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Interview November 2017: 10 Questions with P. Martos Lozano (English)

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Pablo Martos Lozano: Official Sites
Pablo Martos Lozano Site: Pablo Martos Lozano
Pablo Martos Lozano: Garnati Ensemble
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (LinkedIn)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (Twitter)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (Facebook)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (YouTube)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Garnati Ensemble (Twitter)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Alberto Martos Lozano

Pablo Martos Lozano: CD Albums
Pablo Martos Lozano: Sony Classical: Haydn Violin & Cello Concertos
Pablo Martos Lozano: Sony Classical: J.S.Bach – The Goldberg Variations


1. This year 2017 you have released a marvellous Album CD with your performance of two Violin Concertos by Joseph Haydn: the Violin Concerto Hob. VIIa:4 in G Major & the Violin Concerto Hob.VIIa:1 in C Major. What led you to produce such CD with music by Haydn? What is your relationship with J. Haydn’s music and what attracts you most about his music? What has been your experience during the recording sessions?

There are many reasons behind this decision on Haydn.

And all these reasons just lead to the name of this absolute great Austrian master of music composition: Joseph Haydn.

The first reason, so, was the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada itself: it has a great reputation and prestige and especially in the classical repertoire. It is not a large-sized orchestra and, thank to this, it usually works on a repertoire typical of the classical period orchestras, that’s to say the music written in the 18th century. In its repertoire it has many works of the Baroque era, even though it is not a Period-Instruments Orchestra.

Then the maestro Antoni Ros Marbà is highly revered for his interpretations of Haydn’s music. If you put together all these elements, you already understand that the final result of this type of collaboration was just going to be highly interesting and that we could say certain things, by even breaking some clichés and all this beyond some immutable positions of certain schools of interpretation.

In conclusion, just add my typical curiosity for those repertoires which you very rarely find in concert halls.

The fact that Mozart had written his own marvellous violin concertos, on the other hand, generated the problem that his talent and his name were going to outshine those of the other composers of his era, both in the same music composition category and also in other more peculiar situations.

I adore those composers who managed to create some bridges between different forms of language. And sometimes such different types of style or of language were brought to excellence by composers who then became very famous for their works. And I am really interested in considering how a certain type of creation received its own birth in its most intimate manner. It is a special type of process which some of my favourite composers managed to master in a fundamental manner, thanks to their genius, a thing which made them great throughout the centuries in the field of musical creation.

This peculiar relationship among these different spheres (curiosity, admiration and love) led me to decide to start this project on Haydn’s violin concertos.

I can clearly see that there are so many recordings featuring the violin concertos by W. A. Mozart. And, exactly for this reason, I think that the concertos by J. Haydn, which have just few recordings, allow a musician to say something new with them and about them, through their interpretation and performance. Moreover, in that very moment, during the recording of these violin concertos, I felt that I could add my own contribution, exactly on the very special way I could say something new.

So my experience, during the recording of Haydn, was of great joy and pleasure.

During the sessions of preparation and the daily practice, I continuously tried various improvisations in the phrasing, in the articulations and ornamentations… In this way I maintained in myself that freshness of intention even much vivider… the very reason for recording this marvellous CD with Haydn’s violin concertos.

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2. You had already produced a critically acclaimed Album CD with a transcription of J.S. Bach’s The Goldberg Variations for string trio and you are a well known Bach violin interpreter. What do you think of the evolution of violin writing and treatment in musical composition from Bach to Haydn and Mozart up to Brahms? Haydn wrote his violin concertos in his youth in the 1760s, Mozart his own concertos nearly 10 years later in 1775: what the differences between the concertos of these two composers?

Throughout history, from Bach to Brahms, violin writing has evolved so much and also the methods of writing and composition of the great composers evolved so much.

I think that the evolution of violin writing itself really took place, when the various composers invented new ways of treating that instrument. I can say even that sometimes those composers just worked, it seems, by deliberately forgetting what had been written for the violin beforehand.

A great example is the music by Bach itself. In his Sonatas & Partitas the polyphonic treatment is far superior to any other work written by the great famous Baroque virtuosos, like Biber. The difference is given by the fact that Bach works on the independence and the absolute development of all the voices in a way, which we can call complete, and all this on an instrument like the violin. From this we understand that, in that period, this type of music was somehow more on a intellectual level than on a more practical one. When I started studying the Baroque violin, I was shocked when I realized that Bach’s Sonata & Partitas so rarely appear in the repertoire and in the normal practice of the specialists of Baroque.

And, please, do not forget that his Brandenburg Concertos was really too demanding for the violinists of that period!

And, about his Sonatas & Partitas, they are de facto the only Baroque a solo you play practically only on a romantic violin!

Pablo Martos plays Bach’s Sarabande,
Partita II in D minor BWV 1004

Mozart’s treatment of the violin in his concertos is exactly identical to the treatment of the voice of an opera singer. When the violin plays, it is always in the foreground and more and more it acquires the dimension of various different characters of an opera. The fundamental difference with the violin concertos written by Haydn is due to the fact that in Haydn’s concertos we find clear reminiscences of the Baroque Concerto Grosso. In our version we want the violin to often play as if part of the tutti and that only at certain given moments its sound resurfaces and emerges as a solo, and especially when the writing of thorough bass allows all this. I like recreating that special sonority of Corelli’s Concerti Grossi during the performance of Haydn’s violin concertos. And I adore Haydn’s superior command in writing any sort of ornamentations, imitating thus the Italian opera style. It is a thing of magnificent beauty! And this is due also to the fact that the first violin concerto was written by Haydn for one the most important violin virtuosos in history: Luigi Tomasini. In fact, the first violin concerto by Haydn features really great virtuoso and demanding parts, for its passages extremely high and rapid.

If we put together all the qualities of the violin concertos written by Mozart and by Haydn, we’ll discover the essence of what will be, a few years later, the great romantic concerto. Just create a much heavier orchestration, add a pizzicato to the left hand and some harmonics and you’ll have the typical writing of Paganini.

In Brahms’s concerto the violin writing receives some changes and evolves in a way that allows the violin to have a more penetrating and wider sound. And all this makes the competing of the violin with the typical grandeur of a grand orchestra possible. The overwhelming and voluminous sonority generated by Brahms with his orchestra is far superior and requires some adjustments. But, I say, the lyric essence itself of the violin as instrument remains immutable and unchanged throughout history.

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3. You have studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and with Yehudi Menuhin and then you have worked with Barenboim. How these three different fundamental experiences have enriched your life, as an artist and as a person?

They are just three completely different points of view.

I studied with Reinhard Goebel in Salzburg and I learnt to play and treat a very peculiar and rather different type of instrument: the Baroque violin. Moreover he well knew how to transmit all his passion for the original sources. His teachings and his words were always fundamental on how we are craftsmen ready to serve the music and accurately try to investigate the techniques of music interpretation and performance of composers such as Corelli and Vivaldi. It was a type of work rich of genuineness and exciting. In this way, in fact, I had the possibility of studying the many fundamental rules of that period to be used to correctly interpret and perform the music written by Mozart and by Bach. And what I liked the most of all is that I learnt, at the same time, how to use our own energy, passion, vitality and artistic strength during a music performance, by using those very rules in a creative manner and so that the technical discourse led to a practical performance and was not left on a pure intellectual level: you must obey this and this, just because the treatises say that and nothing else… because this is exactly the worst thing which may happen.

Just on the opposite side we find Yehudi Menuhin, the descendant of an ancestry of romantic virtuosos. The sound of Menuhin was immensely expressive. I was not lucky enough to regularly work with him, but, as long as we worked together, I learnt how important tension is in the musical form. For example, how we must organize the energy and the sources of tension in a 13 minutes piece, like Bach’s Chaconne for violin solo.

The performance of the short pieces which are parts of that work by Bach was carried on with a great sense of liberty and especially through an accurate perception of one’s own intuitions. Such concept is difficult to explain, because it is not directly tangible, however this is a fundamental point you must master, if you want to build a really moving performance.

From Daniel Barenboim I learnt how to systematize their various aspects of music, by considering them as a whole. All the arts have a fundamental unity and are the fruit of the thought and of the human soul in every moment of our life. If we didn’t live that philosophical thought which permeates us, we would not have anything to say. The music must be not only beautiful, but it must be a sort of container for something greater. The real content of our artistic expression must be a sort of militancy and commitment to something superior to the pure creation of something just beautiful.

When Beethoven wrote his music, he was not just doing some abstract exercise, he was not just building chains of chords in a way only a man of absolute genius can do, but that very writing in Beethoven was just an instrument to cry loud what the human beings have to do in this world, when they come to life. And this is to live within our own community and to have the capability of going beyond the pure present time, through a sort of transcendence. In this way, the Prehistoric painters started drawing animals on the walls of their caverns and, in this way, Michelangelo showed us, through his Cappella Sistina, that our reality is just the reflection of something more profound, like the truest essence of every human being, among the other things.

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4. In 2005 you have founded with your brother, the cellist Alberto Martos, the Garnati Ensemble and then in 2013 you were the artistic director of the Garnati concert series in Granada. How and why did you decide to found your Ensemble and what have been the challenges and the accomplishments, you experienced during your activities as an Ensemble and as an artistic director? What your future targets and projects, both as a soloist and as member of your Ensemble? You  also give masterclasses: so what do you think it is your very first advice to young violinists?

We think that Chamber Music is one the most inextinguishable sources both of the musical enjoyment and of musical experimentation.

Of all my creative processes curiosity is the most important creative process. So we wanted to know how the most representative works in the History of Chamber Music would have sounded, once in our hands. We wanted to give voice to all those many composer, who, due to various circumstances, can’t have that voice they should have.

Our Garnati Ensemble gives us the possibility of investigating and of entering new universes, without the necessity of organizing a huge production frame with all those difficulties of time and money, that such types of productions always imply.

We had the possibility of performing a new daring transcription of Bach’sGoldberg Variations, of giving the premiere performances of the trios by Conrado del Campo, just magnificent music forgotten in a drawer for 100 years.

Moreover we are lucky enough to have contemporary composers who write new music for us. So we can work with them side by side, we can test the various sonorities and sometimes we also give some advice to them. This creates a fertile terrain to maintain one’s own spirit always high and always moved by curiosity. Curiosity, which, even though properly fed, becomes even more insatiable.

My main target is to maintain this sort of mental image and to keep working, by following this direction. Among my future projects, as a soloist, there is a series of performances and of recordings of the Sonatas & Partitas by Bach. I can say the same about the music by Niccolo Paganini. But I wanted to show a lesser know aspect of that Italian genius… So far, I can say that surprise is an art on its own and hence I want to work on it in the correct manner!

