The Program Explores the Connections and Exchanges Among Musical Styles of Italy, France, England and More, in Les Nations - Biondi's Own Assembled Suite from Various European Composers
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, AT 8 PM
The Concert is Generously Sponsored by the E. Nakamichi Foundation
Internationally renowned Europa Galante returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall with its director-violinist Fabio Biondi on Tuesday, April 1, at 8 p.m. Biondi leads his ensemble in three works by Vivaldi – Sinfonia from La Senna festeggiante in C major, Concerto for viola d'amore and lute in D minor and Concerto for 2 violins and cello, Op. 3, No. 11 in D minor – Leclair’s Concerto for Violin and Strings, Op.7, No. 3 in C major; and Purcell’s Suite from Abdelazer (The Moor's Revenge). The evening's performance examines the confluence of Baroque musical styles, particularly the dominance of Italy and France, and culminates with Biondi's own suite comprised of multiple works by a diverse group of European composers. The concert is part of the LA PHIL’s Baroque Variations 2007/08 series.
The program opens with Vivaldi’s Sinfonia from La Senna festeggiante in C major. Written for an official Venetian ceremony in 1726, the serenata has three characters – Virtue, the Age of Gold and the Seine River – and praises the 16-year-old French king, Louis XV. The cross-cultural praise was not unusual at the time due to Venice’s small military and need to maintain alliances. Vivaldi’s Concerto for viola d'amore and lute in D minor, and Concerto for 2 violins and cello, Op. 3, No. 11 in D minor, highlight the evening's portrayal of the vibrant Italian style. The viola d’amore has six or seven strings, tuned in a variety of ways, and a slope-shouldered, flat-backed body. Like a violin, it is held on the shoulder and has no frets, but differs in that it has thin wire sympathetic strings that run under the neck. It produces a sound that is soft and sweet.
Sandwiched between these works are the Concerto for Violin and Strings, Op. 7, No. 3 in C major by French composer Jean-Marie Leclair, a virtuosic violinist greatly influenced by Vivaldi, and Henry Purcell’s Suite from Abdelazer. Leclair’s concerto presents a bouncy energetic opening, logical development and serene and dignified air. The ritornellos and intense solo part in the slow movement are quite dramatic and the finale displays Vivaldi’s great influence. Scored for string orchestra and harpsichord, Purcell’s Suite from Abdelazer features one of the Englishman’s most endearing and memorable tunes; the famous rondeau has been used in Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and more recently in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice scored by Academy Award-winning composer Dario Marianelli.
The concert closes with Les Nations, a suite in which Biondi integrates various pieces from numerous European composers suggesting impressions of varied lands and cultures.
Europa Galante's performance continues the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's 2007/08 season of its Baroque Variations series dedicated to music from this period. The four-concert series concludes with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and conductor-pianist Thomas Adès, May 21.
An Upbeat Live pre-performance discussion is offered in BP Hall one hour prior to the concert and is free to ticket-holders. Daniel Kessner, composer, conductor, flutist and Emeritus Professor at Cal State Northridge, hosts.
EUROPA GALANTE has performed in many of the world's major concert halls and theaters and has toured throughout Australia, Japan, Canada, Israel, the United States and South America. The ensemble often collaborates with the Ente Santa Cecilia in Rome to find and restore 18th-century Italian operas such as Antonio Caldara's La Passione di Gesù Cristo and Leonardo Leo's Sant'Elena al Calvario. Europa Galante's repertoire ranges from the operas of Handel (Poro) and Vivaldi (Bazajet) and the oratorios of Alessandro Scarlatti (Maddalena, La Santissima Trinità), through to the great instrumental works of the 18th century. The ensemble has performed at the Alessandro Scarlatti Festival in Palermo, giving the world premieres of Clori, Dorino e Amore and the staged operas Massimo Puppieno Il Trionfo dell'Onore, La Principessa Fedele and in 2003, Carlo Re d'Alemagna. The ensemble has a varying structure, and often performs chamber music such as the string sonatas of Italian composers of the seventeenth century. In 1998, after years of collaboration with the French record company Opus 111, Europa Galante signed an exclusive contract with Virgin Classics which went on to release their recordings of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Luigi Boccherini's string quintets as well as arias from cantatas by J.S. Bach with the tenor Ian Bostridge. Its CD of Vivaldi's “Concerti con molti strumenti” was nominated for a 2004 Grammy. Recent CDs include Alessandro Scarlatti's oratorio La Santissima Trinità following its US premiere at the Lincoln Center, Mozart Concertos, and Sinfonie con titoli. The ensemble’s next opera project, after Vivaldi's Opera Bajazet, which received considerable critical acclaim and a 2006 Grammy nomination, will be Vivaldi's Ercole sul Termodonte. Other future recording projects include Vivaldi's concertos for Viola d'Amore, another Boccherini album and a Vivaldi collection "La Stravaganza." Europa Galante is the resident orchestra at Fondazione Teatro Due in Parma.
