Cello Duo

Monika Leskovar, cello, Giovanni Sollima, cello

Thursday, 10 March at 20:30
Venue: Mar Sassine Church, Beyt Meri

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Marin Marais (1656 – 1728)
Suite in D minor from Pieces de violes, Deuxieme livre (1701)

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)
Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune

Vinko Jelic (1596 – 1636)
Ricercar Tertio

Giovanni Sollima (1962-)
The Interpretation of Dreams
The wood
Madre, Figlio, Natura
Acheronte, movevo, aqua (il sogno di Leonardo)
Virginia Woolf, il flusso di coscienza
The dangerous prevalence of imagination
Du Bist Wie Eine Blume (Robert e Clara Shumann)
Frida’s dream?
Calamity Jane

Giovanni Sollima, cello
He is a composer out of the ordinary, he communicates with a music full of mediterranean rhythms, with a melodic vein typically Italian, his world covers all eras “from the Jurassic of the Cello” as he calls the baroque period to the “Metal”. He writes mainly for the cello and contributes significantly to the creation of new repertoire for his instrument. His audience is diverse; from classical music lovers to young “metalheads” Giovanni Sollima conquers all.
Sollima was born in Palermo into a family of musicians. He studied cello with Giovanni Perriera and Antonio Janigro and composition with his father and Eliodoro Sollima and Milko Kelemen. From an early age he worked with musicians such as Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Jörg Demus, Martha Argerich, Riccardo Muti, Yuri Bashmet, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Ruggero Raimondi, Bruno Canino, DJ Scanner, Victoria Mullova, Patti Smith, Philip Glass and Yo-Yo Ma.
His works as a soloist with orchestra and various ensembles (including the Giovanni Sollima Band, which he founded in New York in 1997) – unfolds between official and alternative locations: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Alice Tully Hall , Knitting Factory and Carnegie Hall (New York), Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), Salle Gaveau (Paris), Santa Cecilia, RomaEuropaFestival (Roma), Teatro San Carlo (Naples), Kunstfest (Weimar), Kronberg Cello Festival , Time Zones Festival (Bari), Teatro Massimo, Teatro alla Scala (Milan), International Music Festival in Istanbul, Cello Biennale (Amsterdam), Tokyo Summer Festival, the Venice Biennale, Ravenna Festival, “The Sounds of the Dolomites”, Ravello Festival, Expo 2010 (Shanghai), Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Liverpool Philharmonic …
In Parallel to the cello his curiosity led him to explore new frontiers in the field of composition through contamination between different genres making use also of oriental instruments, electrical and many of his invention.He also collaborated with other artists such as, for dance, Karole Armitage, and Carolyn Carlson, for the theater with Bob Wilson, Alessandro Baricco, and Peter Stein and cinema with Marco Tullio Giordana, Peter Greenaway, Lasse Gjertsen (DayDream, 2007), and John Turturro.

Together with cellist and composer Enrico Melozzi he promoted the project 100 VIOLONCELLI created at the Teatro Valle Occupied in Rome. Musicians from all age, formation, got together for 3 days and 3 nights of cello music, from baroque going through rock music to contemporary music written “during the concerts” there were no limits. The project was repeated in 2013 and in 2014 and 2015 in Milan at the Teatro delle Arti. There will be the 3rd edition of the composition contest and the first edition of a “libretto” contest.
In 2013 he also was the Maetro Concertatore of the project “La Notte della Taranta” a festival of tradtional popular music from the Salento (region of Apulia) that climax with a big concert with an audience of more 130 000 persons. He repeated the experience in August 2015.

Among the last albums “Neapolitan Cello Concertos” for Glossa and “Caravaggio” for Egea.
The prestigious Chicago Symphony Orchestra commissioned a new double cello concerto for himself and M° YoYo Ma, the premiere took place at Symphony Hall in Chicago in February 2014.
Giovanni Sollima, teaches at the Accademy of Santa Cecilia in Rome and at the Fondazione Romanini of Brescia. He plays a cello by Francesco Ruggieri (1679, Cremona).