Pablo Martos plays Bach’s Allemande,
Partita II in D minor BWV 1004

Because I do really hope to impress my audience with my future projects, as I impress myself, when I am working on their creation. And I do really want to raise the desire of being curious in all those who live a direct encounter with my works.

One of our future projects, as Ensemble Garnati, I can say, it has something to do with the concept of The complete works by Mozart. And I can say only this at this moment… because I must stop, since I already see a major beautiful surprise over there…!
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To all those students, who want to be real musicians, I want to say: just venture out, by following the path of music, exactly as Don Quixote de la Mancha ventured out, with all his strength, into his own adventures. With humility, but with courage. They must listen to and read, with great attention and curiosity, all that they find, by following their own artistic path.

These are fundamental trails and fundamental steps. The most important thing is not to be too attached to some particular target, because I think that a real target does never exist; what really matters, is to proceed following one’s artistic and life path with a strong sense of genuineness and sincerity.

They must learn from their teachers, even if afterwards they will decide not to follow their teachings any more: it is important, in fact, to always ask oneself why and investigate the inner reasons of the many things one encounters in his life. They must listen to the reasons of their teachers, but, at a certain point, they must investigate the questions by themselves and find an answer on their own.

But this process must never be carried on with arrogance or as inspired with a vain self-confidence. It must be carried on through a laborious daily work and through a restless research, which will clearly show what really effectively works for one’s own sphere of sensibility. This is a way to see what is better for me or for you etc., when you must decide how to interpret music, how to play music and how to write music.

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5. Your favourite work by Mozart and your favourite work by J. Haydn.

It’s simply impossible for me to name just one work by one of these two composers. And I can’t say all their works, either.

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I adore the atmosphere of mystery of the beginning of the Dissonance Quartet by Mozart. And then the naivety and the tenderness of his first Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard…

And what about the extraordinary strength of his Symphony No. 39 and then his Requiem…

All his works are and each of them are a world by itself and Mozart is so a prolific a composer and one of the things I find more fascinating about him is that he is totally incapable of restraining his creativity when he wants his melodies to fully unfold… even though sometimes, in its musical form, the discourse does not seem to follow any special path, Mozart suddenly must add one of that most beautiful melodies by him, as soon as that flashes in his mind! This thing happens continuously and I find it really amusing!

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I admire the craftsmanship of Haydn, his rigour and how wisely he uses little tricks in his scores just to demonstrate that nothing is always so predictable as we may sometimes expect. I have played many violin, cello and piano trios written by him… And then I find his violin concertos as products of great elegance and by a man of absolute genius. The nakedness, which the soloist sometimes has to face, made his works for violin really demanding and of a superior beauty. Despite some Baroque characteristics of these works, their inner musical spirit just strongly prevails and I think, in conclusion, that they really represent those rays of the light of the joie de vivre typical of the Age of the Enlightenment.

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6. Do you have in mind the name of some neglected composer of the 18th century you’d like to see re-evaluated?

Unfortunately there are too many of them…

The Quartets by Manuel Canales are very beautiful and special, they have a peculiar language typical of them only and also so distinctive for that era.

I adore this period of the History of Music, when I find composers who are full of Italian spirit. We got into the habit of associating this period of the History of Music only with Mozart or Haydn. But I adore, for example, the music written by Pietro Nardini. You hear the classicism in his music very well and I like how it features that typical Italian virtuoso style, so that it reminds me of the musical motives written by Vivaldi or by Locatelli.

José Herrando is also a great Spanish composer, who wrote a beautiful collection of Sonatas for violin and thorough bass. In this case, the thorough bass is performed by a cello solo (and not through a figured bass). This creates a peculiar situation: the bass sounds, to a modern listerner, somehow as less full than a thorough bass with harpsichord. Therefore these Sonatas will appear to us in all their beauty as full of imagination and fascinating, as long as you listen to them, by living this experience with an ear well aware of the historical period.

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7. Name a neglected piece of music of the 18th century you’d like to see performed in concert with more frequency.

The violin concertos by Nardini. In fact, they have a structure similar to that of the violin concertos by Haydn, but with phrases and ornamentation all’italiana. I have always loved the virtuoso treatment typical of the Italian instrumental music.

I adore also the Violin Concerto No. 2 in A major by Joseph Bologne,Chevalier de Saint George. I must say that his violin concertos are really magnificent and fascinating. I think that, if people just better knew the life of the Chevalier de Saint George, they would be more attracted and interested by the curiosity of listening to his music. It seems just incredible that this man is the very first western classical composer of African ancestry. He was the son of an African slave woman and of a French soldier who lived on the islands of the Carribean Sea. He was also a dancer and a champion fencer. His music is lively, full of life and so brilliant with its marvellous melodies.

And I can say the same also for the Violin Concerto in G major by Jan Jiři Benda. It’s a marvellous concerto, featuring so many beautiful phrases.

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8. Have you read a particular book on Mozart Era you consider important for the comprehension of the music of this period?

There are two fundamental books which I consider essential to comprehend both the spirit and the form of the act of building music in the 18th century. They are the treatise by Leopold Mozart and the treatise on the art of flute by J.J. Quantz.

In the book by Quantz we can find all the elements for a correct performance and interpretation of the music by Bach. My teacher Reinhald Goebel assured that, starting with the Chapter XI or XII (I don’t remember well…), as soon as the part on the flute was already strictly treated, what was written was written for Pisendel, a great violinist of that era, who was in a close relationship to Bach. If you practically follow what you read in the book by Quantz and use it, when interpreting Bach, you’ll discover that Bach’s music will become easier in the very act of its performance and it will have more life and rhythm.

The treatise by Leopold Mozart is also very useful, even though my conclusions on it are that, in the end, you must play music with a good taste and by following the parameters of that era. In fact, L. Mozart is very insistent on the type of bowing and on the type of fingering you must use during the various situations you have to face. However, I think that such instructions are not very practical and efficient today with the modern bow and on a modern violin. It’s a very different type of instrument and the tension of the strings and the resistance of the instrument itself make certain proposals by L. Mozart not very practicable, but, instead, to know such instructions by L. Mozart is really essential, because a performer must interpret their real inner intentions and then must find a way to transpose, so to say, them on the bow and string instruments on which he must play, to get the real spirit of L. Mozart’s instructions.

These two books have been very inspiring during the sessions of recording for my recent CD on Haydn, even though I had to take some liberty, as I was saying, because I was recording Haydn not on a period instrument and also the orchestra was not a period instrument orchestra. I used my own cadences and Quantz writes, in his treatise, how important such behaviour of using his own cadences is.

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9. Name a movie or a documentary that can improve the comprehension of the music of this period.

Unfortunately I know just few films or documentaries which really treat the music of this era in a very specific manner. I mean, the characters with a real box-office appeal (just to use a term typical of the world of cinema jokingly), and who belonged to that period of time, were mainly Mozart and then Haydn.

Therefore I think that other great moments of the History of Music did not receive that type of attention or study they really deserved, both at cinema and in the field of the documentary production. How beautiful it would be to see, in a good documentary, the very act of gestation and birth of the classical style in music with the children of Bach or with that School of Mannheim, which so impressed Mozart.

Nonetheless, and even though it is not a film on music, yes, I have the title of a film, which always moves me in a very special manner. It is Barry Lyndon by Kubrick.

It is a film set in the 18th century and its soundtrack is really marvellous: from that Handel’s piece, performed with such romantic passion, up to theAndante of the Trio in E-flat Major by Schubert.

I think that, considered as a whole, the film is a really good narration of the type of life and of environments within which the great composers of that period used to live. And it is for this reason that it can help us in the comprehension of that particular moment of History and of its art production.

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10. Do you think there’s a special place to be visited that proved crucial to the evolution of the 18th century music?

I think that in that period a visit to Salzburg, Mannheim or Paris was fundamental to better comprehend what was going on in the world of music. To visit such places will be always a beautiful experience, still today, and especially to seek, so to say, talismans for admiration.

But I don’t think that a physical place, today, if seen as a destination of a pilgrimage for musicians is that important. I don’t think that a place can cause the infusion of a superior knowledge, superior to that particular emotion you can feel, instead, by finding yourself before the very violin of Mozart and so on.

In fact, I think that music is something far superior to that pure sensorial experience, implied by staying exactly in that physical place or by visiting it.

The legacy left by Mozart or by Haydn de facto transcends any dimension of place and even any dimension of time.

As a matter of fact, their language is so universal that it really finds its own right and truest position in our profound interiority and accompanies us there, wherever we are going. What will really draw us nearer to the essence of such language, is just to deeply study the scores and to have a good knowledge of the literature which can explain and illuminate that historical period.

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Thank you very much for having taken the time to answer our questions!

Thank you!

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Copyright © 2017 MozartCircle. All rights reserved. MozartCircle exclusive property. 
Iconography is in public domain or in fair use.

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Entrevista Noviembre 2017: 10 Preguntas con P. Martos Lozano (Español)

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Pablo Martos Lozano: Sitios Oficiales
Pablo Martos Lozano Sitio: Pablo Martos Lozano
Pablo Martos Lozano: Garnati Ensemble
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (LinkedIn)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (Twitter)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (Facebook)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Pablo Martos Lozano (YouTube)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Garnati Ensemble (Twitter)
Pablo Martos Lozano: Alberto Martos Lozano

Pablo Martos Lozano: CD Albums
Pablo Martos Lozano: Sony Classical: Haydn Violin & Cello Concertos
Pablo Martos Lozano: Sony Classical: J.S.Bach – The Goldberg Variations


1. En este año 2017, has publicado un maravilloso álbum con la interpretación de los dos Conciertos para Violín de Haydn; el Concerto Hob. VIIa:4 en Sol Mayor y el Concierto Hob.VIIa:1 en Do Mayor. ¿Que te llevó a grabar este disco con la música de Haydn? ¿Cuál es tu relación con la música de Haydn y que te atrajo más sobre esta música? ¿Cuál fue tu experiencia durante la grabación?

Hubo bastantes motivos que formaron parte de esta decisión.

Todos ellos apuntaron a la vez a la increíble figura del compositor austriaco. El primero de ellos es que la Orquesta Ciudad de Granada tiene un prestigio labrado durante años especialmente en el repertorio del clasicismo. Se trata de una orquesta que no es de gran plantilla. Y debido a su estructura, ha trabajado frecuentemente el repertorio de plantilla clásica que precisamente suele coincidir con la música que se escribió en el siglo XVIII.

También es frecuente ver en sus programas un extenso repertorio del Barroco, pero no se trata en principio de una orquesta historicista con instrumentos de época.

