Sun, Apr 18 | Digital performance

VERITÀ Vol. 2 Release

Premiere of the unique Italo-German program in an intimate setting of just flute, cello, and harpsichord. On the menu: Telemann, Schaffrath, Porpora and Lotti recorded in Laurentiuskirche Enkheim in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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VERITÀ Vol. 2 Release

Time & Location

Apr 18, 8:00 PM
Digital performance

About the Event

Taya König-Tarasevich - Flute

Bartolomeo Dandolo Marchesi - Cello

Alexander von Heißen - Harpsichord

Program: 

Schaffrath, Christoph (1709-1763) 

Trio Sonata in D major, CSWV E:3  

Allegro-Adagio-Allegro  

Telemann, Georg Philipp (1681-1767)

Sonata Metodica Nr. 3 in E minor 

Grave-Vivace-Cunando-Vivace  

Lotti, Antonio (1667-1740)

Trio Sonata in G major

Largo-Allegro-Adagio-Vivace

Porpora, Nicola (1686-1768)/Costanzi, Giovanni Battista (1704-1778)

Sonata in G major

Adagio-Allegro-Adagio staccato

Program Notes: 

Innovative play with and inversion of familiar instrumental roles underpin this lush and feisty program for flute, cello, and harpsichord. We begin with the Berlin composer Christoph Schaffrath (1709-1763), whose musical journey began in the Prussian court of Frederick the Great, where he was hired as the harpsichordist. Among those who advocated for him included the famous flute virtuoso Johann Joachim Quantz, who very likely was the first to perform the work that we present in our program, the Trio Sonata in D major, CSWV E:3. It is no coincidence that his music carries a resemblance to the music of C.P.E. Bach, as they were in close contact and even shared their duties at the court. Despite the outward similarities, however, perceivable features distinguish his work. For one, ornamentation. We strive in our performance to ornament this already heavily ornamented work with tasteful additions suitable for a court; perhaps these are the echos of the detailed intricacies of the Sanssouci of Frederick the Great. Also, this work is unique as each movement begins by establishing the cello as a melody instrument. Breaking free from its usual role as a continuo instrument, the cello does not merely play a supporting role but serves in an essential partnership with the flute. The next sonata by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) is the only piece on our program where the cello plays the role of basso continuo, supporting and leading the flute at the same time. Upon encountering this set of sonatas titled the „Methodical Sonatas,“ one may assume them to have an instructional function, and thus, to be musically amateur. These pieces for solo violin or flute with accompaniment, however, are not intended for instruction in performance, rather, instruction in ornamentation. In his publication, he provides the bare melody and underneath it, his suggested ornamentation of the given melody. Ultimately, Telemann encourages the performer to learn via emulation. Not only German musicians were hired by the courts: the organist Antonio Lotti (1667-1740) was appointed by Frederich Augustus I of Saxony as resident composer of sacred and secular music for the Dresden court. As Lotti attempted to bring Italian opera troups to perform his work, several German musicians (among them Johann Christoph Schmidt) saw him as a threat and attempted to thwart his musical presence and influence in the court. Perhaps this lead to his eventual retreat back to Venice, where he was highly sought after as a composition teacher. Experienced in both sacred and secular music, as well as vocal and instrumental texture, Lotti displays a mastery of compositional techniques. In his Trio for flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord, Lotti does not shy from showing the affordances of the particular solo instruments. One question does arise for the performer: was viola da gamba the bass instrument that the second solo part written for? Though we may never be sure, the fact that Lotti doesn’t use the two lowest strings of viola da gamba cause the speculation whether it was a different instrument this part was written for. Could the four-stringed Violoncello Piccolo have been the intended instrument by Lotti? In our final piece in the program, we present a work with mysterious origins: In 1745 John Walsh published a co-authored set of works by Nicola Porpora (1686-1768) and Giovanni Battista Costanzi (1704-1778). Such rare cooperation causes one to wonder why the work was published as such: Did both composers truly contribute equally to each work? Or had they compiled works that they individually composed? To add to the confusion, no complete score exists. With a book of the Violin Primo, the Violin Secondo, and yet another of the obligato cello along with the figured bass – the musicians are left to piece together a puzzle: Had this work been intended for two violins? Two cellos? A violin and a cello? In any case, we took the liberty to arrange it for two melodic instruments which presented very few challenges. As Porpora generally attempted to emulator the human voice and its expressiven nuances, his works seem to suit all melody instruments. Especially notable in this set is the slow movement, where the fundamental roles of the flute and cello are inverted, with the flute accompanying the cello’s lament.

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