Monika Leskovar, cello
Croatian cellist Monika Leskovar (born Kreutztal, Germany, 1981), studied with Dobrila Berkovic-Magdalenic at Elly Bašic Music School in Zagreb and later with Valter Dešpalj. In 1996 she became a student of David Geringas at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where – from 2006 to 2011 – she was an assistant.
Since October 2012 she teaches cello at Lugano Conservatory of Music in Switzerland.
In masterclasses she worked together with Mstislav Rostropovitch and Bernard Greenhouse.
Winner of several prizes at international cello competitions – International Tchaikovsky for Young Musicians (Sendai, 1995), Antonio Janigro (Zagreb, 1996), Rostropovich (Paris, 1997), Eurovision Grand Prix (Vienna, 1998), Roberto Caruana “Stradivari” (Milano, 1999), International ARD (Munchen 2001), 5th Adam (New Zealand, 2003). Sofia Gubaidulina says of her: “Monika perfectly performed my Preludes for solo violoncello… She is truly remarkable, and simply I adore her… Monika is the sort of talent that only appears by the Grace of God”.
She performed as soloist with orchestras such as Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic, Slovenian Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphonic Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic, Essen Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Zagreb Soloists, with conductors such as Valerij Gergiev, Thomas Hengelbrock, Krzysztof Penderecki, and in solo recitals, chamber music projects and noted festivals like Lockenhaus, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Dubrovnik, Casals Festival (Tokyo), Rostropovich Festival (Riga), Zagreb International Music Festival collaborating with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Berezovsky, Julian Rachlin, Itamar Golan, Tabea Zimmermann, Sofia Gubaidulina, Mario Brunello, Nikolai Zneider, Jeanine Jansen and Kolja Blacher, among others.
Since 2005 she collaborates with the cellist and composer Giovanni Sollima, with whom she recorded the album “We Were Trees”, recently published by Sony/BMG.
In 2008 she recorded the G-major Cello Concerto of Stamitz and the Danzi Variations on a theme from “Don Giovanni” for the label OEMHS classics.
Monika Leskovar plays a cello by Mantegazza, Milano 1765 loaned to her by Kronberg Academy.

Marin Marais (1656 – 1728)
Suite in D minor from Pieces de violes, Deuxieme livre (1701)The second book of “Pieces de violes”, dedicated to the Duke of Orleans is dated 1701 and consists of 144 pieces for viola and continuo. In the words of the composer: “I have made sure that all the pieces can be played on any type of instrument, the organ, the harpsichord, the orbo, lute, violin and flute.” Many of the pieces are short and simple, voluntarily catchy and easy although some require virtuoso performance. The outline of the Suite is still respected here, with imposing “Preludes” in the French manner or improvised, very elaborated “Allemande”, quick jigs “Gigue” in 6/4 to 3/8 or lighter (often with subtitles as the Gigue “La Favorite” or Gigue “La Badine “), French “Courante”, a serious “Sarabande”, that would lead, for example, in a fast “Bourrasque” on a continuous motion of quavers, a Ballet in rondo, a joyous Fantasia Liutata with the bow strokes “reduced to a minimum to better mimic the lute”.

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)
Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune
The “Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune” (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) is a symphonic poem, performed for the first time at the Societe Nationale de Musique in Paris December 22, 1894. Inspired by the poem by Stephane Mallarme. The afternoon of a Faun (1876), is considered the prototype of the musical impressionism. The music tells the daydreams of a faun, in a bucolic landscape, he enjoys playing the flute and has a rendezvous with some nymphs.
Alone again, the faun takes its melody and falls into a blissful sleep. Initially, between the end of 1890 and beginning of 1891, the composition was conceived as background music to the poem by Mallarme. The show, scheduled for February 27, 1891, never went on stage, nor was the music completed. In 1892 Debussy took up sketches and developed the composition, initially giving it the title of Prelude, Interlude et final Paraphrase sur l’Apres-midi d’un faune. Between 1892 and 1893 he played the composition at the piano for some friends, including the same Mallarme, a prerelease version of the Prelude, which was performed publicly only on December 22, 1894 in the hall of Harcourt Societe Nationale de Musique in Paris, to be repeated the next night. The success of the First was such that you had to do it again as an encore. Giovanni Sollima arranged it for two cellos, keeping intact “all the notes” of the piano score.

Vinko Jelic (1596 – 1636)
Ricercar Tertio
Considered the most important Croatian baroque composer, he was a choirboy in Graz in 1606, a student of Matthias Ferrabosco; after 1609 he studied at the University of Graz and Ferdinandeum and was a member of the court orchestra of Archduke Leopold V, Bishop of Strasbourg. He wrote several collections of motets (Parnassia militia – 1622, Arion Primus and Secundus – 1628)

 

Giovanni Sollima (1962-)”The Interpretation of Dreams” (2007)
Suite dedicated to Monika Leskovar
“The suite composed in 2007 is composed of pieces of volcanic nature, floating and
suspended. Together they form a suite in more movements or portraits. Or visions.
Virginia Woolf, Leonardo Da Vinci, Clara and Robert Schumann, and others …”when I “saw” them I woke up sweating, crying, shouting, laughing. And I wrote them  as I remembered them. Then I learned to dream them again, and I saw them, again. And I wrote it all over again ” Giovanni Sollima.