlager. Also in 2002-2003, the Orchestra appeared in concert at Rotterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Lisbon, Vienna, Barcelona, Venice, Zurich, Geneva, Munich, Düsseldorf, Lyon and Tokyo.


In 2003, the orchestra signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Following the orchestra's world premiere recording of "Andromeda Liberata," releases will include a collection of Italian violin concertos with Giuliano Carmignola, Vivaldi motets with soprano Simone Kermes, and an album of Vivaldi sinfonias. The orchestra's discography on Sony Classical includes "The Four Seasons," two albums of previously unrecorded Vivaldi concertos, Locatelli violin concertos and a collection of Bach arias featuring Angelika Kirchschlager. For its recordings, the orchestra has been honored with the Diaspason D'Or and Echo Awards.


June is the official end of the concert season, although many presenters give their last concerts in May, or even April. Here are the most important performances you do not want to miss before summer vacation.DANCE:The Royal Swedish Ballet returns to the Kennedy Center Opera House, for the American premiere of Juliet and Romeo (June 1 to 4), a new choreography by Mats Ek. Made for the company's 240th anniversary, it is a variation on the classic Shakespeare story accompanied by various pieces of music by Tchaikovsky, rather than the later Prokofiev score. ORCHESTRAS:The National Symphony Orchestra has two more worthwhile programs on offer, beginning with Leila Josefowicz playing Esa-Pekka Salonen's violin concerto (June 2 to 4), in a concert also featuring Christoph Eschenbach conducting symphonies by Haydn and Robert Schumann. The Mahler season continues with contralto Nathalie Stutzmann as soloist in the composer's Rückert-Lieder, paired with Eschenbach conducting Bruckner's fourth symphony (June 9 to 11).Up in Charm City cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for a single performance of Dvořák's cello concerto (June 15) at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, unfortunately paired with the composer's over-exposed but still crowd-pleasing ninth symphony. Speaking of overdone, yet another performance of Verdi's Requiem Mass would not normally catch my attention, but Marin Alsop's performance will feature a knockout quartet of soloists including Tamara Wilson and Elizabeth Bishop (June 17 to 19).We recommend all of the performances of the NOI Festival Orchestra, the crackerjack student ensemble that comes together each summer for the National Orchestral Institute program at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Center. Of all of them, the performance led by Osmo Vänskä (June 25) is the one not to miss, combining Nielsen's Overture to Maskarade, Lutosławski's Concerto for Orchestra, and Sibelius's second symphony.VOICES:Soprano Renée Fleming joins the Emerson String Quartet early in the month at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (June 2), for a concert combining Egon Wellesz's Five Sonnets for Soprano and String Quartet with Alban Berg's Lyric Suite, which has a part for voice in the final movement, as well as one of the Brahms string quartets.The first production from Wolf Trap Opera will be Britten's Rape of Lucretia (June 10 to 18), an opera that is just the right scale for the Barns at Wolf Trap. The rather wonderful Kerriann Otaño will take the part of the Female Chorus.At the end of the month the In Series will mount a scaled-down production of Beethoven's Fidelio at the Atlas Center (June 18 to 26). Nick Olcott directs his own English adaptation of the opera, which updates the story to an unnamed Central American dictatorship.The rest of the June concert calendar will scroll through the Ionarts sidebar.


Vivaldi, Concertos and Sinfonias for Strings, Venice Baroque Orchestra, A. Marcon (Archiv, 2006)Although the Venice Baroque Orchestra has been on American tours more recently, the last time they visited Washington was in 2011, at the National Gallery of Art. In his recordings of Vivaldi's instrumental music thus far, Andrea Marcon has focused on the pieces featuring string instruments, often in partnership with gifted violinist Giuliano Carmignola. For their program at Dumbarton Oaks, heard on Monday evening, the ensemble brought along five woodwind players, to play four of the composer's concertos scored "con molti strumenti," with a larger consort of instruments than Vivaldi generally used.Vivaldi composed at least two of these concertos, RV 576 and 577, for the Kammermusik, instrumental ensemble, of Friedrich August, the Prince Elector of Saxony. According to Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot, the German prince came to Venice for his "clandestine conversion to Catholicism." Visiting the Ospedale della Pietà with their employer, the prince's musicians hit it off with Vivaldi, especially a violinist named Johann Georg Pisendel. The prince and his musicians acquired copies of many Vivaldi pieces and, especially when Pisendel became concertmaster in Dresden, they inaugurated what Talbot refers to as a "Vivaldi cult" in the prince's Hofkapelle in that city.The VBO's period-instrument oboes, recorders, and bassoon made a splendid, slightly raucous noise in RV 577 ("Per l'Orchestra di Dresda"), especially in the intense slow movement, accompanied only by theorbo. The third movement had a more extended part for solo violin, too, an example of Vivaldi's admiring writing for Pisendel. The concert ended with RV 576 ("Per Sua Altezza Reale di Sassonia"), again buzzing with active details in the first movement, with concertmaster Gianpiero Zanocco not necessarily distinguishing himself in the first two movements, redeemed by a more focused third movement. Two other concertos with prominent woodwind sections, RV 566 and 564a, rounded out the concept, with the Largo of RV 566, a genial intertwining of two recorders, bassoon, harpsichord, and theorbo, standing out as a moment to be treasured.Other Reviews:Stephen Brookes, Venice Baroque Orchestra goes for broke at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington Post, April 12)James R. Oestreich, Venice and Vivaldi, Center Stage at the Metropolitan Museum (New York Times, April 11)A concerto for the not quite effective pairing of solo oboe and violin, RV 548, was a bit of a disappointment, not due to the beautiful melodic lead of the oboe lines. The most splendid solo vehicle was RV 316a, a concerto adapted by Bach for the organ, heard here in a version for flautino, a high recorder, played with brilliant finger technique, flowery embellishments, and endless breath support by soloist Anna Fusek. Two concerti grossi, Corelli's op. 6/4 and Handel's op. 3/1, rounded out the program, featuring the string sections in some of their better moments, although the violins often seemed just slightly out of touch with Marcon in the concert's least satisfying aspect.Marcon conducted while playing the continuo part from the harpsichord, an instrument modeled on a 17th-century Italian instrument by Thomas and Barbara Wolf, which made some beautiful sounds. Two encores, Handel's chaconne from Terpsichore and a reprise of the third movement of RV 577, brought the evening to a close -- as well as the season at Dumbarton Oaks, which the audience toasted at intermission with a glass of prosecco.The Venice Baroque Orchestra returns to the area next season, on the concert series at Baltimore's Shriver Hall (February 12, 2017). 041b061a72


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