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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.

Impossible Interviews September 2017: Mozart’s Patron van Swieten

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Who is Gottfried van Swieten?

Usually a rather blurred figure in Mozart’s biographies, in reality, Baron Gottfried van Swieten exerted an enormous influence on the development of Mozart’s interests in music composition and then also on Haydn and on the young Beethoven. Furthermore, van Swieten (a freemason himself, like Mozart), with the Abbé Stadler, had a crucial role in the promotion of Mozart’s works carried on by Constanze, after December 1791.

The son of the Vampirism scholar Gerard van Swieten
The father of Baron van Swieten, Gerard van Swieten, was an important Dutch-Austrian physician, who in 1745 became the personal physician of the Austria Imperial family and, in particular, of the Empress Maria Theresa.
From 1718 to 1732, suddenly, a previously unknown brutal myth on vampirism reached also Austria from Serbia and received a wide sudden diffusion throughout Europe and many scholars were called by the local authorities to directly investigate the phenomenon and to eradicate it.
Maria Theresa asked Gerard van Swieten to investigate and was sent to Moravia in 1755, to study the case. In 1768 Gerard van Swieten published his Essay against vampirism Discourse on the Existence of Ghosts, which led Maria Theresa to ban all traditional defences to vampires, as the product of  vain fear and of superstitious credulity.
In 1774 and in 1789 (2nd edition) the Dissertazione sopra i Vampiri by Giuseppe Davanzati, Bishop of Trani, appeared, to support the Essay by Gerard van Swieten and Maria Theresa’s laws. Unfortunately the superstition was difficult to eradicate and, thus, in the end, the authorities tried to transform vampirism in an art genre, to defeat it, by using also opera and comic opera (among the first works, the comic opera I vampiri by Silvestro Palma, 1812, which promotes the rationalist theories of Giuseppe Davanzati).

van Swieten and the von Jacquins friends of Mozart
The fact that Mozart and his wife Constanze were close friends of Gottfried von Jacquin and his sister Franziska, is well known. What probably many still fail to consider is that both Gottfried and Franziska von Jacquin belonged to the circle of van Swieten’s close friends. In fact the father of Gottfried and Franziska was Nikolaus von Jacquin, a famous and important scholar and a personal pupil of van Swieten’s father, Gerard van Swieten. Even more, Nikolaus von Jacquin named a genus of mahogany after his mentor and friend Gerard van Swieten, the Swietenia. So Mozart and his wife, by regularly attending the von Jacquins, just remained within the group of close friends of van Swieten.

Mozart and the van Swieten’s Sunday Music program
Thanks to Mozart’s letters and Weigl’s autobiography and some reminiscences of Salieri, we are rather well informed on the van Swieten’s Sunday Music program held at his apartments from the Spring 1782 to some years later.
At 12 every Sunday, Mozart, Starzer, Teyber, van Swieten and, probably only on a few occasions, also Salieri met at van Swieten’s apartments to study and perform works by Handel, Graun, J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach. F. Bach, with Mozart accompanying at the fortepiano, van Swieten singing discant, Mozart also singing alto, Starzer tenor, Teyber bass. According to Weigl, when Salieri was there, he also sang some part.
Thanks to this sort of private academies, Mozart developed his peculiar taste for Handel’s and Bach’s works, now made known and available through the rare and difficult to find scores of van Swieten, and their art of counterpoint, a taste that well emerges in his major works from 1782 to 1791 (Mass in C Minor, Haydn Quartets, The Magic Flute, Requiem etc.).
Mozart tried to promote, instead, during such occasions, the knowledge of the sacred music works by Michael Haydn and Eberlin, even though, as far as we know, he decided not to promote Eberlin’s keyboard art of fugue, because he found it on a lower level in comparison to Bach and Handel.
The presence of Salieri at these private academies at van Swieten’s are much disputed, because his pupil Weigl tells this story and because Salieri’s own reminiscences of these academies are certainly heavily manipulated and distorted: i.e. Salieri was the leader of these academies and Mozart used to call him papa all the time (difficult to believe, because Salieri was not much older than Mozart and could not be a papa to Mozart).

van Swieten’s political roles & his influence on Mozart’s works
From 1780 to 1782 van Swieten reached a high position at Court with Joseph II, earning an annual salary of ca. 20.000 florins (ca. 140.000 modern US dollars).
He became Councillor of State, Director of the State Education Commission (1781) and Director of a new Censorship Commission (1782). van Swieten, in his official role, supported and carried on the program of reforms of Joseph II. If Mozart’s works, like Le Nozze di Figaro, and certain parts of Don Giovanni (regularly censored and cut in 1800s) and, on a certain level also The Magic Flute, were freely performed in Austria in 1780s, that was also the result of the activity of van Swieten within the Censorship Commission, which increased certain forms of freedom.
As is well known, the death of Joseph II (and the French Revolution) created troubles to all the people who worked for Joseph II. And van Swieten, already considered the person responsible for too much revolutionary freedom and for other disasters of the Imperial administration, was discharged from his commission post by Leopold II on 5 December 1791, the same day as the death of Mozart, while Imperial informers were building an act of accusation against Mozart’s The Magic Flute, considered a satire against Louis XVI of France and the Austria Emperor’s sister Marie Antoinette and an obscure promotion of the French Revolution.

Mozart, van Swieten and the Handel controversy
The strong interest of van Swieten in the music by Handel, if, on the one hand, it led to the birth of great masterpieces like Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Haydn’s Oratorios and Beethoven’s various works, on the other hand, unfortunately reached also levels of a sort of fanaticism hard to be comprehended.
In 1786 van Swieten organized the Gesellschaft der Associierten (Society of Associated Cavaliers), to organize the performance of great orchestral works in Vienna. In 1788 van Swieten chose Mozart as official conductor of the Society and from 1788 to 1790 commissioned Mozart to write a revised and updated (mainly in the orchestration) edition of four major works by Handel: Acis and Galatea (1788), The Messiah (1789), Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day (1790), Alexander’s Feast (1790).
Despite Mozart’s intense activity on Handel, van Swieten kept a certain pressure on Mozart, because he wanted Mozart to write a purer Handelian work (possibly an oratorio?), to prove he was a real great composer (!?). From this, also the long lasting debate on Mozart’s borrowing from Handel in building his famous Requiem, considered already in 1790s also a collection of reminiscences of Handelian themes firstly heard by Mozart in his famous Tour in England when a child prodigy.
Moreover a letter of van Swieten written in 1798 ignited the Handel controversy among Mozart supporters, since van Swieten clearly declares himself unsatisfied with the work carried on by Mozart, but not with that carried on by Haydn, who really managed to prove himself a great composer on the same level as Handel. Mozart simply failed to prove this, due to his sudden death.
Here the infamous words from van Swieten’s letter (December 1798):
«Undoubtedly it [i.e. the level of Handel and of the two Bachs] would have been reached by Mozart, had he not been snatched from us prematurely. Joseph Haydn, conversely, truly stands there [i.e. with Handel the two Bachs]».
The harsh judgment of van Swieten simply means that Haydn, in the end, managed to deliver a great Oratorio, The Creation, in the high style of Handel, while Mozart miserably failed in doing this, due to his sudden death (!?).

