The Viola da Gamba Takes Center Stage

29/04/2015

 Various “The Turning of the Year”: Michael Maniacci (male soprano); Annalisa Pappano, David Morris, Stephen Goist, Larry Lipnik, Joanna Blendulf (violas de gamba). Catacoustic Consort, Church of the Redeemer, Hyde Park, Cincinnati, Ohio. 26.4.2015 (RDA)

Hugh Ashton: Maske
Michael Edwards: Trio
Cipriano da Rore: Calami sonum ferentes
Carlo Gesualdo: Baci suavi
Henry Purcell: Fantasy no. 5
Tan Dun: A Sinking Love
Peter Schulthorpe: Djilile
Freda Burford: The Turn of the Year
Christopher Tye: Howld fast
Alessandro Agricola: Cecus non judicate de coloribus
Picforth: In nomine
Gavin Bryars: In nomine
Elvis Costello: Put Away Forbidden Playthings

 

Catacoustic Consort’s 15th season concluded with an informal afternoon titled “The Turning of the Year,” presented in Hyde Park’s Church of the Redeemer. Five viola da gamba players took up the challenge of a program that began in the early 16th century, and included contemporary works by Michael Edwards, Tan Dun, Peter Schulthorpe, Gavin Bryars and Elvis Costello.

Taking the audience through five centuries of writing for the viola da gamba, the musicians—Annalisa Pappano, David Morris, Stephen Goist, Larry Lipnik, and Joanna Blendulf—played assertively throughout, from the delicate filigree of Hugh Ashton’s Maske to the densely chromaticism of Cipriano Da Rore and Carlo Gesualdo. The latter pair were both rebellious exponents of a musical counter-culture that alarmed the conservative academicians of their time, and both were masters of a kind of chromaticism and tonal ambiguity that predated the arrival of the Second Viennese School by four centuries. Henry Purcell’s Fantasy No. 5 followed.

In the second half came a bucolic rhapsody by the lesser-known Englishwoman Freda Burford, two short pieces by Christopher Tye and Alessandro Agricola, plus a curio by Picforth (no known first name) titled In nomine, in which each of the players plays in a different meter. Interspersing the old with the new, the Catacoustic musicians next essayed Gavin Bryars similarly titled In nomine, itself a sort of minimalist riff on Purcell.

Guest artist Michael Maniacci introduced Tan Dun’s A Sinking Love and spoke about its creation and meaning. Based on a 6th century poem by Chinese poet Tao Li, the composition adopts vocal techniques from traditional Beijing Opera, including downward and upward glissandi, guttural sounds, whispers and sudden leaps into the higher territory of the soprano range—a vocal minefield. Maniacci is a male soprano (rather than a countertenor), and he sang with very good technique, suppleness and intelligence, handling the composition with aplomb.

At the end of the concert, Maniacci sang Elvis Costello’s Put Away Forbidden Playthings, and followed it with Benjamin Britten’s setting of The Salley Gardens. In both he demonstrated refined musicality, as did his colleagues in the accompaniment.

Rafael de Acha

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycles __________________________________
  • NEW! Roman River 2019 Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! Ex Cathedra’s 50th Anniversary Season in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Geneva Grand Théâtre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! 2019-20 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden __________________________________
  • NEW! Bregenz Festival 17 July – 18 August 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Musikfest Berlin 2019 from 30 August to 19 September __________________________________
  • NEW! 2019 BBC Proms 19 July – 14 September __________________________________
  • NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera House in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Opera in 2019-2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Adrian Partington Introduces the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Conversation with John Quinn __________________________________
  • NEW! ENB in 2019-2020 and Updates on their New London City Island Home __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music and Other Events at the Southbank Centre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Cleveland Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music at the Barbican in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! CHORUS MASTER STEPHEN DOUGHTY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • NEW! Ron Howard’s Pavarotti in Cinemas 13 July (Preview) and Nationwide (15 July) __________________________________
  • NEW! MULTI-FACETED MUSICIAN JOY LISNEY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • NEW! ‘MUSICAL MAGIC’: AN INTERVIEW WITH VIOLINIST HENNING KRAGGERUD __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet Announces Winners of Emerging Dancer 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! CONDUCTOR THOMAS SANDERLING IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! Chelsea Opera Group Perform Anton Rubinstein’s The Demon on 30 June __________________________________
  • NEW! In August Fulham Opera’s Most Ambitious Project to Date – Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg __________________________________
  • R.I.P. IN MEMORIAM ANDRÉ PREVIN (1929-2019) __________________________________
  • NEW! CHRISTOPHE ROUSSET IN CONVERSATION WITH COLIN CLARKE __________________________________
  • CONDUCTOR ÁDÁM FISCHER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month