Inspired by Corelli
Starts from: November 13, 2017
Start Time 7:00 pm End Time8:30 pm
Monday, 13th of November 2017, 7.00 pm, The Jewish Theater
“Ever since Corelli invented the patterns of sonata and instrumental concert, European music has made remarkable progress. It is Corelli that we should thank for the complexity of harmonies and the brilliance of sounds”; “At the same time Corelli turned his Opus 5 sonatas in true musical masterpieces”. These are the impressions of the French Michel Corette, written in the volume “Le Maître de Clavecin” about the Italian Corelli. They are ever more relevant as it is a well-known fact that the two important European musical schools in the Baroque era – the French and the Italian schools – were permanent “artistic rivals.”
“The master whose violin was made to speak”, was, as Roger North (close to Purcell) says, a well-known figure in England as well. It was also Roger North who mentioned how popular was in England the Opus 5 Sonatas collection for violin and basso continuo published in Rome in January 1700, dedicated to Sophie Charlotte, Princess of Brandenburg, a renowned music figure of the times.
The volume title “Sonate a Violino e Violone o Cimbalo” suggests the accompaniment alternance between the cello / violone and the harpsichord. This was a much debated subject by theorists and interpreters. Some believe these works may be interpreted either with harpsichord accompaniment which would bring out naturally the harmonies indicated by the composer along the basso lines or with cello / violone accompaniment that would interpret the basso line and insert (to the extent permitted by the instrument’s technical possibilities) the indicated harmonies. While others think sonatas must be interpreted with harpsichord accompaniment supported for the basso line by cello or violone.
The ornamentation of the Opus 5 sonatas (especially those from the first half of the volume) was always a subject often debated because the free ornamentation methods constitute a skill which any interpreter needs. The old copies of the manuscript as well as variants of published editions indicate the fact that the ornaments were written by the composer himself. However, there are ornamentation variants by some renowned cellists, among them Francesco Geminiani, the disciple of Corelli. Corelli’s sonatas and their ornamentation were over many years a significant test in the assessment of violinists’ skills, being deemed up to the contemporary period referential for the violin repertoire.
The skill of freely ornamenting a musical text was not strictly technical, but referred to the way in which the text was understood and interpreted. Corelli borrowed from his predecessors the concepts of affeti and effeti which he adapted to his own compositional style. The primary meaning of the term affeto refers to a certain state of mind. For Italian composers, this term was directly linked to the expressive meaning of a musical text: “In the cases in which music does not seem dominanted by counterpoint techniques, the affeto (affection) of the respective passage and the goal of the author should be grasped for a good audition” said Frescobaldi. It was thus created a parallel world of feelings which was linked to a series of gestures or rhetorical procedures meant to offer a better understanding of the musical message to the interpreter or listener. On the other hand, effeti are considered rhetorical procedures intended to convey emotions such as the ornaments “trills or other effeti which are present throughout the playing” as states again Frescobaldi touching upon vocal singing. The instrumentalists’ ability to ornament is closely related to voice interpretation, a good interpreter was that who made his/her instrument sound like the human voice.
The first six sonatas of the collection are structured following the pattern of the sonata da chiesa, although the final movements of two of them (Sonata III and Sonata V) are written on a metric-rhythmic pattern characterizing the jig. It is noteworthy here the alternation between the fugue swift movements (Allegro or Vivace) and the slow movements (Grave or Adagio) featuring a complex and laborious ornamentation.
The works of the second part are constructed differently, on a sonata da camera pattern, being delimited by the title Seconda Parte which appears before Sonata VII. The movements of the last sonatas are given names of Baroque suite dances: Allemanda, Corrente, Sarabanda, Giga, Gavotta. Also, each of the first five works of this part opens with a Preludio, itself lavishly ornamented, such as the sections Grave or Adagio of the first part of the volume.
It can be thus observed that although delimited within the collection but also from the point of view in which they were thought, the Corellian formal schemes coalesce in this opus. Both dances and preludes as well as the parts titled Grave or Fuga require the same lush ornamentation procedures or the good understanding and selection of the two categories, i.e. affeti and effeti.
The final work of the volume, which bears number XII, does not fit within any of the aforementioned patterns. Its title is Follia and consists in a set of 22 variations having as theme the old Portuguese dance. “The madness” suggested by the title reflects in all likelihood the savageness of the dancers which Corelli takes to an extreme. In one of his treatises Geminiani characterizes Corelli’s variations as the most advanced work of the violonist repertoire and maintains that: “I had the pleasure of talking to him on this topic and I heard him confessing about his Satisfaction experienced while composing them [tr.n. the variations] and the very special Value which he conferred on them.”
