The Ciclo Jóvenes Talentos Fundación Banco Sabadell is organised by the Fundación Amigos del Teatro Real, in collaboration with the Fundación Banco Sabadell and the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía.
This concert, which takes place at the Sony Auditorium, offers works by Franz Joseph Haydn, Vincenzo Bellini, Antonino Pasculli and Fryderyck Chopin, on the occasion of the performance of Norma at the Teatro Real. Of great humour and wit is Haydn's Quartet op. 33 no. 2, known by the nickname "The Joke". In it, the composer explores a new way of elaborating themes in the form of a fragmentation of small motifs combined in a variety of ways. The last movement is a rondo in which the theme or refrain, of a joyful and playful character, contrasts with the intermediate sections to give way to a hesitant and unexpected finale, displaying its jocular character.
A work by the composer paraphrased in this evening, Vincenzo Bellini, could not be missing. In his Oboe Concerto in E flat major, he displays a lyricism directly related to bel canto and the instrumental poetics of Chopin, while at the same time giving the strings tinges reminiscent of Viennese orchestras, giving the ensemble a great internal balance without renouncing the expressive. Pasculli's work, originally for English horn and harp, is based on themes from Bellini's operas Il Pirata and La Sonnambula. And this was not the only occasion on which Pasculli turned to opera, as he had already dedicated part of his catalogue to other composers such as Donizetti, Verdi and Meyerbeer. In this Omaggio, written in the form of a fantasy, all the technical resources of the instrument are exploited, while the warm, deep timbre of the horn underlines the dramatic and theatrical character of the works from which it draws its inspiration.
The evening ends with three works from the piano repertoire par excellence: a Nocturne, a Waltz and a Ballade, all by the brilliant Chopin. To speak of his music is to speak of voice, singing, expressiveness and poetry. The aperitif of the two short pieces gives way to an immense, unrepeatable work, the pinnacle of his entire output. Narrated in the form of a varied theme, each episode of this Ballade in F minor takes us into an emotional universe of great intensity, which feeds and grows until it reaches the final paroxysm, the last breath, the last beat.
In times of pandemic it is a challenge to organise any event, especially cultural ones. But often the vital need is so strong that it helps to overcome all the difficulties. It is with this idea, to bring music back to the stage after so many months, that the Ciclo Reencuentro was born, organised in Santander by the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in July 2020. This new encounter with the public brings us all the depth of the cello in two works from the second half of the 19th century.
Brahms' first Sonata for cello and piano op. 38, written after the death of his mother, was the result of several elaborations, finally remaining in a three-movement structure that lacks a proper slow tempo. In addition, Brahms, always faithful to his German roots, takes material from J.S. Bach's Art of the Fugue to elaborate part of his movements. Thus, the final fugue follows a form based on the Contrapunctus XIII of that piece.
Klid, Silent Woods op. 68, is one of four short pieces that Dvorák wrote for cello and piano, arranged from the original for piano four hands. In contrast to the magnificence of the Cello Concerto, in this Klid Dvorák evokes stillness and calm, in a more than successful attempt to capture silence through sound.
The Ciclo Jóvenes Talentos Fundación Banco Sabadell is organised by the Fundación Amigos del Teatro Real, in collaboration with the Fundación Banco Sabadell and the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía. On this occasion, the works are framed in the context of the premiere of Rusalka by Antonín Dvorák, which took place at the Teatro Real in November 2020.
The Dumka is a melancholic folk song of Slavic origin that was cultivated by several European composers in the second half of the 19th century. In Dvorák's case, these Dumky (plural of Dumka) are elaborated as pieces of contrasting emotions, ranging from euphoria to melancholy. This is clearly applied in his chamber music with piano, where we find clear examples of these popular melodies reinterpreted. Thus, in his Quintet op. 81, the second movement ("Dumka. Andante con moto") is a succession of songs full of tenderness and nostalgia that contrast with the more dramatic character of the first movement, or the more dancing and colourful character of the last two.
In the Trio op. 90, we find its six movements in the form of Dumky or laments, shaping the work as a suite of popular dances. Almost all of them follow a tripartite structure in the form of a lamenting introduction, a more optimistic central part and a return to the initial introspective state.