van Swieten helps Constanze
After the death of Mozart, van Swieten actively helped Constanze Mozart and her children both financially and socially. Apart from his famous intervention for the funeral of Mozart, he promoted benefit concerts in favour of Constanze’s family and took care of the education of the young Karl Mozart. His role proved particularly crucial, in Prague, in April 1794, to save the young Karl Mozart, the 9 year old child of Wolfgang, from a trap organized by the supporters of Salieri in Prague: Karl Mozart had to publicly appear on stage during the performance of Salieri’s opera Axur «as the boy who is offered up for sacrifice». The immediate intervention of van Swieten and of his mother Constanze saved the boy from this orchestrated form of public humiliation against the child of Mozart by the supporters of Salieri.

van Swieten as composer, librarian, copyright promoter
van Swieten, who had studied music in his youth with a pupil of J.S. Bach and had become a member of the musical circle of the princess Anna Amalia, was also a composer and not only a simple patron of the musical arts.
While as patron van Swieten had already patronized the son of J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach (6 Symphonies H. 657–662, 1773; Sonaten für Kenner und Liebhaber, 1781) before reaching Vienna, through the years van Swieten developed his own musical compositions.
Today the critics are largely divided on the quality of his music. Even though The Grove Dictionary is particularly harsh in his judgment on van Swieten’s musical works, other scholars give more cautious opinions on his music works, especially because a few of them were considered for long time and printed and published as works by Haydn (3 of van Swieten’s Symphonies were printed and re-printed as Haydn’s Op. 29 for many years). Curiously enough, instead, Haydn considered most of van Swieten symphonies in the old fashioned 3 movements style, «as stiff as the man himself». Nonetheless, we know that Mozart conducted at least one of van Swieten’s symphonies in Vienna in 1782.
Probably also van Swieten’s surviving opéras comiques may deserve a better study and approach by both scholars and musicians, since his Les talents à la Mode has certain important affinities with Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne and features important, beautiful and very difficult coloratura arias and Colas toujours Colas, mostly in the pastoral style, has passages with strong affinities with Haydn’s The Seasons (in particular, the hunt scene).
As librarian and copyright promoter, van Swieten not only expanded the official Imperial library with books on science, but kept promoting music, by collecting rare scores and trying to convince the Emperor Joseph II, in 1784, to adopt the new copyright and royalties law in favour of the authors of works of art. In the end, Joseph II rejected the proposal by van Swieten and the system of copyright and royalties, so, was not available for those living under the Austrian Empire. Such law would have certainly changed the life of Mozart in better, by making it a bit easier.
The importance of van Swieten as Imperial Court librarian is due also to the fact that he is considered the first librarian in Europe to use the first form of library catalog, entirely based on a easily searchable system of cards, instead of the usual old bound volumes.

van Swieten, Haydn and the young Beethoven
The great interest of van Swieten in Handel’s music was also a distinctive trait of his patronage relationship with Haydn and the young Beethoven.
It is well known how, thanks to van Swieten and his intense activity of patron, music promoter, librettist and public concerts organizer in Vienna, Haydn managed to carry out his three great oratorio projects of the 1790s: The Seven Last Words of Christ (1795/96), The Creation (1796/98) and The Seasons (1799/1801). Nonetheless the personal relationship between the two men was not always easy, as it happened with the famous quarrel between Haydn and van Swieten on the French-style passages Haydn disliked for The Seasons, the Frenchified trash.
Instead, a lesser known episode of van Swieten’s life is his fundamental role, in 1790s, in the development of young Beethoven‘s interest in Handel’s and Bach’s music, as he had done with Mozart many years earlier. This time, he accomplished his music educational program through a long series of soirées at his home, usually starting at 8.30 pm, with Beethoven who was expected to play many pieces of music and especially many fugues by Bach for various hours in the night and then to sleep at home of van Swieten.
So, when Beethoven’s pupil Ferdinand Ries wrote: «Of all composers, Beethoven valued Mozart and Handel most highly, then S. Bach.», we know that Beethoven was, in this, highly influenced by van Swieten’s program of music education, based principally on the fact that, still in 1790s, van Swieten was one of the few owners of many scores by these authors, scores which were, in certain cases, still particularly rare to find on the 18th century market of music.
In 1801 Beethoven dedicated his 1st Symphony Op. 21 to van Swieten: Erste Symphonie von L. van Beethoven Dem Baron van Swieten gewidmet.

van Swieten & Vermeer
The father of van Swieten was the owner of one of the greatest masterpieces in the History of Art, painted by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, The Art of Painting, between 1665 and 1675. Then the painting became property of his son, Baron Gottfried van Swieten. They both probably ignored the name of the real author of the painting, since, until 1860, the painting was considered a work by Pieter de Hooch.
Ten years after the death of van Swieten, in 1813, the painting was sold to the family of the Bohemian-Austrian Counts Czernin.

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WO
RKS BY VAN SWIETEN
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A) Compositions by van Swieten:

• Ariette for La Rosière de Salency (1769)
• Opéra comique: Les talents à la Mode
• Opéra comique: Colas toujours Colas
• Opéra comique: La chercheuse d’esprit (lost)
• 10 Symphonies (7 surviving), 3 of them for long time considered works by F. J. Haydn as Op. 29 (according to some sources the symphonies were at least 12)

At imslp.org the score of van Swieten’s opera Colas toujours Colas is now available: Colas toujours Colas.

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

Interview June 2017: 10 Questions with R. Maeder

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Rebekka Maeder: Official Sites
Rebekka Maeder Official Site: Rebekka Maeder
Rebekka Maeder: Rebekka Maeder (LinkedIn)
Rebekka Maeder: Rebekka Maeder (Facebook)
Rebekka Maeder: Novocanto Ensemble
Rebekka Maeder: Novocanto Ensemble (Facebook)

Rebekka Maeder Coloratura Soprano:
Next Concerts
10-11-18 June 2017: Haydn – St.Cecilia Mass
8 July 2017: Mozart – Così Fan Tutte
16-17 September 2017: Mozart program concert
4-5 November 2017: Schubert Mass in E Flat (Bern)


1. International Soprano with a vast and varied repertoire (from Bach, Handel up to Mendelsshon, Offenbach, Ravel and Leonard Bernstein), through the years you have been building a really impressive Mozartian repertoire: 5 Mozart’s operas, 8 masses, Davidde penitente and many other Sacred Music Works by him. What attracted and what attracts you the most in Mozart’s music? What Mozartian opera character do you like the most of those you have interpreted? And why? What Sacred music Vocal part do you like the most of the many Mozartian Sacred Works you have interpreted? And why?

The compositions of Mozart are simply the product of an unrivalled genius.

He knew exactly how to deal with the human voice… how he had to write for each character in order to make it possible for the singer to show all the colours and all that necessary diversification that not only effectively builds the character but also makes the character well defined and interesting. Moreover, the orchestration is written by Mozart in a very clever way, so that it never arrives to an excess of demand from the singer. Personally, I do really love the elegance of Mozart’s melodies and how he musically builds up the characters in his Operas.

The characters in Mozart’s operas, which I have interpreted so far, with the exception of the Queen of the Night, show some similarities: young, adult ladies of nobility, confronted with the themes of love, loyalty and betrayal.

Mozart’s operas are mostly about the emotional entanglements with which the aristocratic population has to deal with in everyday’s life: love and fidelity, desire and adventure, power and resignation.

Therefore, a decision about my favourite Mozartian character is not easy at all… you see, it much depends on the profundity of a character and on the actual musical part, as well.

Of course, the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) has such a special value and such an intrinsic charm of its own: the great concentration of emotions, the high drama and also the vocal technical challenge… And all this must happen on stage and in music in a very short time… she has 3 shows in the whole opera: 2 arias of approx. 4min each and an ensemble at the end. Within these short periods, all these characterizing factors must perfectly emerge from your interpretation. This challenge is always a motive of great enchantment and it is always such a great joy to accomplish your performance of this character.

