Vivaldi Project Newsletter
Fall 2019 Issue
In this Issue
Radio Presence: CD pick of the week and upcoming interviews on WETA and WBAA
Debut Review in Gramophone for Discovering the Classical String Trio, vol. 2
The Viennese String Trio and more: Work on volumes 3 and 4 has begun
Fall line-up of Concerts
Over the years, the members of The Vivaldi Project have participated in a number of radio interviews and live performances―for WETA, WUNC WBAA, and Minnesota Public Radio. These have included discussions of projects ranging from our performances in 2010 of the Six String Symphonies by C.P.E. Bach, our current exploration of the Classical String Trio, the activities of our Institute for Early Music on Modern Instruments (EMMI), and more general conversations about topics related to historical performance practice. In addition, The Vivaldi Project's recordings have been aired by radio stations across the country, with the first volume of string trios making the Top Five pick for Colorado Public Radio.
Upcoming Programs and Podcasts
September 4th (re-aired September 11th)
WBAA Public Radio from Purdue with John Clare
Performance and interview, coordinated with The Vivaldi Project's appearance at The Delphi Opera House in Delphi, IN
Host John Banther interviews Liz Field
Week-long feature of Discovering the Classical String Trio, including interview with Liz Field
Liz, Stephanie and Allison with John Clare at WBAA Public Radio from Purdue University
John Banther and Liz at WETA in Washington, DC
Both volumes of Discovering the Classical String Trio have received excellent reviews, but we are particularly proud of this one for vol. 2, coming from the international classical music source, Gramophone.
"The Vivaldi Project consists of three superb string players – Elizabeth Field, Allison Edberg Nyquist and Stephanie Vial – who are dedicated to uncovering the vast amount of neglected yet worthy repertoire for string trio dating from the Baroque and early Classical periods. Their second MSR release proves just as captivating as their first. In the opening salvo, JC Bach’s G major Trio, Field and Nyquist revel in the first movement’s conversational playfulness, while all three musicians point up the rhythmic variety and contrapuntal repartee in the central movement of Campioni’s G minor Sonata. By contrast, the Haydn Divertimento’s aria-like first movement stands out for the players’ strong characterisation of their individual parts: the violinist’s silver-toned decorative writing, the viola player’s resonant pizzicatos and the cellist’s sensitively parsed bass lines.
Also note the ensemble’s impeccably calibrated embellishments and balancing of lines in Klausek’s moody Trio, and the perfectly matched declamatory unisons at the Bréval Trio’s outset. The latter’s Presto may sound more like an allegretto here, yet a slower tempo allows these musicians more wiggle-room for tonal shading and rhythmic precision. Indeed, their rich yet never excessive timbral ripeness fills out the disc’s concluding Vivaldi Trio to the point where a cembalo basso continuo option becomes moot. Producer and Engineer Richard Price deserves equal credit for the recording’s attractively realistic concert-hall ambience. But who provided the well-written and informative booklet notes? Highly recommended and, needless to say, I look forward to future volumes in this important series."
Jed Distler, Gramophone [February 2019]
We are particularly pleased to see our wonderful recording engineer, Richard Price of Candlewood Digital, so deservingly praised, and are ever grateful to Robert LaPorta of MSR Classics for his wonderful presentation. And to answer Mr. Distler's question at the end of the review, the booklet notes were written by Stephanie Vial.
Fall Concert Lineup
Thursday, Sept. 5th at 1:15-2:00
The Chapel at St. Bartholomew's Church
50th St. and Park Avenue
The Vivaldi Project returns to Midtown Concerts, opening the 2019-2020 season with its continued exploration of little-known Classical String Trios. Works by Sammartini, J.C. Bach, John Antes, Beethoven, and Hoffmeister
Sunday, September 8th at 4:00pm
Chapel | 73 West Church St. | Bethlehem, PA
A program of works by composers collected in the Moravian Music Archive. Featuring a string trio by Moravian composer John Antes, and two sole surviving works by Ignaz Klausek and Joseph Hofmann, Works also by J.C. Bach, Zannetti, Beethoven, and Hoffmeister
September 20th at 7:00pm
"From Venice to Vienna"
Works by Vivaldi, Maddalena Sirmen, Zannetti, Hofmann, Beethoven, and Wranitsky
Saturday, September 21st at 7:30 pm
The Mill Bloomington
Sunday, September 22nd at 4:00pm
Indianapolis Propylaeum Carriage House
"Time's Up . . . Stop Fretting"
The Vivaldi Project partners with Alchymy Viols. Music of Abel, Vivaldi, J.C. Bach, Paganini, and 18th C tablature
Sunday, October 20th
Charleston Bach Society
"Bridging the Baroque: Discovering the Classical String Trio"
Works by Vivaldi, J.C. Bach, Hofmann, Campioni, Haydn, and Antes
The process of Discovering the Classical String Trio continues to be an extraordinary journey, one that both sustains and astonishes us. We have been seeking out string trios from libraries all over the world (thanks to this amazing digital age we life in) from the Státní okresní archiv Cheb in the Czech Republic, the Biblioteca Casanasente in Rome, the British Library, to the Moravian Archives in Bethelehm, PA and Winston-Salem, NC. Each effort to seek out a particular work results in various correspondences with librarians and scholars―often informative and enriching, and at times humorous and not a little frustrating. Try getting two branches of the same Italian library to understand that they each have different movements from the same string trio and that you would like the complete part. And be warned that if you send a bank transfer in Czech Koruna for the modest library copying fee, the Czech Republic government is likely to without warning charge you another fee. And in order to pay this charge, you must double the amount to cover the charge they will extract to process the payment of the first charge! (It does also help if the mother of one of your son's friends from back in pre-school happens to speak Czech.)
But in the end it has all been worth it, and we are now working with two exciting new sets of trios, which we have begun performing and plan to start recording in the Spring.
One set will center around the Viennese string trio, beginning with an early work from the Moravian Archive (the sole surviving copy) by Joseph Hofmann. The set will also include works by composer's of Beethoven's circle (December of 2020 being the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth). These works by F. A. Hoffmeister and Paul Wranitsky and others will be interspersed with selections from a set of early waltzes by Beethoven, written for the famous masked balls of the Redoute Rooms in the Hofburg Palace of Vienna.
The second set will include works by G. B. Sammartini, Francesco Zannetti, the American born Moravian composer, John Antes. The set will also feature a string trio by Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen, who was trained in the Venitian Ospedale dei Mendicanti, which like Vivaldi's Ospedale della Pietà became well-known for its all-female ensembles that attracted tourists and patrons from throughout Europe.