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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Good to know

Italian violinist Giuliano Carmignola is a fine connoisseur of the baroque and classical repertoire. As a specialist of Vivaldi's music, he has recorded many of the Venetian composer's works. Giuliano Carmignola was born in Treviso and studied at the Venice Conservatory as well as the Chigiana Academy in Sienna. He also attended Henryk Szeryng's masterclasses in Geneva. As a soloist, he has performed under renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Eliahu Inbal, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Sir Roger Norrington. Giuliano Carmignola has regularly played with the Virtuosi di Roma since the 1970s and has appeared with numerous Early Music ensembles such as the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Il Giardino Armonico, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Accademia Bizantina and Concerto Köln, with whom he recently recorded Bach's violin concertos. In Switzerland, he has performed with the Basel and Zurich chamber orchestras and taught at the Lucerne Music University. He has also been on the staff of the Chigiana Academy. Among his many award-winning recordings are Beethoven's Triple Concerto (recorded with Dejan Lazic, Sol Gabetta and the Kammerorchester Basel conducted by Giovanni Antonini) and Vivaldi's Concertos for two Violins (with Amandine Beyer), recently awarded with a Diapason d'Or.

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