Por otro lado el maestro Antoni Ros Marbà es muy respetado por sus interpretaciones de Haydn. La simbiosis de todos estos elementos ya prometia que el resultado podía ser interesante y podía tener algo que decir fuera de los clichés o escuelas interpretativas más inmoviles.

A todo ello se sumo mi curiosidad por los repertorios que menos se ponen en escena. El que Mozart escribiera sus maravillosos conciertos de violín, ocasionó el problema de que su talento y nombre eclipsara otras músicas de la época en ocasiones de igual categoría y a veces incluso más peculiares.

Siempre me fascinaron los compositores que crearon puentes entre los distintos lenguajes. Aunque en ocasiones estos estilos o lenguajes fueran culminados por autores que han llegado a ser muy célebres. Siempre me intereso el como se gestó la creación de la forma más íntima. Y es en este proceso donde son fundamentales algunos de mis autores favoritos por su genialidad e importancia a lo largo de la historia de la creación musical.

Esta relación de curiosidad, admiración y amor fue decisiva para embarcarme en el trabajo de estos conciertos.

Admiro mucho bastantes grabaciones de los conciertos de violín de W.A.Mozart, sin embargo pienso que los conciertos de J.Haydn al haber sido grabados menos, dejan margen a nuevas formas de decir cosas en ellos e interpretarlos. En el preciso instante de la grabación, sentí que podía aportar algo en el como decirlos.

Mi experiencia durante la grabación fue de alegría y disfrute.

Durante la preparación y práctica diaria realizaba improvisaciones en el fraseo, articulaciones, y ornamentaciónes. Trate de mantener la frescura que ello me aportó al proceso de grabación.

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2. Ya produjiste un CD con una transcripción para trío de cuerdas de las Variaciones Goldberg de Bach que ha sido aclamado por la crítica y eres un conocido intérprete de la música de Bach. ¿Qué piensas de la evolución tanto musical como de la escritura para violín de Bach hasta Brahms? Haydn escribió sus conciertos en su juventud en 1760 y Mozart en 1775, casi 10 años más tarde. ¿Cual es la diferencia entre los conciertos para violín de ambos compositores?

A lo largo de la historia, desde Bach hasta Brahms, la escritura violinística ha evolucionado mucho, tanto como los métodos de escritura y composición de los grandes autores.

Creo que la evolución en sí de la escritura viene cuando cada autor inventó una nueva forma de tratar el instrumento. Yo diría que en ocasiones olvidándose por completo de cómo se había escrito para el instrumento hasta aquel momento.

Un claro ejemplo es la música de Bach. En la Sonatas y Partidas, el tratamiento polifónico es muy superior al de otros de mano de grandes virtuosos barrocos como Biber. La diferencia está en que Bach llega a trabajar la independencia y desarrollo absoluto de todas las voces al completo en un instrumento como el violín. Haciendo que para la época esta música perteneciera más a un plano intelectual que práctico. Cuando empecé a estudiar violín barroco me sorprendí de lo poco frecuente que son las Sonatas y Partitas en el repertorio y en los escenarios de especialista barrocos.

¡No hay que olvidar que los Conciertos de Brandemburgo eran demasiado difíciles para los violinistas de la época !

Cuando las Sonatas y Partitas es casi lo único barroco a sólo que se toca en el violín romántico.

Pablo Martos toca Bach Sarabande,
Partita II in D minor BWV 1004

El tratamiento que Mozart hace del violín en sus conciertos es exactamente igual que el de un cantante de ópera. Cuando el violín participa, está en un primer plano en todo momento y va adoptando el carácter de los distintos personajes de una ópera. La diferencia fundamental con los conciertos de violín de Haydn reside en que en estos, hay grandes reminiscencias del Concerto Grosso barroco. En nuestra versión intentamos que el violín se fundiera a menudo con los tuttis y que sólo resaltara en los momentos concretos, ya que así lo piden en su escritura de bajo continuo. Me gusta recrear la sonoridad de los conciertos grosos de Corelli en los conciertos de Haydn. También me parece magistral el como Haydn escribe adornos y floreros imitando el estilo operístico italiano. Me parece de una tremenda belleza. Esto también se debe a que el primer concierto fue escrito para uno de los virtuosos más grandes de todos los tiempos Luigi Tomasini. De hecho el primer concierto para violín tiene un virtuosismo extremo debido a sus pasajes extremadamente agudos y veloces.

Si fundimos todas las cualidades de los conciertos de Mozart y Haydn, conforman la esencia de lo que será más adelante el gran concierto romántico. Tan sólo hay que añadir un poco de peso en la orquestación, pizzicatos de mano izquierda y armónicos para encontrarnos con la escritura de Paganini.

En el concierto de Brahms la escritura violinistica se modifica y evoluciona un poco para que el instrumento tengo un sonido más pesado y amplio. Haciendo así posible el competir con la magistral y gran orquestación. El volumen sonoro que Brahms genera con la orquesta es superior y ello requiere adaptaciones. Pero como digo, la esencia lírica del violín permanece en todo su trayecto a lo largo de la historia.

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3. Has estudiado en el Mozarteum de Salzburgo, con Yehudi Menuhin y más tarde has trabajado con Barenboim. ¿Como estas tres diferentes experiencias fundamentales han enriquecido tu vida como artista y persona?

Hablamos de tres ángulos muy diferentes.

De Reinhard Goebel, en Salzburgo, aprendí a conocer otro instrumento diferente, el violín barroco. Y el supo transmitirme el amor a las fuentes originales. Me pareció precioso el sentir que somos artesanos que están aquí para servir a la música y el tratar de investigar con diligencia como interpretaban los mismísimos Corelli o Vivaldi. Me pareció un trabajo muy honesto y apasionante. Conocí muchas de las reglas que eran imprescindibles en la época para interpretar a Mozart o Bach. Y lo que más me gustó era como transmitir toda nuestra energía, pasión, vitalidad y fuerza artística usando esas reglas y no quedándonos en un plano intelectual en el que sólo intentamos ser obedientes haciendo lo que dicen los tratados y nada más. Esto es lo peor que puede ocurrir.

En el polo opuesto podríamos encontrar a Yehudi Menuhin, quien viene de una tradición de virtuosos románticos. Su sonido era de una expresividad inmensa. No tuve la suerte de trabajar regularmente con él, pero en lo que trabajamos, aprendí la importancia de la tensión en la forma musical. Como hemos de organizar la energía y las fuentes de tensión a lo largo de una pieza de 13 minutos como la Ciaccona para violín solo de Bach. Pero la realización de las pequeñas piezas que conforman la obra, se hacían con gran libertad y ante todo sabiendo escuchar a la intuición. Algo que no es tangible y es difícil de explicar, pero fundamental para poder crear una interpretación emocionante.

De Daniel Barenboim aprendí a sistematizar el aspecto más holístico de la música. Todas las artes están unidas y son fruto del pensamiento y alma humana de cada momento de la historia. No tendremos nada que decir si no vivimos intensamente el pensamiento filosófico que nos ocupa. Esto nos lleva a que la música no ha de ser únicamente bella, debe ser el contenedor de algo más grande. El auténtico contenido a de ser una militancia y un compromiso con algo más que la creación de algo bello.

Beethoven no escribía música para hacer ejercicios abstractos, ni por enlazar acordes de una forma ingeniosa, esto sólo era una herramienta para gritar con fuerza lo que el ser humano ha venido hacer en este mundo. Y es vivir en comunidad y trascender a nuestro presente de la misma forma que los pintores de la prehistoria dibujaban animales en las cavernas o Miguel Angel nos mostraba en la capilla Sistina que nuestra realidad sólo es un reflejo de algo más profundo, como la esencia auténtica del hombre entre otras cosas.

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4. En el año 2005 fundaste con tu hermano el violonchelista Alberto Martos Garnati Ensemble, y el 2013 fuiste director artístico de la serie de conciertos Garnati en Granada. ¿Por qué decidiste fundar Garnati Ensemble y cuales erán los retos de ello y de la serie de conciertos como director artístico? Cuál es son tus futuros objetivos y proyectos como solista y como músico de Garnati Ensemble. También das clases magistrales, cuál es tu principal consejo para los jóvenes músicos.

Creemos que la música de cámara es una de las fuentes más inagotables de disfrute y experimentación musical.

En todos mis procesos creativos, la curiosidad es lo más importante. Queríamos saber cómo sonaban en nuestras manos las obras más representativas de la historia de la música de cámara y paralelamente queríamos dar voz a muchos autores que por diversas circunstancias no suenan todo lo que debieran.

Garnati Ensemble siempre nos permite investigar y adentrarnos en universos nuevos sin necesidad de tener que organizar una gran producción con todas las dificultades de tiempo y dinero que ello conlleva.

Hemos podido interpretar una transcripción atrevida de las Variaciones Goldberg, estrenar los tríos de Conrado del Campo, se trata de una gran música que ha estado 100 años guardada en un cajón. Además, tenemos la gran suerte de que autores actuales escriban música para nosotros. Tenemos la oportunidad de trabajar con ellos codo a codo probando las distintas sonoridades y en ocasiones haciendo sugerencias. Todo ello genera un caldo de cultivo perfecto para mantener en todo momento el alma viva e inquieta con la curiosidad. Curiosidad que aunque se vaya alimentando, cada vez es más insaciable.

Mi principal objetivo es mantener esta ilusión y seguir trabajando en esta línea. Mis próximos proyectos solistas son las actuaciones y grabaciones de las Sonatas y Partidas de Bach e igualmente con la música de Niccolo Paganini. Pero trataré de mostrar una faceta bastante desconocida del genio italiano, hasta aquí puedo decir ya que la sorpresa es un arte en sí y ¡quiero intentar trabajarla también!

Pablo Martos toca Bach Allemande,
Partita II in D minor BWV 1004

Espero sorprender con mis próximo proyectos tal y como yo me sorprendo cuando estoy trabajando en ellos. Y deseo generar curiosidad y a quien encuentre mis trabajos.

Uno de los próximos proyectos de Garnati Ensemble esta relacionado con la obra completa de Mozart. Y sólo hasta aquí puedo decir también.. (Una alegre sorpresa más nos espera…)

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A los alumnos que quieran ser músicos de verdad, les diría que se aventuren en ello tal y como Don Quijote de la Mancha aventuraba sus andanzas. Con humildad pero con coraje. Escuchando y leyendo con la máxima atención y curiosidad todas las historias que hay por el camino.

Son pistas fundamentales. Lo importante no es llegar a ninguna meta porque creo que ésta no existe, sólo hacer el camino con la máxima autenticidad posible.