Born in Palermo, FABIO BIONDI began his international career at the age of 12, performing his first solo concert with the RAI symphony orchestra. Driven early on by an inexhaustible cultural curiosity, Biondi was introduced to pioneers of the new approach to baroque music, an opportunity that was to expand his musical vision and change the direction of his career. When he was 16, he was invited by the Musikverein of Vienna to perform Bach's violin concertos. Since then, Biondi has performed with ensembles including Cappella Real, Musica Antiqua Wien, Seminario Musicale, La Chapelle Royale and Les Musiciens du Louvre (since its foundation), all specializing in the performance of Baroque music using original techniques and instruments. In 1990, Biondi founded Europa Galante and the ensemble has since been invited to play at the most important world festivals and concert halls. Biondi's musical development, taking in both the universal repertoire plus the rediscovering of minor composers, includes three centuries of music. This is illustrated in his varied discography: Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Corelli's Concerti Grossi, the oratorios, the serenatas and operas of Alessandro Scarlatti (La Messa di Natale, Clori, Dorino e Amore, Massimo Puppieno and Il Trionfo dell'Onore), Handel's operas (Poro), and the XVIII century Italian violin repertoire (Veracini, Vivaldi, Locatelli, Tartini), as well as sonatas by Bach, Schubert and Schumann. Biondi embodies the perpetual pursuit of style, free from dogmatism, and he remains intent in his quest for the original language. It is due to this very approach that he can collaborate as soloist and conductor with many varied orchestras, including Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra, the European Baroque Orchestra, the Opera of Halle, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Norway, the Orchestre Nationale of Montpellier and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, to name but a few. Biondi also performs in duo with piano, harpsichord or forte-piano in prestigious venues around the world. Since March 2005, Biondi has filled the role of artistic director for Baroque music of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Next season, he will conduct the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, l'Orchestre de Montpellier, the Orchestre de Berne, Orquesta de Granada, and the English Concert. Biondi plays a 1766 Carlo Ferdinando Gagliano violin, owned by his teacher Maestro Salvatore Cicero and kindly lent to him by the Salvatore Cicero Foundation in Palermo.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 8 PM
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Fabio Biondi, director/violin
VIVALDI Sinfonia from La Senna festeggiante in C major
LECLAIR Concerto for violin and strings, Op.7, No. 3 in C major
VIVALDI Concerto for viola d'amore and lute in D minor
PURCELL Suite from Abdelazer (The Moor's Revenge)
VIVALDI Concerto for 2 violins and cello, Op. 3, No. 11 in D minor
Arr. BIONDI Suite Les Nations
An Upbeat Live pre-performance event is offered in BP Hall one hour prior to the concert and is free to ticket-holders. Daniel Kessner, composer, conductor, flutist and Emeritus Professor at Cal State Northridge, hosts.
The concert is generously sponsored by the E. Nakamichi Foundation.
Tickets ($15 - $88) are on sale now online at LAPhil.com, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15) are released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances two weeks prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.
# # #
Adam Crane, 213.972.3422, firstname.lastname@example.org; Photos: 213.972.3034