Mittwoch, 1. Februar 2023

CHF 50 | 30.-

19:30 Eglise de Rougemont

A. Vivaldi
Sonate en sol mineur op. 1 n° 1; Sonate pour violoncelle en mi mineur n° 5

G. B. Reali
Sinfonie IV (Sonate) en ré majeur; Sonate VIII

M. Uccellini
La Bergamasca

G. B. Reali
La Follia; Sonate pour violon en la mineur op. 2 n°1

Bach / Marcello
Andante – 1er mouvement du Concerto pour hautbois en ré mineur, d’après le Concerto BWV 974 de J.S. Bach

A. Vivald
 La Follia

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Präsentation des Konzerts

Italy at the start of the 18th century, and more particularly Venice, was a crucible in which instrumental music underwent numerous transformations, driven by countless experimentations that would conquer the whole of Europe. If one key instrument had to be picked out as the talisman of the musical sorcerers at work in this period, it would certainly have to be the violin, that duplicate of the human voice of which Vivaldi was such a renowned exponent. The present concert also represents a tribute to his compatriot and virtual musical sibling, Giovanni Battista Reali, with whom he shared an almost unlimited admiration for their exalted predecessor, Arcangelo Corelli.

Sonata in G minor op.1 no.1 • Cello Sonata in E minor no.5
One peculiarity of inventors is the capacity to undo their own inventions: although Vivaldi was the father of the trio sonata, he soon disrupted the balance of the form, incorporating within its structure dance titles such as the Allemande, or Gavotte. But beyond any technical factors, from the very start the listener is struck by the purely of the individual voices, woven together like threads of crystal. Through the charm of the harpsichord, the Adagio of the first sonata reveals, as it were in flakes, the magic of this tracery. As for the two violins, they chase each other and engage in dialogue like a pair of bees, flitting from one flower to another, from one melody to another. A Corellian elegance, of the most intimate kind, seems to pervade the cello work that follows. Fire seems to heat every bar of the Largo, with a rare flamboyance. In the fugue section of the Allegro some echoes of Bach’s Cello Suites can be heard, written in the same period. The work comes to a close with two movements in which the keyboard, far from being limited to ‘completing the harmony’, contributes to the whole as a fully-fledged partner.

Giovanni Battista Reali
Sinfonia IV (Sonata) in D major • Sonata VIII
The next voice we hear is that of Reali – at first impression more discreet, but no less expressive; like a photograph with paler, more misty hues viewed from the Vivaldian perspective. The keyboard in particular plays a detached role, assuming the reins of a solemn march. Suspended at its edges, the two violins huddle against each other in the most ethereal sections. Yet the Sinfonia also reveals its vivacity, in its musical encounters, by means of remarkable duels in sound that speak a universal language, taking us almost in the direction of Irish folklore. Did we not mention conquering Europe? A similar mischief guides the performers in Sonata VIII, where listeners may be struck by long silences, reminding us of the experimental and supremely creative nature of this phase of the Baroque era.

Aria sopra la Bergamasca
Half a century earlier, Uccellini was already exploring the possibilities of his favourite instrument, the violin. He played around like a chemist in his laboratory: the faux-naïveté of the persistent bass in the Bergamasca sets up a constant dialogue which might even call to mind the experiments of Pierre Henry in the heyday of IRCAM (Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique – Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music). Long before the electronic era, thanks to the ‘diminution’ technique – allowing for a theme to undergo infinite variation by swapping its original rhythm for ever more ‘diminished’ values – Uccellini manages to create an ageless, trance-like effect.

La Follia – Violin Sonata in A minor op.2 no.1

Andante from Oboe Concerto in D minor, after Bach’s Concerto BWV 974

La Follia
The parallel between our two Venetians, Vivaldi and Reali, reaches its climax in the juxtaposition of their respective Follias, two sonatas founded upon the same persistent bass and a similar initial theme, which will soon be revealed as the starting point for a whole range of startling devices. The ‘Follia’ was at the time a fashionable style, originating in the popular Iberian repertoire, which was beginning to enter the ranks of ‘serious’ music. In fact, between their two manifestations some nuances come to the fore: where Vivaldi unravels his initial theme, slipping like a mad scientist into new worlds, Reali takes a more classical approach. Rather than unravelling his themes in a mystical mode, he opts to bind them together in every way possible, creating both virtuosic friezes and moments of disarming stasis, where time stands still. But from one score to the other, these two ‘follies’, most of all, offer us the joy of savouring the extraordinary blend that emerges at this point in musical history between violin(s), cello and the plucked strings of the harpsichord. Not to forget the dictum often addressed to young artists: the limitation of the means can prove to be inversely proportional to the originality of the result. Another thing that captivates the listener in the case of both Vivaldi and Reali is the sheer variety of the treasures that can be carved out from the foundation of a score of merely three parts.

And between these two Follias, another moment of stasis, in the shape of the transcription for solo harpsichord that Bach made around 1708 of Marcello’s Concerto for oboe and strings in D minor – as if to remind us that the harpsichord, besides the basic support that it provides to the strings, also has its own unique, songlike, indeed polymorphic voice. In an amusing coincidence, this work was long mistakenly attributed – to Vivaldi.

Arthur Dreyfus
Translation: Saul Lipetz

Am selben Tag