Que aprendan de los grandes maestros aunque más adelante para nada les hagan caso en todo, ya que lo importante está en que ellos se pregunte el porque de cada cosa. Que escuchen las justificaciones de cada maestro y que una vez vivan e investiguen la pregunta, den su propia respuesta.

Esto no ha de estar nunca basado en la arrogancia o en la vanal confianza en sí mismo, sino en el trabajo diario y en la búsqueda inquieta que demuestra claramente qué es lo que funciona mejor en la sensibilidad de cada uno. Es una forma para ver cuál es la mejor forma para cada uno de interpretar o escribir música.

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5. Su obra favorita de Mozart y su obra favorita de J. Haydn.

Me es absolutamente imposible decir una sola obra favorita de cada uno de los autores. Tampoco lo son todas, la verdad.

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Me encanta el misterio con el que empieza el cuarteto disonancias de Mozart. La ingenuidad y ternura de las tempranas sonatas para violín y piano…

Sobrecogedora la fuerza de la Sinfonía número 39, y no digamos delRequiem

Cada obra es un mundo y siendo Mozart un autor prolífico, una de las cosas que más me fascina es su incontinencia a la hora de exponer melodías… aunque en ocasiones, en la forma musical no proceda, ¡él no puede evitar insertar una bellísima melodía que se le acaba de ocurrir! ¡Esto le pasa continuamente y me parece divertidísimo!

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De Haydn me fascina su artesanía, rigor y como hace conscientemente pequeñas travesuras en sus partituras para mostrarnos que nada es tan predecible como a veces esperamos. He interpretado mucho sus tríos para piano, violín y violonchelo. Y los conciertos de violín me parecen de una elegancia y genialidad absoluta, la desnudez ante la que se encuentra el solista algunas veces hacen que sean de gran dificultad pero también de una extremada belleza. A pesar de sus características barrocas, el espíritu da un giro y para mi simbolizan la alegría de vivir propia del Siglo de las luces.

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6. ¿Tienes en mente algún compositor del siglo XVIII que sea un poco desconocido y que te gustaría que estuviera en el lugar que merece por su alta calidad?

Desafortunadamente demasiados.

Los cuartetos de Manuel Canales son muy especiales, tienen un lenguaje propio aunque claramente marcado por esta época.

También me encanta este periodo de la música cuando encuentro autores con un aire italianizante. Estamos muy acostumbrado a asociar este periodo a Mozart o Haydn. Me gusta mucho la música de Pietro Nardini. Se siente muy bien el clasicismo en ella y me gusta como está sazonada con el virtuosismo italiano que me recuerdan los motivos vivaldianos o de Locatelli.
José Herrando también es un gran autor español con una bella colección de Sonatas para violín y bajo continuo. En este caso, el bajo continuo está realizado para un violonchelo sólo (Sin cifrado). Esto hace que al oído moderno nos suene menos lleno que un bajo continuo con clavecín y algo más, pero a pesar de ello y si te pones a sentir a vivir la experiencia con un oído de la época, resultan imaginativos y fascinantes.

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7. Nombra una obra musical del siglo XVIII que te gustaría que fuera interpretada en concierto con más frecuencia.

Los Conciertos para Violín de Nardini. Tienen una estructura parecida a los Haydn pero con unas frases y ornamentos a la italiana. Siempre me gustó el tratamiento virtuoso de la música instrumental italiana.

De Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint George me encanta el Concierto Op. 5 nº2 en La Mayor para violín. En realidad sus conciertos me parecen fascinantes. Creo que si la gente supiera más sobre su vida tendrían más curiosidad por escuchar su música. Me parece increíble que fuera el primer compositor occidental con ascendencia africana. Fue hijo de una esclava africana y un militar francés en las islas del Caribe. Además fue bailarín y maestro de esgrima. Su música tiene una vitalidad y un ingenio en la melodía maravillosa.

Algo parecido pasa con el Concierto para violín en Sol Mayor de Jan Jiří Benda. Es una joya maravillosa llena de bellas frases.

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8. ¿Has leído algún libro en particular sobre la época de Mozart que consideres importante para la comprensión de la música de su periodo?

Hay dos libros fundamentales que considero imprescindible para entender el espíritu y la forma de construir música en el siglo XVIII. Son los Tratado de Leopold Mozart y el tratado de flauta de J.J. Quantz.

En el de Quantz tenemos todos los elementos para interpretar correctamente la música de Bach. Mi maestro Reinhald Goebel aseguraba que a partir del capítulo XI o XII (no recuerdo bien…), cuando se acababa la parte de Flauta, estaba escrita por Pisendel, un gran violinista de la época que estuvo en cercano contacto con Bach. Si se aplica esta lectura a su música veremos que es más fácil tocarla y tiene más vida y ritmo…

El tratado de Leopold Mozart también es muy útil aunque mi conclusión es que al final debes hacer sonar la música con buen gusto y acorde a los parámetros de la época. L.Mozart insiste mucho en los tipos de arcadas y digitaciones que hemos de emplear en las distintas situaciones, sin embargo yo considero que esto no es aplicable eficientemente hoy día al arco y violín actual. Sencillamente se trata de un instrumento diferente en el que la tensión de las cuerdas y la resistencia que ofrece el instrumento no hace viable todas las propuestas de L. Mozart, pero es imprescindible conocerlas para que cada uno traduzca estas intenciones al instrumento cuerdas y arco con el que pretende hacer la interpretación.

Fueron una gran inspiración para mi grabación de Haydn, aunque me permití bastantes libertades, ya que grabé con un instrumento no historico, al igual que la orquesta. Incluí mis propias cadencias y Quantz habla en su tratado de la importancia de hacerlo así.

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9. Nombre una película o un documental que pueda mejorar la comprensión de la música de este período.

Desgraciadamente conozco pocas películas o documentales que traten específicamente sobre la música en este periodo. Como digo, los personajes más taquilleros (por emplear jocosamente el término que se utiliza en el cine) de la época en el ámbito musical, eran principalmente Mozart y después Haydn.

Por eso creo que no se han llevado al cine o al campo documental con la insistencia que merecen otros grandes momentos de la música. Que interesante sería ver en un cuidado documental la gestación del estilo clásico con los hijos de Bach, o la escuela de Mannheim que tanto impresionó a Mozart.

Sin embargo y a pesar de que no se trata una película sobre música, sí que hay un título que me conmueve especialmente. Se trata de Barry Lyndon de Kubrick.

Está ambientada en el siglo XVIII y la banda sonora es impresionante, desde música de Haendel interpretada con pasión romántica hasta el Andante delTrío en mi bemol mayor de Schubert. Creo que narra muy bien el tipo de vida y ambientes que los grandes compositores de la época vivieron. Y por ello nos puede ayudar bastante entender su momento y su arte.

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10. ¿Cree usted que hay un lugar especial que resultara crucial en la evolución de la música del siglo XVIII?

Creo que en la época fue imprescindible visitar Salzburgo, Mannheim o París para entender qué es lo que estaba ocurriendo en el mundo musical. Siempre resultará agradable visitar hoy día estos lugares en busca de fetiches para ser admirados.

Pero no creo en un lugar físico hoy día como destino de peregrinación para los músicos. No creo en un lugar que nos infunda un conocimiento más lejos de la emoción que podamos sentir al estar ante el violín del mismo Mozart o algo así.

Creo que la música es algo mucho más grande que la pura experiencia sensorial de estar o visitar un lugar físico.

La herencia que nos dejaron Mozart o Haydn transciende a todos los lugares incluso a todos los tiempos.

Es un lenguaje tan universal que verdaderamente habita en nuestro interior y nos acompaña allá donde vayamos. Lo que verdaderamente nos acercará a su esencia es estudiar con profundidad la partitura y conocer la literatura que nos explica esta época.

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Muchas gracias por haber tomado el tiempo para responder a nuestras preguntas!

Gracias!

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Copyright © 2017 MozartCircle.Todos los derechos reservados.
La iconografía está en público dominio o en fair use.

CD Spotlight November 2017: Dittersdorf Complete Works For Solo Double Bass

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Complete Works for Double Bass

The Works for Double Bass
by Dittersdorf were written in 1760s
for the Double Bass virtuoso
Pichelberger. Such works
are well known for being technically
demanding (with the viola part
penned by Dittersdorf for himself).
The two concertos were used
by Haydn’s bassist Sperger
at the Esterházy Orchestra
and mainly survived for this reason.

Dittersdorf was on friendly
terms with Mozart & Haydn & they
used his Symphonies
& Oratorios as Style reference.

Leon Bosch & Robert Smissen
Kenneth Sillito
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Meridian Records

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Impossible Interviews October 2017: Mozart’s Teacher & Mentor Padre Martini

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Who is Padre Martini?

Padre Martini or… the Dictator of Music, the Padre di tutti i Maestri or the Father of Music, as many musicians called him in the 18th century.

While many may have a general idea of the importance and of the great influence exerted by the Music School of Naples in the 18th century, few have a right perception of the far greater importance of the Music School of Bologna… greater importance, because most of the greatest composers of the 18th century studied music composition in Bologna and created and cultivated professional connections with the masters in Bologna and with one master of composition, in particular: Padre Martini. Sometimes still remembered as the teacher of Mozart, Padre Martini was considered, in reality, the greatest music authority in Europe and among his pupils there are the children of J.S.Bach and from his teaching tradition famous international composers such as Cherubini and Rossini spread the light of music throughout Europe, the World and the centuries.

Bologna: the factory of musical geniuses of the 18th & the 19th century from Mozart to Rossini, Donizetti and Respighi
Once upon a time there was a factory of musical geniuses and that was the city of Bologna, where many great composers received their music instruction in composition at the highest levels.
Among them, Mozart himself, J.C. Bach, Jommelli, Myslivecek, Sarti (then teacher of the great Cherubini), Vogler (then fundamental music theorist and teacher of von Weber and Meyerbeer) up to Gioacchino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti (both pupils of Stanislao Mattei, the devote pupil, official successor and close friend of Padre Martini) and Ottorino Respighi.