On the other hand, the Queen of the Night, as a drama character, has not an actual evolution nor a distinct development within the opera. If we consider this point of view, I must say I do prefer the character of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Such character really leaves enough room for the development of the various different facets, not only on a theatrical level but also, and principally, on a pure musical level.

In the field of sacred music, I love the Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor in a special manner.

The enchanting Soprano solo Et incarnatus est represents a great and, at the same time, a marvellous challenge to the singer, when you are demanded to completely merge intimacy and virtuosity through your own performance.

Moreover, in general, the Mass itself is a very delightful masterpiece for the soprano. There are even two of them, who are also ingeniously combined firstly in a duetto, and then with the tenor in a terzetto.

This mass is so marvellously permeated with an outstanding dimension of love and spirituality (and all this with a stylistic variety that is, at the same time, so harmoniously forged into an art product of such a pure and elevated unity), that it deeply touches the audience as well as the interpreter.

Rebekka Maeder sings Mozart, Mass in C Minor K427, Et incarnatus est.

Rebekka Maeder sings Mozart, The Magic Flute, Der Hölle Rache.

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2. In your Repertoire you have also many works by Joseph Haydn: The Creation, The Seasons and 5 Masses. What kind of interest led you to his music? What are your considerations on Haydn’s vocal parts in his masses and in his oratorios?

Haydn’s music is a great playing field for me as a singer!

I love his strong, sometimes even impetuous temperament, the freshness and playfulness of his compositions.

Sometimes arias are written in a way, that really recalls the Lied or Song technique, and can have a very catchy, almost folkish tone, but then… they can be highly virtuosic again.

His musical talent can achieve also such striking high levels of pictorial dimension.

An extraordinary example of this is his work The Creation in which his compositional mastery really stands out in all its glorious might… just not to mention that magnificent musical conception of chaos at the very beginning of his work.

Haydn really manages to break the rigid forms of baroque oratorios… and in such a pioneering way!

In The Creation he also shows his great talent in tone painting!

Each voice of nature finds its clear imitation in the sounds of the orchestra and also in the vocal parts: from the rays of the sun to the foaming waves of the sea, to the lions and the doves, etc.

All this is so so extremely interesting, if we consider the form of art itself!

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3. In your repertoire, apart from Handel’s works and Beethoven’s works, you have many important composers of the second half of the 18th century/beginning 19th century. Among them we remember Mozart’s friend and mentor Josef Myslivecek, Mozart’s and Haydn’s great pupil Hummel with his masses, the brother of Haydn and Mozart’s friend M. Haydn and also Gossec. What can you tell us about your interest in these composers and in their music? What led you to add them to your repertoire and which one of them do you consider the most interesting composer?

My musical interest is concentrated mainly on the epochs of classical music and romanticism.

As a freelance musician I have free choice on the works I sing, of course. I can decide whether the work or the composer irritates me or not.

Nevertheless, usually the theatres and conductors are those who make their first choice, as far as the composer and the work are concerned… and this gives me the lucky opportunity to know and sing music works, which I just did not know.

Moreover, it is fundamental to me also to decide whether the piece fits my voice or not.

In general, however, I think it is important to have as much diversification as possible in my choices and not to limit myself to interpreting only the great and well-known composers and works.

This alone arouses my interest, especially when we are considering composers of these epochs and when such composers, like Myslivecek, are also well associated with Mozart. This connection, not only in terms of teachers and pupils, but also friendships and competitions, often has a great influence on the composer’s musical work.

For me, it is in this very moment that music shows one of its most beautiful aspects: it unites people and people learn and grow together: the creators, the performers and the audience.

To explore what influences can be found in the music of Myslivecek, Hummel, Michael Haydn and Gossec has been and is of great interest to me.

And it is always exciting to discover how differently the composers have treated the human voice in their works.

Since these composers are very different one from the other, frankly I cannot say which one of them I consider the most interesting. You see, an important attitude for me is not to evaluate everything in life in a too sharp manner. It’s not just about what is now more meaningful and important, more intelligent, more virtuous, or more perfect. People are not perfect, in any respect. So I just try to grasp what I find in music, in terms of what is offered to be grasped, and I try to give it that meaning, the music itself wants and tries to express: sometimes this is really very much and of a complex nature, sometimes it is just simple and even, so to speak, casual.

In any case, I must say that, in particular, the works Abramo and Isacco by Myslivecek and also Gossec’s Grande messe des morts have been particularly touching to me.

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4. This year 2017 you are presenting Haydn’s St.Cecilia Mass (June), Mozart’s Così fan tutte (May-July), a full Mozartian program (September) and a Schubert Mass in November plus masses by Mozart (April) and Scarlatti (March) and Schumann and Mendelssohn. You also collaborate with various projects and ensembles and you are also a regular guest at various Music Festivals. So what can you tell us about your current and future projects? And what your suggestions to young singers who want to build a repertoire on MozartEra music?

I like the diversity and the constant new discoveries in the field of music.

I do not have to move across all the epochs, but I choose, where my voice and my heart lead me mostly.

I enjoy being able to make opera and operetta and sacred music with choir and orchestra, as well as chamber music.

Of course, concerts such as Haydn’s Cäcilienmesse, the Mendelssohn concerts in May and the Schubert Mass in November are impressive sonorous experiences, as they can fill a concert hall or a large church with a large orchestra and choir.

To make music with so many people is also a great accomplishment and it is also always so exciting to work with the different levels of the choirs… I mean, to work with professional musicians is an utterly different experience from working with non-professional choirs and often, when church music is involved, both experiences just incredibly meet each other.

Moreover the audience itself can be also so heterogeneous and of such a different nature. And this is a real challenge for the musician: to reach people, whether they are familiar with classical music or not.

And such considerations led me to work in projects like the Cosi fan tutte I’m presenting again in July: a chamber music version of the beautiful opera, tailored for the operatic lover as well as for the eyes and ears that are not familiar with the opera yet. The recitatives were replaced by the narrator Uwe Schönbeck, an outstanding and well-known actor in Switzerland and formerly a great and experienced singer who leads the audience through the opera and thus connects the musical numbers. This makes the opera much slimmer and more intelligible and it can also be easily financed and this in favour of smaller stages (a major subject in modern times not to be underestimated) and finally free the untrained listener from the fear of a visit at the opera house.

This variety of different works and performance platforms also offers great space for young singers to get acquainted with the repertoire of this time.

The vocal and artistic development of each young singer has its own pace and should be well reconciled with its possibilities. It must not be conducive to singing the most difficult and most complex works and roles too early and also the performance pressure should be handled with care.

So many young talents disappear, just because of a too much, so to say, because of too big stages and of a too heavy repertoire, which was forced.

Having a good mentor (or even several ones) who always has an eye and an ear on the singer is more than advisable. He can give good advice in the choice of roles and, above all, the necessary technical level. Internal and external growth should go hand in hand.

In contrast to later composers of the romantic period such as Strauss, Dvorak, Mahler, Verdi, Wagner, etc., the composers of the classical period seduce far less to an uncultivated and impetuous handling of the voices. The forms are more regular, the voice is somewhat less endangered.

Among the numerous works of classical music, however, there are also immense differences in the demands on the human voice. For example, it is advisable to choose, as a young soprano, the lighter voice parts (with Zerlina instead of Donna Elvira or with Blonde instead of Constanze), even if the voice shows already the potential for great drama.

