— Early Music Concert Series —
A musical journey through Europe around 1735 — Sonatas for traverso and obbligato harpsichord.
Thursday 29 June 2017 19:30 — Old Townhall (Crystal hall), Radnická 8, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic.
|Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)|| Partita E minor,
Op. 1 Nº 6
Toccata — Allemande — Corrente — Air — Sarabande — Tempo di Gavotta — Gigue
|Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689 – 1755)|| Sonata E minor,
Op. 91 Nº 4|
Gayement — Gracieusement — Gayement
|Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767)||Fantasia Nº 3, B minor (TWV 40:4)|
|Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)|| Sonata B minor
Andante — Largo e dolce — Presto
The first half of the 18th century, the period of the High Baroque, was in Germany characterized as a blending of the musical styles of Europe. Musicians from Italy, France and Bohemia travelled to the biggest German music centres like Dresden, Berlin and Leipzig and enriched each other with their experience of composition and interpretation. Johann Joachim Quantz, the prominent German flutist, composer and author of the famous treatise Versuch einer Anweisung, die Flöte traversière zu spielen (titled On Playing the Flute in English), writes that German music actually is a synthesis of French and Italian. In this programme, you will hear music by J. S. Bach inspired by both styles, a work by G. Ph. Telemann influenced, among other things, by Polish folk tunes, and a sonata by J. B. de Boismortier who was French, but nevertheless did not despise the fashionable Italian influence in his compositions.
The Partita in E Minor was published by Johann Sebastian Bach as Number 6 of his harpsichord partitas. An initial version appears in the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach (1725), it was published as an individual print in 1730, and then appeared together with the five other partitas in 1731 under the title Clavir-Übung (keyboard practice) as his Opus I. Especially the first two movements are clearly influenced by the Italian style: The Air and Tempo di Gavotta are in the gallant style, and in the Sarabande and Gigue you find rhythmic refinements where you can recognise the effort with which Bach (so typical for him) tries to capture even tiny details in the musical notation.
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, a native of Thionville, moved in 1724 to Paris and became one of the most prolific and popular composers of France of the first half of the 18th century. Although he was a fagotist, most of his works were devoted to the flute which was a very popular instrument at that time. Joachim Christoph Nemeitz (1679–1753) writes in his travel diary Séjour de Paris from 1727 that at that time, the harpsichord and traverse flute were the most popular and fashionable musical instruments in Paris; according to Nemeitz, the French played those instruments with an unparallelled sensitivity. The Sonates pour un clavecin et une flûte traversière opus 91 were published in 1741 and dedicated to Michel Blavet, one of the most influential French flute virtuosos of the first half of the 18th century. Boismortier expresses his admiration for Blavet’s interpretative art in a poem (A Mercure, Toy que l’éloquence appuya) that sings the praise of Blavet.
Georg Philipp Telemann’s Fantasia Nº 3 is part of a cycle of 12 fantasies for solo flute engraved and published by the author in 1727–28 in Hamburg. The only preserved copy of the first edition indicates on the title page Fantasia per il Violino, senza Basso; Telemann’s name is added with pencil only. The fact that this is a fantasia for solo flute can only be inferred from Telemann’s autobiography. Although the edition does not contain a specific dedication, it is likely that the fantasies were dedicated to the Burmester brothers in Hamburg, two amateur musicians (violin, flute) for whom Telemann composed most of his chamber music pieces during this period. The very name fantasia suggests an unconventional musical form that evokes us to let the interpretative freedom rule. Telemann is indeed very unconventional; every fantasia differs in form and structure. Some resemble dance suites, others are like sonatas, and others again combine both forms together. Each fantasia ends with a dance movement, some inspired by Polish folklore. Each fantasia is also written in a different musical style, blending the French, Italian and German styles. In the field of interpretation, this leaves the performer with freedom, particularly in the use of ornaments.