The Martinians: more than 100 pupils for Padre Martini
Padre Martini was considered the most important teacher in music composition in Europe, a learned music historian and musicologist (who had studied almost all the treatises by Guido d’Arezzo) and the greatest master in the art of the counterpoint.
For these reasons Padre Martini was particularly sought after as a teacher of music composition and regarded somehow as the teacher of the teachers in music.
Padre Martini had ca. more than 100 pupils from almost any country of Europe and among them some of the most famous composers and music teachers and theorists in the history of music:
W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
S. Mattei (1750-1825 Italian; official successor of Padre Martini and teacher of G. Rossini and G. Donizetti)
J.C. Bach (1735-1782 German based in London, England; son of J.S. Bach, teacher and model of Mozart)
J. Myslivecek (1737-1781 Bohemian; teacher, mentor and model of Mozart)
G.J. Vogler (1749-1819 German; a rebel pupil of Padre Martini, important music theorist, teacher and mentor of von Weber and Meyerbeer; and through Meyerbeer Vogler’s teachings reached, in part, Wagner)
N. Jommelli (1714-1771 Italian; one the most famous and most gifted pupils of Padre Martini, but with some criticism on Padre Martini’s very strict treatment of polyphonic music; Mozart and his father Leopold met him in 1763; Jommelli exerted a great influence on Stamitz, Wagenseil and von Dittersdorf)
G. Sarti (1729-1802 Italian; friend of Mozart and teacher of the greatL. Cherubini, who managed to solve all the extra-difficult enigma canons composed by Padre Martini)
A.E.M. Grétry (1741-1813 Belgian)
M. Berezovsky (1745-1777 Ukrainian)
G.B. Cirri (1724-1808 Italian; famous cellist, he played cello during the same concerts given by 8-year-old Mozart in London)
G.M.G. Cambini (1746?-1825? Italian; probably pupil of Padre Martini, in Florence founded a quartet with Boccherini in 1767 and in Paris worked with Gossec and had a not happy encounter with Mozart in 1778)
F.L. Gassmann (1729-1774 Bohemian; then friend and close collaborator of Gluck and teacher and mentor of A. Salieri)
V. Righini (1756-1812 Italian; collaborator of Salieri at Vienna Court since 1780, he followed then the path of the strict Gluckian, so to say, nakedstyle like Salieri instead of that enriched by the art of counterpoint; in 1786 helped Salieri, while Salieri was in Paris; Da Ponte and Mozart disliked Righini and for Mozart he was fairly good at writing music, but he was a «great thief» and incapable of well hiding what stolen)

Among the friends, correspondents and admirers of Padre Martini we find the composers Gluck (who was, instead, pupil of G.B. Sammartini in Milan and whose works, beside their long lasting friendship, were not always fully appreciated by Padre Martini and his collaborators), von Dittersdorf,Hasse and the violin virtuoso Lolli.

According to someone, after 1776, also the composer Martín y Soler(1754-1806 Spanish) studied composition with Padre Martini. However, such assertion must be considered rather speculation and not fact, since this period spent in Bologna, studying with Padre Martini, is not clearly demonstrated (see Waisman, Madrid 2007).

Mozart, during his life, maintained, in most cases, an open and friendly behaviour towards all the direct and orthodox pupils of Padre Martini. For this reason, he cultivated, when possible, the friendship of composers such as J.C. Bach, Myslivecek and Sarti (he celebrated, by quoting his opera in his Don Giovanni).

Gluck, Dittersdorf & Padre Martini
On April-May 1763 von Dittersdorf and Gluck reached Bologna for the premiere of Gluck’s Il Trionfo di Clelia for the inauguration of the new opera theatre of Bologna.
On this occasion, Gluck and von Dittersdorf made the acquaintance of both Farinelli and Padre Martini. von Dittersdorf (being a great virtuoso violinist) had the possibility of playing in some public performances in Bologna and, at the same time, of attending, with Gluck, the marvelous performance of some polyphonic music written by Padre Martini. The famous lively account of von Dittersdorf, left in his autobiography, gives an idea of the sincere admiration that both Gluck and von Dittersdorf cultivated towards the art of Padre Martini and this became the basis for a personal friendship.

Here the beautiful account by von Dittersdorf with a lively portrait of old master (Bologna, May 1763):

«Another of our visits was to Padre Martino, the world-renowned dictator of classical music. Ha was nearly as old as Farinelli, and they were bosom friends. Gluck, too, had known him for years, and never passed through Bologna without paying his respects to the “Padre di tutti i Maestri”, as all Kapellmeisters call him to this day.
[…] We were just setting out for the coffee-house, on the afternoon of that very day, when Padre Martino paid us his return visit. He seized the opportunity of asking me to play a concerto in his church, at a great function which was impending. Of course I was to be paid for it… would I be content with the ordinary fee of twelve double ducats? I said I would only play on condition that I was not paid. What I prized, beyond money, was the honour of being selected to play by“the Father of Music”. The good old man thanked me for my“pretty way of thinking of him”, as he called it, and after another half-hour’s conversation, he went away as he came, leaning on the arm of a lay brother, and supported by a stick.
It was soon the talk of all Bologna, that I had been invited by Padre Martino to assist at the grand ceremony, on the first day of the festival “per la visita della Madonna di San Lucca”, and everyone knew that I had refused to be paid, and had promised my services solely for the honour of God.
The day approached for the opening of the festival, which was to be inaugurated by the procession of the miracle-working portrait of the Madonna, said to have been painted by St. Luke. The fête lasted for three days. We went to church to hear Vespers,… the music by Padre Martino. What a gulf between that and Mazzoni’s work! I have never heard sacred music so majestic, so lofty, and so touching!Even Caldara’s composition is far inferior to it. In one Psalm… I think a Magnificat… the Amen was an eight-part fugue, a marvel of artistic elaboration. The effect made by that glorious fugue may be imagined, for the band consisted of one hundred and sixty people, and the chorus was eighty strong.
On the following morning, Gluck and I called on the venerable musician, who had asked us to drink chocolate with him. We were full of admiration for his fine music, i.e., the Vespers which we had heard.
“I think it probable,” said he, “that yesterday’s Vespers and to-day’s High Mass will be my Swan Song, for I am conscious already that my powers, physical and mental, are beginning to fail.”
We expressed our regret that we might, perhaps, never have another opportunity of hearing the eight-part fugue.
“I’ll set that right,” answered the kindly old man. “I will make the fugue do duty for the Amen in the Credo; they are both in the same key, and so far your wishes shall be gratified.”
I did my very best with my concerto, which I played very successfully in the Garduale, for I had carefully prepared myself for it a week before. Soon after I had finished my concerto, I went with Gluck into the body of the church, to hear the Credo and the Amen at a distance. That day, we discovered all sorts of beauties in the eight-part fugue, which had escaped us the day before. We returned home in a high state of exaltation, and sat down to dinner. Afterwards, our landlord came in, bringing with him a good-sized paper parcel with a seal on it, and said:
“Padre Martino sends you both a few pounds of chocolate.”
He had written on the packet with a very shaky pen: “12 libre per il mio caro amico, il Cavagliere Gluck, e 12 libre per il mio caro figliuolo, il Signor Carlo Ditters.”»

1770: Mozart meets Padre Martini
In 1770 Mozart and his father Leopold meet Padre Martini in Bologna.
Thanks to a long stay in Bologna in the summer 1770, Mozart could study music and composition with Padre Martini and with Myslivecek and on 9 October 1770 Mozart passed the examination at the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna and officially became Magister Compositor Accademico Filarmonico di Bologna.

Mozart & Bologna: cover-up or not cover.up?
Since in the archive of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna, there are different copies of the exercise that Mozart had to solve, one in the handwriting of Padre Martini and one in the handwriting of Mozart, there were some speculations by various scholars that Padre Martini covered up the mistakes written by Mozart during the examination.
Nonetheless, since Mozart, just 14 years old, passed the examination at the Accademia of Bologna with a «considering the circumstances, sufficient» degree (that’s to say what appears to be a «C-»), other scholars, in conclusion, just think that there was not any kind of cover-up by Padre Martini. The 2 different exercises, in fact, were simply due to the fact that, after the judgement of «sufficient», Padre Martini just solved the composition and showed how a correct exercise had to be written to obtain a judgement «full marks» and then obliged Mozart to rewrite the new correct exercise written by him.
Anyhow, this point is still very controversial, because we don’t know exactly which final version was given to the judges: Mozart’s own one or the copy of Martini’s work?…
This piece is Quaerite primum regnum Dei K. 86.

Here a bizarre video highlighting the mistakes of Mozart and then featuring the correct work by Martini.

Padre Martini vs. Padre Vallotti? Vogler’s own revolution
Thanks to the studies of F.K. Grave and M.G. Grave, we have some important details on how also the composer G.J. Vogler spent some time in Bologna, studying composition with Padre Martini.
However, Vogler was dissatisfied with Padre Martini’s approach to music composition, strictly linked to Fux and without any interest in research. So Vogler decided to move to Padua and to study composition and musical theory with Padre Vallotti (more revolutionary and inquisitive in his studies than Padre Martini), becoming thus somehow his successor.
De facto, we know that Padre Martini did not appreciate either Tartini (the long time collaborator of Padre Vallotti) or Rameau, considering Rameau’s theory «probably» good for the theatre music and all that music that is not Sacred Music, but not good for the Sacred Music. Moreover, Padre Martini considered Rameau’s theory, in general, a form of «destructive music method».
This transition of Vogler from Padre Martini (Bologna) to Padre Vallotti (Padua), well documented also through some letters written by Mozart, then proved to be particular crucial for the difficult steps of the career of Mozart in Mannheim in 1777 and 1778.
Despite what happened with Vogler, it seems that Padre Martini and Padre  Vallotti admired each other and, when Padre Vallotti died, Padre Martini became the musical heir of Padre Vallotti.

Mozart, Padre Martini & the Mannheim Affair (1777-1778)
It is well known, how Mozart, in 1777 and 1778, tried to build a solid musical career in Mannheim, but had to face a strong position held by Vogler there and other difficulties. Despite the enthusiasm and interest of Leopold for the theoretical work of Vogler, Mozart never managed to find a path of dialogue and collaboration with Vogler and one of the reasons for this (according to Mozart’s letters) was the atmosphere of criticism and reciprocal accusation existing between Vogler and Padre Martini.
Despite the presence of Vogler in Mannheim, Mozart and Leopold tried to have the support and the recommendations of Padre Martini for the Court of Mannheim, but the whole scheme miserably failed, even though Padre Martini wrote many letters to the opera singer Raaff, as a possible supporter of Mozart at the Court of Mannheim.
After some time, in what seems to appear a sort of intrigue of some kind, Mozart will discover that all the letters written and sent by Padre Martini from Bologna to Raaff and to the Court the Mannheim just disappeared somehow and somewhere and just never reached their intended destination.
Moreover, it is fact that Padre Martini, in Bologna, in the years 1777 and 1778 was in a very difficult situation in his own town and didn’t have that particular musical and professional prestige he had in 1770 any more, due to a series of serious quarrels with the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna, which led him, in the end, to an official act of resignation from the Accademia (29 December 1781).
So the Mannheim scheme of Mozart in the autumn 1777 began under bad auspices and his most revered master and teacher, Padre Martini, who was himself in troubles in his own town, de facto, could not do anything to support his pupil and his steps of career in Mannheim and to avoid all the intrigues behind the possibility of a solid position at the German Court.