Admittedly, sometimes the outside world does not seem to give a choice, but ultimately everyone decides more and more on his own voice.

If you are over-estimated it is actually easier to react, you can always cancel a job offer.

If a singer assumes too much too early, his ego is too great, or he has not dealt well enough with the part to be sung and has underestimated it (here an experienced consultant would be important).

If the singer does not take the step to accept or to apply for a role, although he is able to do so vocally, the ego, i.e. the inner growth, was not ready yet.

If one is underestimated, i.e. not being heard, this can have a reason which can be found in the very singer… the interior does not want to show itself, although it could. It is always a fundamental matter of balance.

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

Don Giovanni and The Creation.

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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?

I think Louis Spohr (1784-1859) is a very interesting composer.

Next year, one of his works The Saviour’s Last Hours will be performed.

Spohr is anything but unknown, his works range from opera, operetta, oratorios, drama music, songs, symphonies, chamber music to numerous violin concertos, however, despite the quantity and the quality of his works, he is rarely found in the concert or in opera agenda.

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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, especially thanks to your special experience as a MozartEra musician, performer and connoisseur.

For instance, Gossec’s Grande messe des morts or Hummel’s Mass in D Minor.

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8. Do you have in mind a particular book on Mozart Era you consider important for the comprehension of the music of this period?

For me, reading books is not the first choice when it comes to understanding the music.

I rather try to see how a composer has written the music; how he wrote my vocal parts and how he orchestrated them.

When I read books, I rather choose biographies or, even better, letters from the composers or from his contemporaries, as is in the case of Mozart.

Mozart’s letters are really wonderful to get an authentic impression of his world… They say a lot about the spirit of his time and about his own character.

 

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

BBC has produced a good number of interesting documentaries on Mozart; e.g. the chapter A Passion for the Stage from The Genius of Mozart (BBC Documentary).

And Amadeus is also a nice movie to get an impression of that time.

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1984, AMADEUS

10. Name a place to be visited that proved crucial to the evolution of the 18th century music.

Vienna is such a great place!

You cannot get around this city (fortunately), if you have to deal with the music of this century.

I have been there several times for masterclasses and sightseeing!

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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

 

 

Interview May 2017: 10 Questions with P. McCreesh

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Paul McCreesh: Official Sites
Paul McCreesh Official Site: Paul McCreesh
Paul McCreesh Official Site: Gabrieli Consort & Players
Paul McCreesh: Deutsche Grammophon (Official)
Paul McCreesh: Gulbekian (Official)
Paul McCreesh: Paul McCreesh Twitter (Official)
Paul McCreesh: Gabrieli Consort & Players Facebook (Official)
Paul McCreesh: Gabrieli Consort & Players Facebook (Twitter)
Paul McCreesh: Winged Lion Records (Official)

Paul McCreesh: CD Haydn The Seasons 1801
Paul McCreesh: CD Haydn The Creation
Paul McCreesh: CD Mozart Great Mass in C Minor

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1. Your newly released CD Album, Haydn The Seasons 1801, has reached #3 in the Specialist Classical Chart in few days. A magnificent reward for a long work by you, started in 2011, in particular with the accurate revision of the original «bad and unsingable» English libretto, and completed in 2016 for the album recording. Moreover, for this recording of The Seasons you have also prepared a new performing edition of Haydn’s score, which recreates the Viennese large-scale performances of Haydn’s own time, and so your recording of The Seasons can be considered de facto a world premiere for this Oratorio, since it’s the first recording featuring such spectacular (yet philological) large-scale forces. Can you tell us about the most crucial phases of preparation of the recording of The Seasons and about your most interesting decisions?

Yes, I suppose this project could be summed up as a «labour of love». I think if there is a top 10 of neglected masterpieces The Seasons is definitely up there towards the top; I consciously wanted to try to rehabilitate this work, which I think is every bit as great as The Creation.

Whilst Haydn performed with both pieces with large and small ensembles, certainly his best known performances took place in Vienna and used quite impressive forces. The standard ensemble included triple winds and double, or sometimes triple, brass as well as a large body of strings. There’s something particularly spectacular in hearing Haydn’s music with such large forces, and in a highly dramatic and pictorial work such as The Seasons, the added contrasts really help lift the music off the page. Whilst both Christopher Hogwood and I have recorded The Creation in this way, as you say, I think this is probably the first performance of The Seasons given in this style.

The Seasons was published in both German and English and although the German version is entirely passable the original English text is often comically inept, and I think this is a large part of the reason why The Seasons is rarely given outside of the German speaking world. Following my revisions on the similarly awkward text of The Creation, there seemed a golden opportunity to recreate a new English version of The Seasons which would hopefully win new friends to in the English speaking world. The text is entirely in 19th Century style, but it’s created specifically to match Haydn’s brilliant music and to present the singers and the audience with a version that brings them close to the world of Thomson’s original poem. I have revised this translation many times over the last 5 or 6 years; it’s really like an enormous crossword puzzle, but I have to say – if I’m allowed to – that I’m quite pleased with the final result.

Haydn, The Seasons 1801, Official Clip

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2. In 2008 you recorded and released a new edition of Haydn’s The Creation (Archiv Produktion). In your opinion, what are the similarities and differences in the music treatment of these two great oratorios by Haydn? And what do you think are the differences between these two oratorios and the third early oratorio by Haydn, Il Ritorno di Tobia 1775 (revised in 1784 and again in 1808)? As is well known, both van Swieten and Haydn were admirers of Handel and Haydn’s The Creation and The Seasons, conceived after the two London Tours, were both written under the influence of Handel’s music. Moreover, in 1790s van Swieten, with the help of Mozart, managed to present a few masterpieces by Handel (i.e. Messiah, St. Cecilia) to the Viennese public in the famous new orchestration by Mozart. And this Viennese Handelianism exerted a great influence also on Beethoven.

They are of course brother and sister and one might almost view The Seasons as a sequel to The Creation.

The differences are that The Seasons has more secular feel, in that it describes the day to day lives of people within the newly-created world; although The Seasons is framed by choruses which praise God it nevertheless has a much more humanistic touch.

In fact both works might be viewed through the prism of a turn-of-the-century nostalgia, Haydn bidding an almost Hardyesque farewell to a world which was rapidly changing.

The relationship with Swieten is crucial in the genesis of both these works, but it was Haydn himself who sought to emulate the world of the great Handel, having heard his performances in London in the 1790s.

Of course the early oratorio Il Ritorno di Tobia is a very different type of oratorio, much more Italianate and with extremely extended arias – quite a world apart.

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HANDEL CDs (Paul McCreesh)
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 • Handel: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato 1740
Handel: Messiah (rel. 2011)
Handel: Arias (Villazón)
Handel: Saul
Handel: Theodora
Handel: Solomon
Handel: Messiah (rel. 1997)

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3. You have built a large discography for Deutsche Grammophon (ca. 43 albums). And, trough the years, you have recorded Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and then Berlioz, Mendelssohn up to Britten, Górecki, Ligeti and Pärt, creating thus a powerful trait d’union between the great Sacred Music tradition of Gabrieli and of the Venetian School and the Sacred Music of the contemporary composers of our days. What about your extraordinary musical journey?

The journey has been in two parts…

The early period when Gabrieli was largely focused on the earlier repertoire, and this appeared as part of a great relationship with Deutsche Grammophon.

More recent forays gave continuity in the field of later oratorio and a greater use of mixed repertoire programming on our choral CDs.

But there are still I think many threads of my musicianship that link all these projects.

But that’s for you to analyse!