The Sonata in B Minor for Harpsichord and Flute by Johann Sebastian Bach has in many ways a remarkable position within the flute repertoire of the 18th century. It is preserved as autograph by Bach and in four other copies from the 18th century, showing the popularity of this sonata already since the time of its creation. Despite the fact that most of Bach’s instrumental works originated during his time in Köthen (between 1717 and 1723), a study of the age of the paper and the handwriting suggests that it rather was written in 1736–37, the time when Bach worked in Leipzig as artistic leader of the ensemble Collegium Musicum which performed at Café Zimmermann every week. The Sonata in B Minor could thus have been written for one of Bach’s sons, Johann Gottlieb Bernhard, a gifted flutist. Unfortunately we have no knowledge from the available sources whether this technically demanding sonata was intended for a particular artist. — Sonata for flute accompanied by obbligato harpsichord was one of the favourite musical forms of the High Baroque. Most likely it evolved from the popular form of the trio sonata, but in this case it is performed by two artists. The melody played with the right hand of the harpsichord often replaces the part of a second flutist or violinist; the harpsichord part is thus an equal importance as the flute part. However, in the case of the Sonata in B Minor, the composition, voice leading and the density of the parts resembles more the form of a double concerto reduced for flute and harpsichord; the harpsichord is perhaps even more important than the flute, as it is mentioned in the first place on the front cover of the manuscript. The second movement is built on the melodic line of the flute, accompanied “only” by basso continuo. The third movement is a three-part fugue, and finally the fourth movement presents a complex gigue in the style of a trio sonata with two melodic parts, accompanied by basso contino.
Radka Kubínová, originally from Hradec Králové, dedicated herself to music at the age of 6 years. She first started singing and playing the recorder, then at age 9 the flute. After graduating from the Conservatory in Pardubice in 2005, she continued her studies at the University of Ostrava, where she in 2010 completed her Masters’ degree. During her studies in Ostrava she went to Rennes (FR) in order to gather international experience; there she studied flute with Gionata Sgambaro and started to dedicated herself to baroque flute with Delphine Leroy and François Nicolet. In the years 2010–2014 she studied the interpretation of early music with Barthold Kuĳken at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She attended many master classes, among others with Patrick Gallois, Clara Novak, Vincent Lucas, Frank Theuns, Barthold Kuĳken, Jan Ostrý. Since 2015 she is a Ph.D. student at Ostrava University in the subject Theory of Interpretation and teaches at the Ecclesiastical Conservatory in Bratislava.
Radka performs regularly with ensembles such as Luthers Bach Ensemble, L’arco sonoro, The Bach Choir &Orchestra of the Netherlands, The Consort for 18th Century Harmony, Le concert d’Apollon (NL), Collegium Marianum (CZ), Musica Aeterna (SK) and others. She appears regularly at the Utrecht Early Music Festival (NL) and Les nocturnes du Mont Saint-Michel (FR).
Michael Führer, born in Cologne, learned harpsichord playing during his school years with Annemarie Bohne and visited many courses with Gustav Leonhardt. He studied church music in Cologne (Rudolf Ewerhart, Heino Schubert) and Düsseldorf (Bernhard Orlinski) and harpsichord in Antwerp (Jos van Immerzeel) and Cologne (Hugo Ruf) as well as musicology (University of Cologne). In addition, he attended numerous masterclasses in Innsbruck, Pistoia, Haarlem etc. with Colin Tilney, Alan Curtis, Guy Bovet, Ewald Kooiman, Ton Koopman, Nicholas Kynaston, Daniel Roth etc.
As cantor in Heimbach/Eifel (1975–1988), Neuss (1988–2011) and Grevenbroich (2011–2015) he conducted various choirs, supervised the construction of organs, and performed and organised numerous concerts. He also performed e. g. with the Studio für Alte Musik Düsseldorf (Helga Thoene, Petra Müllejans etc.), the Robert Schumann Chamber Orchestra (Jürgen Kussmaul), Bach-Verein Köln (Christian Collum), Bonner Bach-Gemeinschaft (Herbert Ermert), Aachener Bachverein (Wolfgang Karius). He gave organ recitals on on historical instruments, e. g. in Kiedrich, Marienmünster and Steinfeld, and was invited to many organ festivals, e. g. Sommerakademie für Alte Musik (Innsbruck), Festival international de l’orgue ancien (Sion), Internationale Orgelkonzerte (Braunschweig), Accademia Maestro Raro (Piacenza). Recordings for CDs and for the radio complemented his activies.
He has built several keyboard instruments (some of them are presented on his CD “My Virginals”), restored historical instruments and intonated organs.
The concert enjoys the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic Mgr. Daniel Herman, the Governor of the South Moravian Region JUDr. Bohumil Šimek and the Mayor of the Statutory City Brno Ing. Petr Vokřál.
It takes place with financial support from the Statutory City of Brno.