K. 222: Padre Martini praises Mozart’s sacred music
On Sunday 5 March 1775 a particular sacred music work by Mozart was performed at the Munich Court Chapel. It’s the K. 222 Offertorium de tempore “Misericordias Domini”.
On 4 September 1776 Mozart sent this motet to Padre Martini at Bologna. Padre Martini praised the work by Mozart highly and asked Mozart to receive a painted portrait of Mozart: the importance of this request is due to the fact that Padre Martini, as historian of music, had the habit of collecting the portraits of the people he considered great and important.

Here the original letter sent by Padre Martini to Mozart from Bologna on 18 December 1776 with a technical judgement of Mozart’s work.

«Together with your most kind letter, which reached me by way of Trent, I received the Motet… It was with pleasure that I studied it from beginning to end, and I can tell you in all sincerity that I was singularly pleased with it, finding in it all that is required by Modern Music: good harmony, mature modulation, a moderate pace in the violins, a natural connexion of the parts and good taste. I am delighted with it and rejoice that since I had the pleasure of hearing you at Bologna on the harpsichord you have made great stride in composition, which must be pursued ever more by practice, for Music is of such nature as to call for great exercise and study as long as one lives.»

This piece by Mozart is famous also for featuring a few sections of a choral melody similar to the one used by Beethoven for his 9th Symphony. Nonetheless, it is sure that Beethoven for his symphony was influenced also by other works which featured music elements similar to that used by Mozart (see Cannabich and others).

Padre Martini and a portrait of Mozart
Only on 22 December 1777 Leopold managed to have a painted portrait of Wolfgang ready to be sent to Padre Martini at Bologna.
It is still one of the best portrait of Wolfgang we have today, a work of a Salzburg painter.

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The original portrait of Mozart (1777) for Padre Martini is today in theMuseo internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna.

The legacy of Padre Martini
The legacy of Padre Martini was already important in the 18th century, since his teachings were widely spread by his favourite pupil Stanislao Mattei at Bologna, who became the teacher of composition of another two among the greatest composers in history: G. Rossini and G. Donizetti.
Moreover, Padre Martini, beside the famous portraits, left to Bologna an amazing library with very important and extremely rare books on music history, music theory and thousands of music scores. Already Burney in 1770s had the possibility to visit the library of Padre Martini, which had already more than 17.000 books and works of any kind on music. The library of Padre Martini is now at the Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna.
Recently (since 2007) the efforts of Sugar Suvini-Zerboni, Sony and the Accademia degli Astrusi has been making the works by Padre Martini available again, through new printed editions of his works and DVDs.
So far one of the best CD Albums available is the one released by L’arpa festante & l’Ensemble Cantissimo (Ars Musici):

Giovanni Battista Martini: Te Deum – Magnificat – Introitus – Concerti

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WORKS BY PADRE MARTINI
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Various works by Padre Martini are available at IMSLP:
Giovanni Battista Martini: Scores

A) Theory works, letters and other works:

Attestati in difesa del Sig. D. Jacopo Antonio Arrighi, maestri di cappella della Cattedrale di Cremona (1746)
Regola agli organisti per accompagnare il canto fermo (1756)
Storia della Musica 3 voll. (1757-61, 1770, 1781)
Onomasticum (1763)
Dissertatio de usu progressionis geometricae in musica (1767)
Compendio della teoria de’ numeri per uso del musico (1769)
Esemplare ossia saggio fondamentale pratico di contrappunto sopra il canto fermo 2 voll. (1774-75)
Lettere del Sig. Francesco Maria Zanotti, del padre G.M., min. con., del padre Giovenale Sacchi (1782)

B) Compositions by Padre Martini:

• Opera Theatre:
Azione Teatrale (Intermezzo: 1726)
La Dirindina (Intermezzo: 1731)
L’impresario delle Canarie (Intermezzo: 1744)
Il maestro di musica (Intermezzo: 1746)
Don Chisciotte (Intermezzo: 1746)
• various pieces of music for the theatre

• Oratorios:
L’assunzione di Salomone al trono d’Israello (1734)
S. Pietro (1738)
S. Pietro (1739)
Il sagrificio d’Abramo (sketches)
Deposizione della Croce (lost)

• Sacred Music:
• 12 Masses 4 v. with instruments
• 1 Requiem
• 2 Masses 8 v. with instruments
• 3 Masses 4 v. capp.
• 1 and 1 Missa pro defunctis with organ
• 3 Masses 8 v. capp.
• 1 Messa de’ Morti with organ
• 5 Masses Brevi 8 v. with instruments
• 7 Masses unfin. 2-3 v. capp.
• 3 Kyrie
        • 2 Gloria
        • 12 Credo
        • 40 sections of Proprium Missae with instruments
• 101 Introitus
• 25 Graduali
• 26 Offertorium
• 32 Communiones capp.
• music for funerals and the Holy Week (54 Responsoria Hebdomadae Sanctae)
• 198 Psalms with instruments (of which 51 with double choir)
• 26 Magnificat
        • 5 Nunc dimittis
        • vespri, notturni, mattutini, inni, sequenze, antifone, litanie, mottetti
• 2 Te Deum
        • 1 Requiem
• 9 Cantate spirituali a solo with instruments
• 1 Litaniae atque Antiphonae 4 v. cum organo et Instrum. ad lib. op. I (1734)

  • Works for Orchestra:
• various symphonies
• concerto vl., ob., vcl. and strings
• 6 concertos harpsichord and strings
• concerto vl. and strings
• concerto vcl. and strings
• concerto piano and strings

• Chamber Music:
• sonatas vcl.
• sonatas 2 fl.
• sonatas vl. and 4 tr.
• various arias, cantatas and canons
• 12 Sonate d’intavolatura per l’organo e il cembalo (1742)
• 6 Sonate per l’organo e il cembalo (1747)
Duetti da camera a diverse voci (1763)
• 52 canons 2-4 v.

CD Spotlight October 2017: Dittersdorf Three Missing Symphonies

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Three Missing Ovid Symphonies

Three missing Ovid Symphonies
by Dittersdorf became three 4-hands
piano sonatas. The original
orchestral score is still missing,
like the other 6 symphonies.
We have only 9 symphonies
(6 orchestra+3 4-hands piano)
out of the original 15 symphonies
(written 1782-1786/87).

Dittersdorf was on friendly
terms with Mozart & Mozart
used his Symphonies
& Oratorios as Style reference.

James Tibbles & Michael Tsalka
Naxos

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Interview July 2017: 10 Questions with P. Malan

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Petronel Malan: Official Sites
Petronel Malan Site: Petronel Malan
Petronel Malan: Petronel Malan (Hänssler Classic)
Petronel Malan: Petronel Malan (Blüthner Pianos)
Petronel Malan: Petronel Malan (Twitter)
Petronel Malan: Petronel Malan (Facebook)
Petronel Malan: Petronel Malan (YouTube)

Petronel Malan: CD Albums
Petronel Malan: Transfigured Mozart
Petronel Malan: Transfigured Beethoven
Petronel Malan: Transfigured Bach


1. In 2006 and in 2008 you produced two beautiful, interesting and critically acclaimed CD Albums on Mozart and Beethoven: Transfigured Mozart and Transfigured Beethoven. What can you tell us about the origin and the story of these two CD Albums?

The Transfigured Bach recording was given to me as a project and I practiced and recorded it.

I did not do the research for that album.

When Hänssler Classic suggested I record a second CD, I started researching all the music and options to continue with transcriptions – and I found all the scores for Transfigured Mozart.

It happened to fall on the 2006 anniversary for Mozart and we decided to release in time for the anniversary.

I have always loved transcriptions, so it was a natural idea to record this music and since I discovered so many world premiere recordings, that happened almost naturally also.

As I was researching the Mozart, I started saving scores for future projects. I have a huge database of scores now.

So for my last 4 recordings, I did all the research for each recording.

I still have many lesser-known scores saved for future use for other recording projects. People also give me rare scores after concerts. So many scores I just received as a gift from a stranger after a concert!

… It is almost funny the two things people bring me most after concerts: Vintage dresses from their grandmothers… and rare scores. I love both things so I am always happy when people give this to me!

Petronel Malan plays Glinka’s Transfigured Mozart.

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2. We know you have in your concert repertoire also piano works by Haydn. What’s your relation with the compositions for piano by Haydn?

I have always loved playing Haydn.

It falls well on the hand and I think there are some absolutely beautiful music available.

People always know about Mozart, but the average person sadly doesn’t always know about Haydn.

Then I make sure to tell them that Beethoven studied with Haydn a bit, since he wanted to study with Mozart but Mozart had died. And Schubert was a pallbearer at Beethoven’s funeral. They are all connected.

What an amazing time to be alive and think that they all, all those great composers, had met each other!

Petronel Malan plays Haydn’s Sonata in C major Hob XVI/50, Mvt. I
Petronel Malan plays Haydn’s Sonata in C major Hob XVI/50, Mvt. II & III

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3. You are an official Artist of the most famous Leipzig firm Julius Blüthner Pianofortefabrik GmbH, one of the Big Four. What can you tell us about the distinctive quality of this piano manufacturer. And why and how did you choose their pianos? And what’s your story of collaboration with Blüthner?

When I walked into Skywalker Studios (George Lucas’ estate in California) to record my first CD, there were 2 pianos to choose from.

There was one of the most beautiful Blüthner Model 1 pianos and also another piano – which was also quite beautiful, but it didn’t have the sound and colour of the Blüthner.

So, I chose the Blüthner for my recording.

It was almost by accident that this happened.

After my first recording was nominated for the Grammy awards, they made me an official Blüthner Artist.

I then recorded my next 4 recordings in Leipzig, so that I would have easier access to Blüthner pianos.

They supplied not only the pianos but also the technicians for every recording.

Pianists will know how very important this is! I was really spoiled – and very lucky.

By recording in Leipzig, I now had choices of up to 5 Blüthners before every recording session!!

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4. You regularly organize Piano Masterclasses. What’s your approach in teaching to your students?

I don’t organize the Master classes… they happen mostly in conjunction with my concerts.

Usually, after a concert, I teach classes for local students.

I do not teach on a regular basis since I am usually traveling for concerts, so I have these classes to teach younger students.

When I was a child, I always asked every pianist I heard if I could get a lesson, but they mostly could not fit lessons into their schedule… which disappointed me greatly as a child.

So I made a point of being available for younger students after my concerts.
I’ve met some wonderful young talents and they have kept in touch through the years.

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5. Your favourite work by Mozart and your favourite work by J. Haydn.