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4. What’s the story behind the name of your Orchestra: Gabrieli Consort & Players? And what’s the story behind your record label, Winged Lion, a clear homage to the Venetian School? As a conductor/entrepreneur and scholar, which new project will see your forces involved in future? And what about your magnificent project Gabrieli Roar? What can you tell us about its origin, its vision, direction and structure?

No big story.

I just liked the music of the Gabrielis… and the opulence of Venetian repertoire seemed to match the ambition.

As for Winged Lion… It seemed an obvious marketing link.

I certainly answer to the description of conductor and entrepreneur – I certainly like to make projects happen!

I’ve never really regarded myself as a scholar beyond a generic interest to get under the skin of the music I conduct, which of course requires an engagement with the world of musicology and research.

My relationship with Worclaw, Wratslavia Cantans and the new National Forum of Music (NFM) has been one of the most important relationships in my life, and continues to develop with the NFM Choir, NFM Orchestra and Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra.

I’m certainly keen to continue this relationship and create more projects.

As I get older I’m spending more time trying to do at least a little bit to redress the poverty of cultural educational opportunities for too many young people. Or to put it in another way, to broaden access to choral music and singing which is too often an activity of those form either private schools or upper social classes.

Roar is an exciting educational initiative which helps develop young choirs and encourages them to take part in performances alongside our professional artists; in particular I am passionate that the young people get the chance to connect with real core culture.

We don’t create special music for young people but we ask them to engage with the great choral repertoire of the last five centuries.

Too many people will tell you that classical music is irrelevant to young people; Roar proves this statement to be patronising nonsense.

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GABRIELI ROAR: Meet the Choirs (Paul McCreesh)
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The Choirs involved in the project Gabrieli Roar.

Bradford Catholic Youth Choir
 • Cantate
 • DRET Youth Choir
 • Hertfordshire County Youth Choir
Inner Voices
London Youth Choir
Taplow Youth Choir

Gabrieli Roar works with various partner youth choirs from across the UK, pairing each choir with a dedicated mentor who will visit them regularly to provide vocal training, assistance and support in other areas as required.

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

Mozart – I never tire of the last 3 symphonies, and likewise with Haydn the last two great oratorios are a constant source of delight and amazement.

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4. Which neglected composer of the 18th century may arouse your interest for possible future projects?

I’m not sure obscure 18th century music is so much of a priority for me, but I certainly still have a great interest in English 17th century composers from Humfrey Locke, Blow et alii.

Likewise I wish the commercial world would let the ensemble do more work in Schütz and the great German early 17th century sacred music.

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7. Mozart and Haydn have written many beautiful Vocal Works, which, unfortunately, are still rarely performed today and which are even almost unknown, which one arouses your interest?

I’ve loved the late Haydn masses, but also the earlier St. Cecilia mass – which I’ve never done – looks to be an extremely interesting work.

With Mozart I’ve often felt the sacred music, finely crafted though it is, rarely reaches anywhere near the level of inspiration of the great operas.

The truth is that making recordings in the current market is a huge loss-making activity however much critical success the recordings may enjoy.

So to be realistic there is very little chance of recording obscure repertoire.

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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?

The vast Haydn volumes of Robbins Landon still remain a wonderful resource.

One might often argue about the analysis but there is still a wealth of very interesting background information.

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9. For your concerts and your recordings, you have visited many different places with a great history and you have had so the special opportunity to work in such splendid locations. Which places and which occasions left the most enduring impressions on you, as a conductor and as an artist?

Too many to mention…

We’ve been honoured to play Bach in St. Thomas Leipzig, Gabrieli in San Rocco, Monteverdi in San Marco, Mendelssohn in Leipzig, Purcell in Stationer’s Hall.

But for the sheer thrill of rolling back the centuries I will always remember arriving in the timeless little town of Lerma in Castille in 2001 with a van load of new old music for the court there.

It was amazing to recreate the world of Spanish alternatim music in the glorious Collegiate church of San Pedro, with singers, wind band, string band and the church’s two magnificent c17 organs.

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Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Venice)

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

No one particular place although it is always of great interest to wander round historical buildings.

A visit to the great Haydn Eszterháza Palace is a must for any Haydn lover.

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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

 

Interview April 2017: 10 Questions with D. McCaldin

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Denis McCaldin: Official Sites
Denis McCaldin Official Site: Haydn Society of Great Britain
Denis McCaldin Official Site: Lancaster University
Denis McCaldin: Denis McCaldin LinkedIn (Official)
Denis McCaldin: Haydn Society Official Yahoo Group
Denis McCaldin: Haydn Society of Great Britain Twitter (Official)
Denis McCaldin: Haydn Society of Great Britain Facebook (Official)

Denis McCaldin: CD Haydn Nelson Mass
Denis McCaldin: CD Haydn Notturni & Scherzandi
Denis McCaldin: CD Haydn Little Organ Mass

haydnblueplaque


1. On 24 March 2017 we are going to celebrate the second anniversary of a real historic moment: the unveiling of the first ever London Haydn Blue Plaque dedicated to the great composer J. Haydn in 2015. The relation between Haydn and London is of such fundamental importance for the history of music, however, as strange it may sound, it has been really difficult to reach such an achievement. And thanks to your brilliant leadership, this tribute of London to Haydn and his music has been made finally possible. What can you tell us about the long path that led to the unveiling of Haydn Blue Plaque in 2015? What’s the story behind the Blue Plaque Campaign?

The Society began modestly enough when a few performers and fellow music-lovers got together to review the likely celebrations in the UK of the 250th anniversary in 1982 of the composer’s birth. Finding no obvious point of co-ordination, they decided to form a Society to assist the celebrations and «with the principal aim of promoting a wider knowledge and understanding of the music of Joseph Haydn and his contemporaries». The group initially included the Delme String Quartet, Denis McCaldin (the present Director), Stephen Plaistow (BBC Radio 3), the composer Robert Simpson, and Erik Smith (record producer).

To sustain interest in the coming celebrations, the Society organised a Haydn Festival of Chamber Music in the summer of 1980 at Wigmore Hall in London. From July 1st – 10th, ten concerts, consisting entirely of works by the composer were given on consecutive evenings by the Pro Arte and Delme String Quartets, the Esterhazy Baryton Trio and individual guest soloists. A subsequent review in The Strad by Tim Alps raised the wider question of Haydn’s commercial appeal that still applies today:

«If it were not for the dedicated and enterprising Haydn Society of Great Britain it seems unlikely that an event such as the Haydn Festival of Chamber Music, which monopolised the Wigmore Hall for the first ten days of July would ever get off the ground. For despite Haydn’s unassailable position amongst the most venerable greats the fact remains, and it was borne out by the attendance at the concerts I sampled, that at the box office Haydn cannot compete with Mozart or Beethoven.»

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Among the Society’s early supporters were Reginald Barrett-Ayres, Antal Dorati, Karl Geiringer, Antony van Hoboken and H.C. Robbins Landon, all of whom served on the initial Committee of Honour.

In 1992 the Newsletter was upgraded to a Journal, and in this format that we have since published papers by a number of distinguished colleagues including Colin Lawson, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Emmanuel Hurwitz, Otto Biba and Richard Wigmore.

The bicentenary of Haydn’s death in 2009 prompted celebrations of his music world-wide.

In particular, the Society became more closely associated with the Haydn Festspiele Eisenstadt through the invitation of its director Dr. Walter Reicher.