The Master Classes programme at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía often welcomes former students who have become magnificent soloists and who now stand on the other side to offer their teaching to the students. Asier Polo is one of these extraordinary alumni whose talent has crossed borders to reaffirm him as one of the great artists of his generation.
In the class, the students are confronted with one of Brahms' mature works, his Double Concerto op.102, in which the soloistic character of the performers must sometimes stand out and sometimes blend in. Polo explains the work as a continuous balance between the two parts in a constant interaction with the orchestra.
The Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, as part of its extensive calendar of master classes, gives students the opportunity to complete their training with important pedagogues and soloists of international renown.
On this occasion, Oliver Wille, founding member of the Kuss Quartett, works with the Mendelssohn Quartet of BP on one of the masterpieces of the chamber repertoire. They delve into the secrets of the first movement of Beethoven's String Quartet op. 131, the only movement of the piece, along with VII, which is in sonata form. Wille explains the context in which the work is forged, under the aegis of the Grosse Fugue op. 133. He talks about Beethoven's compositional corpus and his constant innovation in each work, as well as his own idea of the creator.
The Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía invites leading artists to give master classes and share their knowledge and experience with their students.
The students of the Cátedra de Canto "Alfredo Kraus" Fundación Ramón Areces had the opportunity to meet Javier Camarena, one of the privileged voices of our time. In this excerpt from his master class, the Mexican tenor helps Jorge Eleazar Álvarez to tackle the aria "Come un'ape ne'giorni d'aprile" from the opera La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini, a unique opportunity to see the work behind the final result and to understand the delicate balance of technique, talent and expression that is lyrical singing.
The Franciscan monastery of Santo Toribio, located in the Cantabrian region of Liébana, in the foothills of the Picos de Europa, is one of the main holy places of Catholicism along with Rome, Santiago, Caravaca and Assisi and, like them, is an important centre of pilgrimage. The lignum crucis it houses is considered by the Church to be the largest surviving fragment of the cross of Jesus Christ. The monastery also houses works by Beatus of Liébana, author of the famous illuminated manuscripts of the Commentary on the Apocalypse. Every seven years, when the feast of Santo Toribio falls on a Sunday, as was the case in 2017, the Lebaniego Jubilee Year is celebrated, which includes a multitude of cultural initiatives. One of these was this special concert in celebration of the Jubilee Year which was held on 13 July of that year with the sponsorship of Viesgo.
The concert was performed by the Camerata Viesgo under the direction of Maestro Péter Csaba. The programme consisted of a journey through the instrumental music of the 18th century. The second of Arcangelo Corelli's Concertos op. 6 was played, which became the birth certificate of a key musical form of the baroque period: the concerto grosso. By Georg Philipp Telemann, one of the many concertos he wrote in this form was performed. By Georg Friedrich Händel, an example of another of the most important musical forms of that period was included: the trio sonata. A sonata by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was also programmed, which already looks to a new time, the same one to which Father Antonio Soler opened the doors of the monastery of El Escorial in Madrid. One of Soler's masterpieces was heard: the Fandango for harpsichord. An interesting detail of this concert is that the works are arranged in reverse chronological order, starting with the post-baroque Soler and ending with the pioneering Corelli.
Not many pianists have the technical ability and musicality required to perform Isaac Albéniz's Iberia, one of the pinnacles of universal piano art. The Madrid-born Luis Fernando Pérez, who became a pianist with Dmitri Bashkirov at the Escuela Reina Sofía and also worked intensively with Alicia de Larrocha, is one of them. He is the author of a magnificent edition of Iberia which the School commissioned from him and which is available to everyone. He is also the author of a recording that is at the forefront of international Iberia recordings. As well as Albéniz, Luis Fernando Pérez is a consummate interpreter of the great repertoire.
The twelve impressions that make up the four Iberia notebooks are exceptional not only for their luminosity and evocative character, but also for their definition of a new pianism - and extremely difficult for the performer - in which, in the manner of flamenco, the melodic and, above all, harmonic ornamentation has an exuberant presence and ends up attaining a structural value. The Albaicín, an impression of the popular neighbourhood of Granada, is the first piece in the third Iberia notebook and is also the subject of this master class given by Luis Fernando Pérez to Izem Gürer, a student of Professor Bashkirov in the School's Banco Santander Foundation Piano Chair. The ease with which this young Turkish pianist assimilates the explanations is proof that music knows no borders and that, despite all its idiomaticism and Spanish accent, Iberia has the universality of masterpieces and is therefore accessible to great pianists of all origins.
The Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía invites leading artists to give masterclasses and share their knowledge and experience with its students.
Leigh Melrose is an internationally acclaimed Australian baritone who combines traditional repertoire with frequent forays into modern and contemporary opera. On this occasion, Melrose dissects with Raquel del Pino, student of the Cátedra de Canto "Alfredo Kraus" Fundación Ramón Areces, a piece by Gioachino Rossini: "O tranquillo soggiorno", from the opera Sigismondo. Breathing, phrasing, pronunciation? Melrose reviews the tools necessary to undertake a work by the summit of bel canto: Rossini.
String quartets from all over the world come to the International Institute of Chamber Music in Madrid to perfect their playing under the guidance of Günter Pichler, violinist of the legendary Alban Berg Quartet. In this concert, four of these ensembles will demonstrate their exceptional musical level through works by Haydn, Schubert, Schumann and Dvorák.
Franz Joseph Haydn is considered the father of the string quartet, to which he gave the form we know today. He composed more than 80 quartets and the one performed by the Barbican Quartet, his String Quartet No. 60 in G major, is one of the last and most ambitious. Haydn surprises with innovations in the tempo of the movements, incorporating popular themes and playing with minor keys beyond the conventions of his time.
Even more obscure is the next quartet: the String Quartet in D minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden" by Franz Schubert. Performed by the Baum Quartet, it owes its name to the theme of the first movement, which Schubert took from his lied of the same name. The exploration of the terror and consolation of death is also present in this quartet, the only one by the composer with all its movements in minor keys, through strong contrasts of mood and lyrical, tormented passages.
A great admirer of the Death and the Maiden Quartet was Robert Schumann, who however only composed three quartets during his career, the first of which is performed here by the Gyldfeldt Quartet. A product of careful study of the quartets of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Schumann's quartets are classical in taste, but not quietly so. The String Quartet in A minor, op. 41 No. 1 starts with great intensity, revels in a joyous scherzo, continues with a fiery slow movement and culminates in a whirlwind of sonorities.
Many of the great virtuosos in the history of the cello have also been composers. Some, like Luigi Boccherini or Pablo Casals, have composed music of all genres. Others have concentrated on their own instrument. Of these, not all have achieved the recognition due to the quality and interest of their music. In this concert at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, the young musicians of the Aline Foriel-Destezet Chair of Cello, students of Professor Ivan Monighetti, vindicate three of these cellists/composers, much admired in Europe in the second half of the 19th century.
David Popper, a native of Prague, triumphed in Vienna as a concert pianist and taught at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. The Russian Karl Davidov was Tchaikovsky's favourite cellist. His magnificent stradivarius is played today by Yo-Yo Ma. From Belgium, Adrien Servais, father of the Belgian cello school and friend and concert companion of Vieuxtemps and Liszt, shone throughout Europe. The music of these three virtuosos alternates in this concert with two pillars of the cello repertoire, an excerpt from Johann Sebastian Bach's Suites for solo cello and Edward Elgar's Concerto in E minor, and with two transcriptions of original works for violin and piano: the last of Beethoven's ten sonatas and the Scherzo with which Brahms contributed to the collective sonata dedicated to Joseph Joachim.
Chamber music is one of the pillars of a musician's training and at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía all the students form part of first-class chamber ensembles. In this concert, part of the Jóvenes Talentos Fundación Banco Sabadell Cycle, the Grupo Arriaga de Banco de España and the Grupo Da Vinci de Google perform works for strings and piano by Johannes Brahms and Claude Debussy.
Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 3. in C minor, Op. 60 is sometimes called his Werther Quartet after Goethe's novel. Brahms composed this quartet in a period of his life heavily influenced by the Sturm und Drang movement, and in the stormy nature of the music of this work many have wanted to see an expression of his unrequited love for Clara Schumann.
The second work in the concert also has a markedly Romantic character, which may be surprising for a work by Debussy, who has accustomed us to the mists of impressionism. In this First Piano Trio in G major, a work of his youth and his first major musical project, Debussy shows signs of his genius with an eye to his musical past but taking firm steps towards a personal style.