For Mozart, it would have to be operas, but since I can’t sing at all and only listen to the operas, I’ll say the piano concerti… Absolute genius music.

For Haydn, probably string quartets, but again, I can’t play them so piano sonatas or variations?

I want to be able to play my favourite music myself, so it is hard to have something as my favourite when I can’t play it. That’s one of the reasons I love transcriptions so much – I can play almost everything and anything – even if it wasn’t written for me.

There are some exceptions, however: Second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony might be one example of something that doesn’t work on the piano… I have a few transcriptions of that movement but the solo piano doesn’t do it justice.

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6. Do you have in mind the name of some neglected composer of the 18th century you’d like to see re-evaluated?

No one specific comes to mind, but it is not something I am actively searching for.

For me, personally, I would say that great transcriptions based on music of this era would be something that I am always looking for.

I have fantastic friends who also collect lesser-known scores and we are always exchanging scores we find.

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7. Name a neglected piece of music of the 18th century you’d like to see performed in concert with more frequency.

Transcriptions of works from the 18th Century!

🙂

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8. Have you read a particular book on Mozart Era you consider important for the comprehension of the music of this period?

I usually read something about the composer as I am preparing for a recording project.

Before I recorded Transfigured Brahms, I read Jan Swafford’s book about Brahms. While I was researching and preparing for Transfigured Beethoven, I read The Last Master by John Suchet (@johnsuchet1 on Twitter!)…

I warn everybody before you read these books, that it will forever change how you view Beethoven not only as a musician, but also as a person.

I absolutely LOVED these books.

You will always look at Beethoven in a different way. The books are in 3 volumes and I hesitated starting volume 3, because I knew Beethoven was going to die and it made me quite sad. It is written as historic fiction – so the facts are always correct, but the conversations are made up.

I can not recommend these books enough to anyone working on Beethoven in depth.

Suchet writes with so much love and empathy about Beethoven, that it was only after reading these books that I truly realized Beethoven’s as a human being and not just as this historic figure who wrote great music.

Highly recommended.

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9. Name a movie or a documentary that can improve the comprehension of the music of this period.

I will always love Amadeus, but you have to be aware what is legend and what is fact.

I did not really like Immortal Beloved but I need to see it again perhaps. It has been years.

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10. Do you think there’s a special place to be visited that proved crucial to the evolution of the 18th century music?

I try to visit composers’ graves whenever I travel.

Beethoven is easy because he is right next to Schubert and Brahms and Strauss in Vienna.

You can also visit one of the many places where Beethoven lived while he was in Vienna. I think in total he stayed in almost 40 different places because he was always having problems with his neighbours and landlords.

I visited Mozart’s houses in Salzburg.

I visited Bach’s grave in Leipzig and Chopin’s grave in Paris and Rachmaninoff’s in NY.

I went to Liszt’s apartment in Budapest and was allowed to play on his pianos.

I think these type of visits, are always good for how you view a certain composer.

And you can take them flowers and say thank you for enhancing our lives for the better!

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Thank you very much for having taken the time to answer our questions!

Thank you!

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Copyright © 2017 MozartCircle. All rights reserved.MozartCircle exclusive property. 
Iconography is in public domain or in fair use

Review July 2017: Nancy Storace, muse de Mozart et de Haydn

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bkekcup Author: Emmanuelle Pesqué
Title: Nancy Storace, muse de Mozart et de Haydn
Publisher: Amazon
Year: 2017
Price: € 19.00
ISBN: 978-2-9560410-0-9
Link: www.amazon.fr
Official Site of the Book:
annselinanancystorace.blogspot.com
with additional online resources for this book
The Author: E. Pesqué works for the French Ministère de la Culture and for opera online Magazine ODB-opera.com.

This book Nancy Storace, muse de Mozart et de Haydn is the first product of a long and not easy documentary and archival research, lasted various years. The author of the book is entirely dedicated (and with great passion) to the world of opera (with important periods of activity for the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Emmanuelle Pesqué works for the French Ministère de la Culture and is one of the editors of the Internet Opera Magazine ODB-opera.com, and this since 2003) and has developed a major interest in the professional and human journey of the famous 18th century opera singer Nancy Storace, whose life vicissitudes are still, here and there, rather obscure and whose relationships with the great men and women of the 18th century London and Vienna have been, in the past, obfuscated by unsubstantiated speculations of various origin (even by the most revered and venerable Alfred Einstein) and by legends which can’t find any serious support in the primary sources nor in the archival material.

      The intent of this book and of its author is to cast a new light on this important opera singer (whose professional activity was behind and enlightened the work of the major composers of that Era, Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, Sarti and Martín y Soler), to add the results of the modern and the most recent musicological research in this field to the building of a new more accurate biography (see Link, Lorenz et alii) and to correct (where and when necessary) previous biographical attempts, like Anna… Susanna. Anna Storace, Mozart’s first Susanna: Her Life, Times and Family by G. Brace (London 1991).

CONTENTS
    A radical chronological approach.
    With Mozart in Vienna…
    … and with Haydn in London.
    The multitudes of the unknown minor composers.
    A generation of opera singers, who were also composers.
    From Fisher to Braham: the unpredictable trails of destiny.
    Which perspectives for the Historically Informed musical practice? Something to ponder.
    A reference book and the Internet on-line resources.

A radical chronological approach.
The perspective of matter treatment chosen by Pesqué for her book is that of a radical chronological approach, so that the stories and vicissitudes of Anna Selina Nancy Storace and of her brother Stephen and of the other characters around them can be perceived and evaluated in a diachronic context, where one can watch their lives unfold along their existence paths, while they are shaped by their artistic and professional decisions and choices and by the fundamental and intriguing encounters with various figures, many of them, in the end, emerging from the pages of the book as somehow real pivotal sidekick characters across the years, like the singers Rauzzini, Marchesi or Michael Kelly.
A long and laborious research through the pages of the many newspapers of that period (1765-1817) has enabled Pesqué to enrich her work and many valuable passages with the first-hand comments and descriptions of the facts of the world of Opera as they appeared in their original papers, when the events actually occurred: thus many extracts from La Gazzetta Universale, from The Times, from The British Press, from The Monthly Mirror, from The Literary Panorama and from many other newspapers make their appearance and illuminate various actions, concerts, soirées and fragments of life of Nancy Storace, that otherwise would be lost to the darkness of oblivion.
This chronological approach to the subject offers the reader many other advantages, first of all the curious and rather rare possibility of considering the evolution of a person’s life (Nancy Storace) as the gradual evolution of an individual within a systemic environment which lives and changes with that person. So the evolution of Nancy Storace as a person and as a professional singer makes its way across history, also through the many political upheavals of the nations (from the France of the Ancien Régime to the French Revolution and the Bonaparte family, being the brother of Napoleon, Jérôme, a personal friend of Braham, with Storace now trying to work in Paris with Marie Antoinette in 1787, then singing in England the lament on her assassination in 1793 and finally, firstly, singing for the Revolution in Paris in 1797 and then again in England commemorating the death of Nelson, the defeater of Napoleon, in November 1805), through the development of the public institutions (the history of the Vienna and London main Opera Theatres and the wars over the control of theatre productions and over the singers’ salaries and wages) and through the many changes of taste of the public in art and music and much more.

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With Mozart in Vienna…
Thanks to such particular structure, the admirers of Mozart’s works and the musicians devoted to Mozart will find in this book the possibility of looking at and considering well known episodes of the life of Mozart through a totally different point of view. So we may say that we have, on Mozart, an interesting change in the type of angle of visualization on a few events of his life (most of them occurred in Vienna between 1784 and 1786 for Le Nozze di Figaro, with Storace as an unforgettable first Susanna and then the concert of Les Adieux to Vienna with Mozart at the piano and Storace singing, on 23 February 1787, Ch’io mi scordi di te KV. 505, especially written by Mozart for her), a changed angle of visualization, which may really help in a better comprehension of certain passages of the life of Mozart.
Many figures, already well known because one finds them in Mozart’s biographies, make their appearance also here, but under a new light, since now they are people around Nancy Storace and, because of that, seen not in the light of Mozart, but in their everyday environmental context: the life and business of Opera Theatre from late 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century.
Therefore all this offers the reader an important glimpse at the real extra-long professional career of great opera singers like Venanzio Rauzzini, the famous castrato for whom Mozart wrote one of his masterpieces, the Exsultate, jubilate K. 165, the teacher of Nancy Storace, Michael Kelly and John Braham, the vocal coach and friend of Gertrud Mara, or the unforgettable Luigi Marchesi, the long time collaborator of Myslivecek, one of the teachers/friends of Mozart.
And the same must be said of the whole family Linley (the young Tommasino of Mozart’s biographies, Mozart met in Florence, his father Thomas the elder and especially the sister of Tommasino the singer Elizabeth Ann Linley Sheridan), with its profound connections with the Bath circles of culture and music and so with Rauzzini and the Storaces.
And the same must be said of many other famous Mozartian personages like the composers Sarti, Cherubini, Salieri, Paisiello, Cimarosa, Pleyel and especially Martín y Soler, Stephen Storace, Thomas Attwood, the singers Michael Kelly, Benucci, Bussani and the Mozartian poet par excellence Da Ponte, now depicted out of his Vienna environment (he was obliged to leave in 1791), trying to organize Opera Companies and new Opera dramas between Bruxelles and London with the possible help of the Storaces and then of Martín y Soler.
A special mention here goes to the episode of Mozart’s engagement for the London Italian Opera Theatre, the details of which are usually rather scarce in Mozart’s biographies. We learn now how a London consortium led by Robert Bray O’Reilly at the head of the Pantheon Opera Theatre and representing a group of high English aristocrats (the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Bedford, the Marquess of Salisbury), in 1790, tries to engage Nancy Storace for some new Italian Operas in London to be written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We know how Mozart, de facto, refused such proposals mainly to respect his 1787 agreement with the Vienna Imperial Court and also to avoid a direct rivalry in London with his friend Joseph Haydn, who was going to reach England for his famous First Tour (and probably Mozart was contacted also by Gallini and Salomon, before Haydn’s approval of the entire London project). However, the whole story of the destiny of the Pantheon Theatre led by O’Reilly, as recounted by Emmanuelle Pesqué, certainly casts some new and interesting light on the decisions of Mozart, and, after all (after the refusal of the proposals brought forward by the letter of O’Reilly of 26 October 1790, and after considering the total disaster, also financial, of the whole Pantheon Theatre Project in 1792), probably Mozart was right in refusing…

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… and with Haydn in London.
What has been said for Mozart on the change in the point of view, must be said also for Haydn, even though on a lesser scale, since the friendly relationship between Storace and Haydn in Vienna had a substantial minor professional involvement (i.e. fundamentally Il Ritorno di Tobia on 28 and 30 April 1784). A major professional relation between Storace and Haydn occurred, instead, during the First London Tour of Haydn, with the active participation of the soprano at the famous Salomon-Haydn Series of concerts and then at the Haydnian festivities for his Doctoral degree received from the University of Oxford (July 1791, see The Gentleman’s Magazine and The Morning Herald).