In partnership with the British Library, the Society also mounted a two-day international conference in London entitled Joseph Haydn and the Business of Music. A collection of the papers given at the time has since been published as a book entitled The Land of Opportunity – Joseph Haydn and Britain (The British Library Publishing Division, 2013).

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As well as concerts and conferences the Society has also released several recordings on Meridian and Divine Art.

The Society’s most recent initiative has been to campaign for a memorial plaque in London. As long ago as 2002, negotiations began with Westminster City Council to site a plaque in Bury Street, where the composer resided during his second visit to London in 1794-1795.

More recently exploration and negotiation in Soho has led to agreement for a plaque to be established at 18, Great Pulteney Street. The plaque was unveiled there as a memorial to Haydn by Sir Neville Marriner on 24th March 2015. A video record of the event can be seen on the Haydn Society website at www.haydnsocietyofgb.co.uk.

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It is good that such a memorial should be in London, a city where Haydn was admired and loved, and where he himself spent some of his happiest years.

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THE HAYDN BLUE PLAQUE UNVEILING – 24 MARCH 2015
LONDON – 18, GREAT PULTENEY STREET
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Video of the plaque unveiling, produced by The Haydn Society of Great Britain. Additional footage courtesy of Christopher Foster-Hicklin. Audio courtesy of the BBC. Photographs by Iona Wolff. The complete gallery is available at www.haydnsocietyofgb.co.uk.

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2. Many people supported your initiative and campaign for the London Haydn Blue Plaque and your work has been also supported by many friends and collaborators. Do you want to remember someone in particular and especially for the commitment to the Haydn Blue Plaque Campaign?

Rather as in Bach’s day, when musical skills were passed down through the generations, my daughter Clare and her partner Cheyney Kent contributed the most in terms of energy and commitment. (see McCaldin Arts.com and her project Haydn’s London Ladies).

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3. Thanks to your activity as director, the Haydn Society of Great Britain has always promoted the diffusion of the music by Joseph Haydn, also through events and media (BBC Radio 3), since 1982, as you have previously indicated, and, recently, also through a constant web presence. And what about your future plans?

Amongst other projects, we have been invited to collaborate with King’s College, London University to design an innovative course for music students using IT to explore aspects of Haydn’s life in England.

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4. As Haydn Society of Great Britain, you have also conducted an interesting survey among scholars, Haydn advocates and enthusiasts and people in general about the attractiveness of Haydn’s music and the possible reasons for its comparative neglect. What are the conclusions of your survey so far?

We have discovered that the accessibility of Haydn’s music can be deceptive.

In schools, the apparent simplicity of some of the music and the programmatic stories attached, as in the Clock, and Surprise symphonies, means that the music is often treated as an introduction to classical music, rather than on the same level as other great works of the period.

The idea of Papa Haydn dies hard, and once established in a child’s memory, there is tendency for thoughts about both the man and his music to be permanently associated with immaturity and pre-adult life.

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5. After the death of her husband, Constanze Mozart somehow acted as the high priestess of the cult of Mozart and, in this way, preserved Mozart’s legacy and promoted his myth. Do you think that the difficult marriage and the famous terribilis wife of Haydn must have played some role in the partial neglect, into which most of his music production fell during the 19th and the 20th century?

This maybe the case, but the deification of Mozart as a tragic artist was a strong element, as was the influence of the Romantic movement in general.

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6. And a particularly interesting fact, on that process of deification of Mozart that you were talking about, is that, after 1791, in his letters, even Haydn himself began calling Mozart our immortal Mozart, and always received Constanze Mozart among his closest friends. In 1790s Haydn even actually actively promoted the purchasing and the publication of Mozart’s manuscripts and unpublished works… So, in conclusion, Haydn himself accepted that particular treatment of Mozart, supported Constanze Mozart’s activity and was among Mozart promoters! Certainly an important token of their long friendship, from such a generous and constructive man as Haydn!
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You are also a conductor and you have also released a series of CD albums featuring Haydn’s music. As a conductor, what’s your personal approach to Haydn and to his music?

My main concern is to be loyal to the spirit of the music, and to project the essence of each movement in performances I direct.

This is often more difficult than it appears.

When we look at a Haydn score, the instrumentation can sometimes seem quite sparse, as though it lacks substance.

But any attempt on the part of the conductor to interpret the music, in an effort to compensate for this apparent deficiency, I find is generally counter-productive.

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7. You have published also a series of important editions of Haydn’s sacred music, as an editor, through the Oxford University Press. Your Nelson Mass edition has been critically acclaimed. What have been your impressions and emotions, while directly working on the music by such a great Master of the History of Music. In your edition of Haydn’s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo you included also the elongated Gloria by his brother Michael Haydn. What do you think of the music by Joseph and Michael Haydn, when considered in comparison? What the differences?

Because I was able to work from the composer’s autograph score, the physical sight and contact with the Haydn’s handwriting – including his erasures and revisions – was very moving.

The hand-written manuscript was beautifully neat and clear.
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Like many music lovers, I’m not as familiar with Michael Haydn’s works as I would like to be.

However, those which I have heard, such as his Requiem in C minor, strike me to be as fine as those of his brother.

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8. What’s your favourite work by J. Haydn? And, thanks to your long experience, what’s, in general, the favourite work by J. Haydn, in people’s opinion?

This is a very difficult question to answer. It’s often the work I’m studying at the time. If I had to choose, it would be The Creation.
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The Trumpet Concerto in E flat!

From lists of top choices in classical music that I have seen, the Trumpet Concerto by Haydn is always the first of Haydn’s works to be selected.

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9. Beside Joseph and Michael Haydn, do you have in mind the name of some other neglected composer of the 18th century you’d like to see re-evaluated?

One is Wilhelm Herschel (1738-1822), a British contemporary of Haydn’s, a major astronomer, and a member of the Royal Society.

Another is the Italian Gaetano Brunetti (1744–1798), some of whose symphonies have been edited by Newell Jenkins.

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10. Next 5-10 September 2017 you are organizing a wonderful journey to the places where Haydn worked, as lecturer with Martin Randall Travel. It will be possible to visit all the venues associated with Haydn, from Eisenstadt to Rohrau, Eszterháza and Vienna and to attend important concerts with internationally acclaimed orchestras and musicians, and in the very places, where Haydn himself worked, composed and performed his music. In your opinion, how important is to have a direct experience with the original places, to achieve a better comprehension of the music of such great composer.

Personally, I always like to visit the places where a composer lived and worked to explore their particular atmosphere and physical proportions.

In Haydn’s case, for example, the acoustics of the Haydnsaal in the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt are unusually attractive, and this is rather surprising until it emerges that the composer insisted that the marble floor be covered in wood to achieve the acoustic he wanted for his orchestral concerts.

Finally, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to your admirable publication.

I have enjoyed the chance to think about some of the reasons that I admire Haydn and his music.

Indeed, if I was offered one wish outside the present, it would be to spend an evening having dinner together.

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Thank you very much for your invitation, we accept with great pleasure! And it’s sure our main dishes will be the Haydnian Esterházy Roast Beef and the Mozartian Chocolate & Marzipan Cake. Thank you very much for having taken the time to answer our questions!

Thank you!

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Iconography is in public domain or in fair use.