English version Cosmin Bădulețeanu
Archangelo Corelli (1653 – 1713)
Sonate a violino e violone o cembalo, op. 5
Sonata X (F major)
Preludio (Adagio) – Allemanda (Allegro) – Sarabanda (Largo) – Gavotta (Allegro) – Giga (Allegro)
Sonata I (D major):
Grave – Allegro – Adagio – Grave – Allegro – Adagio – Allegro (Fuga) – Allegro – Adagio – Allegro (Fuga)
Sonata VII (d minor):
Preludio – Corrente (Allegro) – Sarabanda (Largo) – Giga (Allegro)
Sonata IX (A major)
Preludio (Largo) – Giga (Allegro) – Adagio – Tempo di Gavotta (Allegro)
Sonata XII (d minor) – Follia
Mircea Ionescu – violin
Andrej Jovanić – theorbo
Ciprian Câmpean – cello
Raluca Enea – harpsichord
Mircea Ionescu graduated G. Enescu Highschool and the National University of Music in Bucharest (in 1997).
In 2003 he attended the Baroque violin courses at Karlsruhe Academy under the guidance of Anton Steck.
He was first a violin teacher and since 1999 he is singing in the Philharmonic Choir in Bucharest.
Between 2003 and 2009 he was the artistic manager of the Lutheran Church music series.
He collaborated with the violin player Mihail Ghiga and Collegio Stravagante; together they have performed in several important opera projects such as ”Deceballo”, ”Pyram & Thisbe”, ”Dido&Aeneas”, presented at the National Opera in Bucharest.
Since 2009 he became a member of the Balkan Baroque Band, an early music orchestra founded by Jean-Cristoph Frisch; together with BBB, Mircea performed in many musical projects in France, Thessaloniki, Athens, Sofia and Bucharest. In 2012, BBB under the musical leading of Jean-Luc Larguier, joined Wu-Wei, a musical project presenting Vivaldi’s ”Seasons”. They performed in the most important towns of France, Netherlands and Switzerland. Mircea also recorded with them a CD in Paris, inside this project.
In Romania, Mircea regularly plays in Early music festivals such as Sibiu, Brașov, Miercurea Ciuc, under the musical leading of Ulrike Titze. He collaborated with Adrian Butterfield in opera projects such as Cavalieri’s ”Rappresentatione di anima e di corpo” and „The Fairy Queen” by G. Fr. Haendel. Together with Children Radio Choir, he played ”Esther” and ”Stabat Mater” by Pergolesi. He also conducted ”Dido&Aeneas” by Henry Purcell. Together with BBB, he yearly plays on different stages such as the Romanian Atenaeum.
Andrej Jovanić (1977) graduated lute, theorbo and early guitars in class of prof. Rolf Lislevand, at Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Trossingen (Germany). Studies in Early Music and historical performance he started with prof. Elizabeth Kenny at Royal Academy of Music, London.
As a continuo player he accompished numerous performances of chamber, orchestral and early opera repertoire throughout Europe. He performed with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightement, Musicians of the Globe, Balkan Baroque Band with whom he recorded several CDs.
Andrej also holds a Master degree in classical guitar and he is teaching in Belgrade, Serbia.
Born in 1971, Ciprian Câmpean studied the cello at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj (Romania) with Professor Vasile Jucan.
He participated in several cello and chamber music masterclasses. Passionate about baroque music, he became a member of ”La Follia” and of the ”Transylvania Baroque Ensemble”, with whom he realised several recordings for labels, as well as for radio and television.
As a baroque cellist, he took part in many festivals and in masterclasses with Mira Glodeanu Bruno Cocset, James Munro, Frederick Haas at the Academy of Sable. In 2013, he joined the Center for Early Music of the High School of Music in Geneva for a master’s degree in specialised music in the class of Bruno Cocset.
Raluca Enea is a graduate of the National University of Music of Bucharest – the Instrumental Pedagogy – piano and Interpretation – harpsichord sections, under the guidance of Prof. Ogneanca Lefterescu. As of 2005 she continued her harpsichord studies in Germany under the guidance of professors Harald Hoeren, Glen Wilson and Ketil Haugsand.
She attended masterclasses held by Menno van Delft (the Netherlands), Frédérick Haas (Belgium), Malcolm Bilson (USA), Ketil Haugsand (Norway), courses at the Sablé Academy under the guidance of professors Françoise Lengellé and Howard Crook (harpsichord and Baroque canto), as well as chamber music courses with Jan de Winne, Marcel Ponseele and Hervé Douchy (Belgium).
She held concerts in Romania, Germany, Norway, Hungary. Raluca is a lyrical artist of the “G. Enescu” Philharmonic of Bucharest, an associate professor and a PhD student of the National University of Music of Bucharest, and the artistic director of the Bucharest Early Music Festival. In Romania, she coordinates Early music educational and training projects supported by the Antiqva Cultural Association.
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