Telemann’s chamber music in changing colors
No 18th century composer was so adept at so many musical styles as Georg Philipp Telemann. Telemann's versatility and inventiveness kept his musical style avant-garde during his entire life. He was not only praised by his contemporaries but was highly respected by the next generation: his fame was immense. Over the last 15 years of playing together, we were struck again and again by Telemann’s ability to expertly compose in such a variety of styles. That’s why we chose this program, to show Telemann the chameleon, the breadth of his musical palette.
Some of the pieces will undoubtedly sound familiar; others, such as the Italianate Trio for violin and cello obbligato, or the pastoral Trio for two violins in scordatura, will surely be delightful, new surprises for many. And, as the centerpiece of the recording, we have created our own suite of movements from Telemann’s highly respected publication 'Der getreue Music-Meister'. Coming in and out of disguise with Telemann’s chameleonic notes we often found ourselves wondering: is this truly music by just one composer, not six?
PASSIONE SACRA E PROFANA
Vivaldi Stabat Mater - Oscar Verhaar & New Collegium
The Passion of Christ has inspired countless baroque musical jewels. Equally inspirational are other human passions of the soul: love has provided inspiration for countless cantatas and operas. In this program, countertenor Oscar Verhaar and New Collegium take the listener on a musical journey through sacred and secular passions, focusing on two masterpieces.
Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, so dramatic and so deep, with a touching use of symbolism and baroque expression, finds its counterpart in Alessandro Scarlatti’s cantata ‘Filen, mio caro bene’, in which an equally expressive musical language is used to express Filli’s suffering for Fileno’s disbelief in her love. A sinfonia and two sonatas by these composers complete the two worlds: passione sacra e profana.
OTHER 4 PROGRAMS
TOUT SE TRANSFORME
discovering Bach’s musical library
Copying remains a great way of directly assimilating compositional practices, as one gets close up with the music, discovering and simultaneously absorbing styles and techniques. Through this practice, composers can study, source inspiration and even borrow musical ideas and stylistic traits from the works of fellow composers - an autodidact learning process. Throughout his life Johann Sebastian Bach continuously sourced and copied a variety of compositions, from his fellow countrymen as well as from respected composers in France and Italy. He used this musical library of varied repertoire not only as a means to understanding foreign styles in vogue but also as a direct source of inspiration, which he infused into his own compositions. Bach also further used the work of his peers as teaching tools for his pupils, passing on to the next generation a connection to a musical past already assimilated into his own personal taste and genius - shaping his musical legacy in a cycle that could be described as a “musical Lavoisier’s Law” ("Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme.").
The composers included in this program are all present in Johann Sebastian’s library and have in different ways influenced his work. Bach owned a copy of Dieupart’s suites (Suitte VI copied in his own handwriting) and several works by Vivaldi, Rosenmüller, Zuccari and his son’s “compater” Telemann. A basso continuo realization of Albinoni’s popular A Minor sonata by Bach’s pupil H. N. Gerber shows corrections by Bach, in a style that clearly mixes Italian practices with Bach’s own personal choices. Lastly, C.P.E Bach, who declared his father to have been his only teacher, is a great example of how Johann Sebastian’s mixed style was further twisted and transformed into the Empfindsamer Styl which his son so well embodied and which paved the way to Classicism. As a synthesis of everything that came before but also with a nod to what would have come next, the program closes with one of Bach’s well-known organ trios.