 

Interview March 2017: 10 Questions with J. A. Montaño (English)

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José Antonio Montaño conducting Martín y Soler, Haydn & Mozart:



1. Thanks to your intense activity as conductor, artistic director, music scholar and critical editor, you managed to develop an important series of music projects on a very special Viennese triad: Mozart, Haydn and Martín y Soler. So you really re-create, this way, that special authentic Vienna musical atmosphere of the 1780s, when Haydn was already a papa and both Mozart and Martín y Soler (backed by those great librettos by Da Ponte) became the Theatre Opera Best Sellers from Vienna to Prague with their Nozze di Figaro, Una cosa rara, Don Giovanni and L’arbore di Diana, and Martín y Soler was so successful to become the favourite composer of the Imperial Court. What fascinated and fascinates you most about the music of Martín y Soler? And, in your opinion, what characteristics of his music and of his operas impressed and attracted the 18th century audience so much that Martín y Soler’s operas managed to receive such an extraordinary amount of theatre performances for that period (almost 100 performances only for Una cosa rara and the usual theatre income for 24 successful performances was ca. 20,000 florins, i.e. ca. 140,000 modern US dollars: Mozart’s annual Imperial salary was 800 florins, i.e. ca. 4,800 modern US dollars)?

Since my early years as a musical director, I have had the impulse to research and perform forgotten works by not-so-popular musicians such as La Contadina by Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783), the zarzuela Las labradoras de Murcia by Antonio Rodríguez de Hita (1724-1787) and the oratorio Il sacrifizio di Abramo by Camilla de Rossi (16??-1710). In this context and while I was studyig in-depth Spanish authors of the 17th and 18th centuries, Vicente Martín y Soler (1754-1806) appeared. It also coincided that back in 2006, when the Teatro Real de Madrid (Royal Theatre of Madrid), where I was working as conductor of its young orchestra Orquesta Escuela de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, decided to produce the opera Il Tutore Burlato (1775) on the occasion of the 200th death anniversary of Martín y Soler and therefore I had the chance to work in-depth on his music. It was in that very moment that I began studying his work and life more thoroughly.

Martín y Soler, Il Tutore Burlato, Overture

The first factor that has drawn me to Martín y Soler was that he, a Spanish composer, could enjoy such resounding success in Europe’s most prominent musical centres in the final years of the 18th century, and that he was, at the same time, in direct competition to musicians of the highest level such as Mozart himself, whom he even managed to surpass in popularity.

What I find fascinating about Martín y Soler also coincides with what I think was one of the keys to his success: to be a flexible and versatile musician who knew how to adapt himself and his music to the various trends and requirements that he had to face during the various and different (also geographical) situations of his life, be that in Spain, Italy, England, Russia or Vienna with their respective Italian, French and Russian operas.

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A great example of this is what happened when the empress Catherine II of Russia requested the service of Vicente Martín y Soler, who was at that moment a highly acclaimed composer and a favourite of Joseph II in Vienna, where he was known, in his role of a successful and celebrated maestro, as lo Spagnuolo.

The czarina was not satisfied with the work of Domenico Cimarosa who was then maestro di cappella at the Imperial Court and whose duties included the composition of Italian operas and the new Russian opera which Catherine II wanted to empower. Martín y Soler knew how to adapt to his Russian operas and highly fulfilled what was expected of him.

On the other hand, thanks to this replacement, in 1791 Cimarosa reached Vienna where he occupied, for a few months, the position of court composer that was formerly deserted by Salieri, (a position also intensely desired by Mozart, dead by then), to conduct the premiere of Il Matrimonio segreto in February 1792 with resounding success, which is considered today his best opera and one of the best comic operas of that period. It is well known how, after the sudden death (by poisoning?) of the Austrian emperor Leopold in March 1792, Cimarosa had to leave the Imperial Court and Salieri received his position of court composer back, to keep it de facto for another thirty years.

Cimarosa, Il matrimonio segreto (2012)

Another of the keys to Martín y Soler’s success was that he knew how to keep this flexibility and his ability to adapt without ever losing his own style and essence.

Throughout his career, his aesthetics follow certain general guidelines similar to those used by Spanish composers of the 18th century: a clear and clean orchestration, that avoids excess and artificiality where the voice did not compete in a counterpoint way with the orchestra, and a contained harmony. This apparent simplicity, his capacity for creating beautiful and catchy melodies and that amiable atmosphere of divertimento of his operas enchanted and captivated the audience of all the social classes.
It surely comes across as striking, yet during Martín y Soler’s Viennese period his operas were certainly more frequently performed and had more success than the majority of Mozart’s, who deliberately wrote for intellectual elite.

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2. You gained great audience and critical acclaim a few years ago, thanks to your most beautiful and brilliant production of Haydn’s opera La vera costanza. What did you love most of Haydn, the opera composer? And in what elements of his operas do you think the inventiveness and wit of the Haydn of the Quartets and of the Symphonies do emerge with all their charm?

Haydn really played a major and fundamental role in establishing two of the greatest forms of western music: the string quartet and the symphony. He used the string quartet as the means for formal experimenting, achieving thus that peculiar unity, where before there was just a series of movements. He exports his work on the string quartet to his symphonies and, of course, to his operas as well. That interrelation between different genres that he encouraged is, in its essence, both logical and visible. During his life, Haydn enjoyed success and recognition for his work, as rarely happens in history, however after his death and to this day his numerous and valuable works have become progressively forgotten and neglected due to various circumstances. Among these circumstances there is certainly also the appearance of Mozart and Beethoven, and so daddy Haydn started occupying the real undeserved role of a mere introduction to the well-known geniuses.

His very works are a real example of this kind of oblivion that their composer Haydn had to suffer, since they are rarely featured in present theatre programmes, and this is a tremendous pity.

I have been lucky enough to be able to work on such magnificent title as La vera costanza (1779)…

Haydn, La vera costanza, Sinfonia Introduzione

Haydn, La vera costanza, Finale Atto II

… and Il mondo della luna (1777), both composed while Haydn was in the service of the Eszterházy family (and the majority of his operatic catalogue was conceived, written and produced in such circumstances).

Haydn’s creativity and imagination are overwhelming. His arias and ensemble numbers have their own personality and they are characterized by that peculiar Haydnian scent, so to speak. Haydn is a real magician when it comes to regulating the intensity of music and to carrying it to its climax in a masterly way in his Finale, as his friend and admirer Mozart did in a very similar way.

However Haydn had a disadvantage, when we consider his opera production in comparison to that of Mozart and Martín y Soler: the quality of his librettos, in reality, was not excellent. Working in the Eszterházy court, he did not have a lot of opportunities to work with librettists of the rank of Lorenzo Da Ponte, while Mozart and Martín y Soler could work with him, one of the best librettists of that period. Probably this is one of the reasons why present day theatres do not produce his operas with particular assiduousness, even though Haydn’s music is so marvellous.

Another aspect that I much cherish in Haydn is his humour, always so manifestly evident in his entire musical production and this even more overtly and effectively in his own operas.

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3. Thanks to your activity as concert organizer, you have revived also a special type of 1780s concert: concerts featuring, during the same soirée, music by Mozart and by Martín y Soler. Probably the first time this happens since 1780s, when we know from the sources that music-lovers adored to organize such types of concerts (Mozart+Martín y Soler) with «extraordinarily numerous audience… and in unanimous satisfaction… elicited unanimous applause». What have been your impressions in finally re-uniting such two great masters of music for the same concert? Mozart wrote also a few vocal pieces to be included in the Operas by Martín y Soler: do you think he wrote such pieces, by using exclusively his own style or added also a bit of Martín y Soler in them?

