Artists

Orchestra

26 Feb '19

Concert IV
26 Feb '19

Concerto Köln

Tour

Concert dates and locations

  • 26 February 2019 | Victoria Hall Geneva | 20:00

Artists

Programme

One of the great Italian violinists of the 18th century, Pietro Antonio Locatelli left his native Bergamo at the age of sixteen to go to Rome, where he probably studied for a short time under Corelli. The virtuoso then undertook numerous trips across Italy and to Germany, before finally settling in Amsterdam, a city renowned for its music publishers. From then on, Locatelli did not appear much in public as a performer but released his own works, primarily written for the violin. The twelve Concerti Grossi Op. 1 were first published in 1721. The last four concertos of the set follow the general pattern of a dance suite.
Italy has always been a source of inspiration for composers living north of the Alps. Charles Avison, who originated from the north of England, was no exception: while in London, he was charmed by the music of Francesco Geminiani, one of Corelli's students. Avison's own production includes a large number of Concerti Grossi written in the Italian style. The most famous amongst them are the 12 Concerti Op. 6, based on keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. In these works, Avison achieved far more than simple arrangements. He reached the height of his creative powers through these musical reinterpretations in which he endeavoured to "remove the mask that hides the natural beauty of this music".
Between 1708 and 1717 Johann Sebastian Bach was employed at the court of Weimar, first as organist and later as Konzertmeister (director of music). During this period, he undertook a "Grand Tour of Italy", spending long hours behind his desk copying the works of great Italian composers such as Corelli and Vivaldi. These efforts produced results in the course of Bach's next employment at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, where the composer was expected to write instrumental pieces for the orchestra (17 musicians) at his disposal.
From then on, Bach turned his back on church music to concentrate on orchestral compositions. While the Six Brandenburg Concertos and some of the Suites were undoubtedly written during this period, the dating of the violin concertos is less obvious. It has long been an accepted fact that the three extant concertos (Bach most probably wrote at least three other violin concertos, which have since disappeared) also date from the Köthen period. In the Bach tercentenary issue of the "Early Music" journal, German musicologist Christoph Wolff surmised that the two violin concertos might be later compositions. Bach could have written them for the Collegium Musicum that he conducted in Leipzig between 1729 and 1737 and for which he wrote his keyboard concertos (many of which are transcriptions of earlier works, including the violin concertos).
The three concertos BWV 1041,1043 and 1043 are all based on the three-movement form of the Italian concerto (fast-slow-fast), which Bach embellished with a personal twist to give each of these concertos its own character.
Born into a noble Venetian family, Benedetto Marcello managed to combine a career in law and public service with his musical activities. He also published anonymously "Il Teatro alla moda", a satirical pamphlet dealing with the bad habits in the theatre of his time. The composer's catalogue contains numerous vocal and sacred works. The oratorio "Joaz" was composed around 1726 for the Imperial Court in Vienna. The libretto written by Venetian author Apostolo Zeno is based on the eleventh chapter of the Second Book of Kings (Old Testament), in which appears Jehoash (Joaz), King of Israel from 798 BC to 782 BC.
Between 1708 and 1717 Johann Sebastian Bach was employed at the court of Weimar, first as organist and later as Konzertmeister (director of music). During this period, he undertook a "Grand Tour of Italy", spending long hours behind his desk copying the works of great Italian composers such as Corelli and Vivaldi. These efforts produced results in the course of Bach's next employment at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, where the composer was expected to write instrumental pieces for the orchestra (17 musicians) at his disposal.
From then on, Bach turned his back on church music to concentrate on orchestral compositions. While the Six Brandenburg Concertos and some of the Suites were undoubtedly written during this period, the dating of the violin concertos is less obvious. It has long been an accepted fact that the three extant concertos (Bach most probably wrote at least three other violin concertos, which have since disappeared) also date from the Köthen period. In the Bach tercentenary issue of the "Early Music" journal, German musicologist Christoph Wolff surmised that the two violin concertos might be later compositions. Bach could have written them for the Collegium Musicum that he conducted in Leipzig between 1729 and 1737 and for which he wrote his keyboard concertos (many of which are transcriptions of earlier works, including the violin concertos).
The three concertos BWV 1041,1043 and 1043 are all based on the three-movement form of the Italian concerto (fast-slow-fast), which Bach embellished with a personal twist to give each of these concertos its own character.
Between 1708 and 1717 Johann Sebastian Bach was employed at the court of Weimar, first as organist and later as Konzertmeister (director of music). During this period, he undertook a "Grand Tour of Italy", spending long hours behind his desk copying the works of great Italian composers such as Corelli and Vivaldi. These efforts produced results in the course of Bach's next employment at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, where the composer was expected to write instrumental pieces for the orchestra (17 musicians) at his disposal.
From then on, Bach turned his back on church music to concentrate on orchestral compositions. While the Six Brandenburg Concertos and some of the Suites were undoubtedly written during this period, the dating of the violin concertos is less obvious. It has long been an accepted fact that the three extant concertos (Bach most probably wrote at least three other violin concertos, which have since disappeared) also date from the Köthen period. In the Bach tercentenary issue of the "Early Music" journal, German musicologist Christoph Wolff surmised that the two violin concertos might be later compositions. Bach could have written them for the Collegium Musicum that he conducted in Leipzig between 1729 and 1737 and for which he wrote his keyboard concertos (many of which are transcriptions of earlier works, including the violin concertos).
The three concertos BWV 1041,1043 and 1043 are all based on the three-movement form of the Italian concerto (fast-slow-fast), which Bach embellished with a personal twist to give each of these concertos its own character.

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For over 30 years, Concerto Köln has ranked among the leading ensembles for historically informed performance practice. With regular appearances at renowned festivals and in the major music capitals around the world, Concerto Köln is synonymous with outstanding interpretations of early music while also maintaining deep roots in Cologne, where the self-governed orchestra was established in 1985. Notable conductors with which Concerto Köln has recently collaborated include prominent names such as Ivor Bolton, Kent Nagano, Peter Dijkstra, Andrea Marcon and Gianluca Capuano. Several award-winning CD recordings, including works by Mozart and Handel, document the long-standing collaboration with René Jacobs. In the course of the 2017-2018 season, Concerto Köln launched a new long-term project initiated and directed by Kent Nagano, which will be an ongoing process in the years ahead and will involve working through Richard Wagner's Tetralogy from a historical performance practice perspective. Concerto Köln's passionate performance style and insatiable appetite for venturing into uncharted territory also extend to contemporary music: the orchestra recently associated with the ensemble Musikfabrik for the first performance of a work by Spanish composer Hèctor Parra. Newly released recordings include Vivaldi concertos with violinist Midori Seiler, Graun opera arias with soprano Julia Lezhneva as well as Vivaldi's Four Seasons with Shunske Sato, one of Concerto Köln's regular concertmasters.

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