The multitudes of the unknown minor composers.
Another peculiar and notable result of this approach used by Pesqué is the re-surfacing of a multitude of unknown minor composers positioned, with their operas, within their correct historical context.
These minor composers, particularly in the 18th century, were, in reality, the fundamental backbone of the Theatre Houses both in continental Europe and in England and many famous singers of that period, like Storace, Kelly and Braham etc., in various occasions, owed them a lot: the success of their careers, especially at the beginning, a wide spread notoriety through vocal scores rapidly available and even odd opera pastiches, which the public liked very much and paid for.
We remember here Basili, Moneta, Nasolini, Nicolini, Gnecco, Mayr, Isola, Zingarelli, Bianchi, Mazzinghi, Reeve, Moorehead, Davy, Corri and many others, who now are just names, but who built, with their minor works, the theatrical good fortune and success of the great opera singers of the 18th and of the 19th century.

A generation of opera singers, who were also composers.
One aspect of the actual musical practice of the 18th century that may really impress both the scholars and the amateurs and the modern musicians and singers is the fairly good level of technical preparation in music composition, which characterized many opera singers of that Era.
One certainly remember the famous conversation between Michael Kelly and Mozart on this subject and how Mozart defined this particular category of composers, more or less, the melodists.
It is a fact that from the pages of this book, we discover how various opera singers, of the 18th century, like the great Rauzzini himself, were capable of composing music, writing arias, organizing an entire opera and treating the orchestration.
Not only the opera singer Michael Kelly was able to write music for himself and to compose entire operas, but, according to some source of that period, in 1796 he and his lifelong friend Nancy Storace managed to complete, in London, an entire opera left unfinished by the brother of Nancy, Stephen. So it seems that even Nancy Storace was a sufficiently good connoisseur of music composition and of its rules to help Michael Kelly in his work!
A particular situation was that of John Braham, who, through his entire life, mostly wrote by himself the music he was going to perform in public and left at least seven operas intentionally written for himself and for Nancy Storace (1802-1808), his mate in everyday life, but never his wife.
However it must be said that, in many occasions, such operas written by the melodists certainly enormously pleased the enthusiastic public and were a good bargain, in terms of money, but, on the other hand, showed clear signs of re-working and re-organizing music materials, ideas and fragments derived from great first-rate composers, like Mozart, Haydn, Paisiello, Sarti, etc. without openly declaring it… and sometimes even the newspapers of that period, usually vague on this subject, noticed that.
Along with the popular successes of these types of operas or opera-pastiches, the book by Pesqué well documents the incredibly slow path that led to the premieres of the most famous Mozart’s operas in England at the beginning of the 19th century. The first complete version of Le Nozze di Figaro (1786) premiered in London only in June 1812 after ten years from one of the first concerts there with fragments from Le Nozze di Figaro and Idomeneo (1802). And the years 1811 and 1812 are fundamental for a first wider diffusion of Mozart’s music in London, after so many years of concerts performing mostly only segments and re-worked and re-written pieces. In May 1811 we have the performance of Così Fan Tutte and in March 1812 La Clemenza di Tito (which premiered in 1806): so Mozart’s music in England is now finally well established in 1810s.

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From Fisher to Braham: the unpredictable trails of destiny.
A fundamental part of this book is dedicated to the two major male figures and love interests of Nancy Storace: John Abraham Fisher and John Braham.
The complicated and in many ways still mysterious affair and marriage with the violinist and composer John Abraham Fisher (Vienna, March 1784 and ended a few months later by personal act and will of the emperor Joseph II) is treated by Pesqué with the addition of new important updated information on the subject.
Behind this unhappy marriage, we may see even various possible mistakes made by Nancy Storace in her relationship with Fisher, mistakes which may have led her husband to the well known unacceptable behaviour, among them the suspect induced by her acts of an adulterine relation with the opera singer Benucci. Besides the possible real responsibilities of J.A.Fisher (ca. 40 years old) in ill-treating Nancy Storace (18 years old), the brother of the soprano, Stephen Storace, considered the marriage of his sister a «ridiculous marriage» (June 1785, while in conversation with Orsini-Rosenberg) and declared that his sister is a «testarda» (stubborn or even mulish) and that that caused the disaster in her marriage.
Thanks also to the results of the archival works carried on by notable scholars such as Dorothea Link and Michael Lorenz, Emmanuelle Pesqué has finally had the possibility of giving a new and detailed account on the birth and death of Josepha Fisher (b. 30 January 1785 – d.17 July 1785), putting an end to other various forms of speculations on this matter.
The importance of this period (1784-1785: the unhappy marriage and the death of her daughter) in the life of Nancy Storace is curiously determined not by the facts themselves, but by the incredible effects that such personal vicissitudes of Storace had on the life and on the artistic development of Mozart himself.
Mozart’s unfinished opera Lo sposo deluso K. 430 was especially designed by Mozart (between March and Autumn 1784) and by an unknown librettist to be performed by Nancy Storace (then called Fisher, i.e. Sig.ra fischer [sic! by Mozart], according to her new surname as married woman) as soprano. The most interesting thing about this otherwise still mysterious work is the title itself, which has certainly some connection with Gli sposi malcontenti by the composer Stephen Storace, brother of Nancy, an opera which premiered in Vienna on 1 June 1785 with Nancy as leading character. The opera written by Stephen Storace had an obvious open connection with the publicly notorious unhappy marriage of Nancy with Fisher in 1784, so one may wonder whether within the Vienna Imperial Court some manoeuvres were already underway in 1784 in order to have finally an Italian Opera composed by Mozart and that the possibility of covering up a budding Imperial Court scandal, such as the ill-fated marriage of Nancy, by spoofing it through a public comic opera might have been a good service to the emperor Joseph II and the Imperial Court.
Was it Da Ponte, who was manoeuvring in favour of Mozart?
We can’t say at the present state of the archival and documentary sources, however it is a fact that, curiously enough, in 1785 Mozart, even though he had not produced any Italian opera in Vienna yet and Le Nozze di Figaro had to premiere only in May 1786, was called to compose a brief Cantata written by Da Ponte himself in honour of Nancy Storace: Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia K. 477a. As is well known, this cantata (composed in collaboration with Salieri and a mysterious Cornetti and considered lost until November 2015, when the original score re-surfaced from the archives of Prague) was written by Da Ponte to celebrate the newly recovered health of Nancy Storace, who had to face, between June and September 1785, various personal dramatic moments, like the failure of her voice during a performance at Opera and the death of her daughter Josepha in July.
The long relation (both professional and sentimental) with the singer and composer John Braham is accurately treated in details from page 233 to 351, leading the reader into a kaleidoscopic world of those many personages, who, from the 1790s to 1820s, were the main characters of the theatre of the world: from Nelson to Lady Hamilton, from the English Royal family to Lord Byron, from the Bonaparte family and the French Revolution to J.M.W. Turner and John Ruskin, etc. Among the many intriguing episodes of this period a special mention must be made of two particularly interesting sections of Pesqué’s book: the European and Italian Tour of Nancy and Braham (1797-1801), which well reconstructs the panorama of Opera in France, in Italy and in Germany in the much troubled years of the French Revolution and of the first Napoleonic Wars and the intricate scandal of the affair of Braham with the wife of Henry Wright and the abandonment of Nancy Storace in 1816, a scandal which may have led, in the end, through an incredible twist of history, to a major role of the firm Jardine, Matheson & Co. in the First Opium War (1839-1842).

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Which perspectives for the Historically Informed musical practice? Something to ponder.
All those interested in the Historically Informed musical practice will find, in the narration and in the structure of this book, a fundamental motive of further reflection on what we consider philological or not in musical practice.
As Pesqué has largely demonstrated with her book, most of the success of these very well paid opera singers of 18th and 19th century was based, in reality, on versions of the operas, which, in many cases, had nothing to do with the original versions penned by the composers.
The rewriting of arias and sections of the operas and literally plenty of insertion numbers (i.e. arias etc.) written sometimes by another group of three or four different music composers, who had nothing to do with the first original composer, created an Opera Theatre business, regularly fed by operas which were, in reality, big pastiches, which sometimes retained, of the original concept of the first author, almost only the main title of the opera.
Hence, in conclusion, if in the 21th century we’d like to produce an Historically Informed reconstruction of an 18th century opera, which version we should consider really philological? The original one written by the first composer or the pastiche version with its great amount of insertion numbers, which was heartily welcomed by the audiences?
Certainly it’s something to ponder…
… and we are not touching here the delicate aspect of interpretation, since evidently, according to the original sources of that Era, in the 18th century there was a strong appeal towards a rather expressionist way of acting and performing (and it seems that part of the theatrical good fortune of Nancy Storace was also due to her special cheeky way of singing, dancing and, so to say, playing on the stage: what a magnificent Susanna!) and to what we may call, in modern terms, towards over-interpretation, whereas the modern music schools have a not always too acceptable interest rather in toned-down or even shabby interpretations (under-interpretation?), as if music may only mechanically exist, like an anonymous depersonalized entity (but beware of the famous ominous musicus mechanicus, as Mozart wrote in his letters!).

A reference book and the Internet on-line resources.
The book on Nancy Storace by Emmanuelle Pesqué is a book characterized by a beautiful and fluid readability. So, despite the accuracy and the many details, the book itself can be easily read as an intriguing novel.
Nonetheless, the Avant-propos, the first chapters of the book devoted to the origin of the family of Nancy Storace and to the flourishing music and entertainment business (e.g. the Pleasure Gardens) that this family manages to establish in London between 1740s and 1770s, the final chapters on the portraits of Nancy Storace and on Nancy Storace as a character of various fictional productions and the technical section at the end of book (the collection of rare images, the extremely detailed chronology of her theatrical career divided per seasons, the important collection of titles and synopses of extremely rare and now almost neglected English Operas written for Nancy Storace, the updated and extremely detailed bibliography and the discography) confer on the book by Pesqué also the status of an interesting and valuable Reference Book on the history of Opera Theatre between London and Vienna.
The Internet site run by the author of the book herself (annselinanancystorace.blogspot.com) further enrich the experience of this book with other updates and rare materials.

MozartCircle
S. & L.M. Jennarelli

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