I see this type of programmes with great satisfaction, both on a personal level and also because of the reaction of the audience and of the musicians themselves. A marvellous example is the programme for the debut of my period instrument orchestra La Madrileña which featured exclusively works by both authors. I chose masterpieces by Mozart such as the Symphony No. 40 in G Minor,…

Mozart, Symphony nº 40

…  the aria of Leporello Madamina, il catalogo è questo from Don Giovanni or the duo Crudel! Perchè finora from The marriage of Figaro and I combined them with overtures, arias and duos from operas by Martín y Soler such as Il burbero di buon cuore, Una cosa rara, La capricciosa corretta and L’isola del piacere. These works did not only prove a competence of Martín y Soler on the level of a Mozart, but the audience and even some of the orchestra members themselves were really amazed at the intrinsic high quality of Martín y Soler’s works.

Regarding your second question, yes indeed, the musical interrelation between Mozart and Martín y Soler is not only due to the famous quote from Una cosa rara which appears in the finale of Don Giovanni.

Sometimes these operas were performed during a long period of time and it would be necessary to replace one or another of the singers and such situations led to inevitably remake and readjust the music to the new voices.
This is exactly what happened in 1789 with the repositioning of a few arias of Il Burbero di buon cuore for the character of Madama Lucilla: Chi sa qual sia and Vado, ma dove.

Mozart, Aria Chi sa qual sia

This opera by Martín y Soler had premiered three years before and the new singer, Louise Villeneuve, needed for her arias to be developed in a more centred register. As lo Spagnuolo, Martín y Soler, was in San Petersburg, Mozart received the assignment for the rewriting. Mozart accepted and composed these two magnificent arias based on the same text by Lorenzo Da Ponte, yet in his own personal style.

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4. Your orchestra La Madrileña receives its name after Martín y Soler first opera Il tutore burlato or La Madrileña (1775-1776 as zarzuela), both as an homage to Martín y Soler and as a label for your Music Project The Martín y Soler Project. Among your activities with your orchestra, you are presenting a series of concerts featuring again rare beautiful music from the Spain of the 18th century with works by Martín y Soler, Boccherini, José de Nebra, Rodriguez de Hita and from the Zarzuela tradition. What are your vision and your projects for your orchestra La Madrileña and for the music of 18th century for the future, especially regarding The Martín y Soler Project? Do you think also that your activity of music critical editor will lead you also to re-discover some other lost music gems, after your marvellous work with Martín y Soler’s opera Pesnolubie?

I have great and ambitious expectations for La Madrileña and The Martín y Soler Project related activities. I hope we could soon complete our concert activities with also a series of productions of opera and zarzuela; the musicians I am fortunate to rely on are extremely capable and this allows them to tackle any type of production.

Regarding the Martín y Soler Project, which is in the DNA of La Madrileña, it is through this project that we aspire to encounter the recognition that Martín y Soler deserves. I firmly believe that the ideal way to showcase his music qualities is through an orchestra of period instruments of the highest standard such as La Madrileña.

Regarding the second question, I have been finding really hidden gems for so many years, until today, and I am sure that this state of things will certainly continue in this way, as long as I steadily carry on a strenuous archival and documentary research.

On the other hand, and especially regarding the Spanish music heritage, we have to state that it is so vast and of such a high quality, that it is hard to believe that it has been so scarcely performed so far. In addition, I have the pleasure to be able to rely on the invaluable help of various musicologists. Vera Fouter is one of them and her contribution is the largest one to The Martín y Soler Project. Doctor Fouter (Vera Fouter at Academia; Read here her work on Martín y Soler – University of Oviedo: La Estancia en Rusia de Vicente Martín y Soler: nuevas aportaciones musicologicas) is an academic major, specialized in Martín y Soler and it is mainly thanks to her studies and efforts that the revival in modern times of three arias from the opera Pesnolubie by Martín y Soler has been possible and this with the collaboration of La Madrileña: such works, in fact, have not been performed for more than 200 years!

 

Martín y Soler, Aria V svéte liúdi svoevólni, from opera Pesnolubie

Presently we continue working together on Martín y Soler’s music and we are really looking forward to being able to show the fruit of our work, as soon as possible, by presenting, to the public, new marvellous forgotten gems by him and by other composers.

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

This is a tough question, since I am literally capable of crazily falling in love with the works I am working on at the moment.

If I am conducting the 41st Symphony by Mozart, it happens that, during the process of study, the rehearsals, and the concerts, that very symphony can become even my favourite symphony ever.

And this always happens to me, always and with all the works I am working on.

However, if I had really to choose an opera, in particular, and nothing else, I’d choose Don Giovanni.

Mozart, Don Giovanni, Overture

Mozart, Don Giovanni, Aria Madamina, il catalogo è questo

I also think that that very peculiar experience that one lives when conducting (one’s memories, perceptions, the atmosphere, etc.), always exerts a great influence on one’s disposition towards things and also towards music works.

Many things, so, may exert a direct influence on one’s choices, but, without a doubt, Don Giovanni is special to me.
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For Haydn, I would choose Die Schöpfung.

It is a masterpiece for which I have always cultivated a profound admiration: it is an oratorio full of subtleties and of dramatic qualities, well deserving to be positioned among the greatest masterpieces of all time.

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6. Beside Martín y Soler, do you have in mind the name of some neglected composer of the 18th century you’d like to see re-evaluated?

I am interested in José de Nebra (1702-1768), a Spanish composer who composed marvellous zarzuelas and sacred works.

He is a great artist who, with minimal resources, was capable of achieving great expressiveness: a characteristic typical only of great maestros.

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7. Considering your work on Martín y Soler and the zarzuela, name a neglected piece of music of the 18th century you’d like to see performed in concert with more frequency.

Any opera by Martín y Soler and any zarzuela by Nebra represent marvellous concert and performance proposals, worthy to be included into any Music Season programme more frequently.

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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 think it is of great importance to develop a proper knowledge both of the oldest and of the latest musical treatises, with a particular attention to those treatises, which belong to the same era as the music works you are working on: it’s the only way to better understand any phase of the musical creativity process in its correct context and also within the historical flow.

To have a wider perspective always gives you the possibility of a better comprehension both of the subject, as a whole, and of its single parts and elements. Considering this special perspective, I think that the famous treatises by Quantz and Leopold Mozart are indispensable tools for any musician, even though those treatises belong to a previous generation, or better, exactly because they belong to that previous generation that produced the music of the 18th century.

On the other hand, I consider it very useful to develop also a proper historical, social and political knowledge, and not only a musical and an artistic one. I would like to cite here The Present State of Music in France and Italy by Charles Bruney and the Memoirs by Lorenzo Da Ponte, both perfect books for that type of intellectual work, I was talking about.

[The Memoirs by Lorenzo Da Ponte are already available to read & download at the MozartCircle Library: Mozart’s Life Books – Other Sources. Also the other books and treatises will be available soon.]

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

Considering the movies related to classicism, it is inevitable to remember the most famous Amadeus.

To complete an ideal trilogy that would help to grant a perspective on the previous and later periods I would cite Eroica, which re-enacts the first rehearsal of the 3rd Symphony by Beethoven (the recording is with musicians who play on period instruments), and Farinelli, il castrato, especially because of the very peculiar relationship of this great singer and of his family with Spain.

 

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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 piano music?

I think that if I had to choose a place, it would be Vienna.

The weight and influence that Haydn and Mozart had on Beethoven and on the future of the German and European music is simply indisputable.

However we cannot forget to mention Italy.

The musical genre of Viennese classicism, in fact, is par excellence, in reality, the Italian Opera buffa, to which later composers, like Rossini and Donizetti, gave their enormous contribution, preparing the way to a long series of excellent maestros, from Bellini to Verdi.

 

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

Thank you!

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