Tuesday 13 March at 8:30pm
SAINT ELIE CHURCH, KANTARI
BACK TO BACH: CANTATAS AND SINFONIAS
ANDREAS SCHOLL, countertenor
OTTAVIO DANTONE, organ/conductor
The sublime voice of Andreas Scholl accompanies the highly reputed Accademia Bizantina from Ravenna, to play an exceptional selection of Bach Cantatas.Book NowTicket prices: $90, $60, $40
BACH, Johann Sebastian (1685 – 1750)
• Sinfonia dalla Cantata BWV 42
• Cantata “Ich habe genug”, BWV 82
• Sinfonia dalla Cantata BWV 146
• Cantata “Gott soll allein mein Herz haben”, BWV 169
ANDREAS SCHOLL, Counter-tenor
Andreas Scholl has released a series of extraordinary solo recordings. These include: Wanderer – a disc of German Lied in partnership with pianist Tamar Halperin; O Solitude – an all-Purcell album with Accademia Bizantina which won the 2012 BBC Music Magazine award, Arias for Senesino, Heroes – a disc of arias by Handel, Mozart, Hasse and Gluck, Robert Dowland’s A Musicall Banquet, Arcadia – a collection of rare and unpublished cantatas by composers from Rome’s Arcadian Circle, Wayfaring Stranger – a selection of specially arranged English and American folksongs with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Bach cantatas with Kammerorchester Basel and Vivaldi Motets with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, all of which are released on Decca. As a prolific recording artist his discography also includes recordings for Deutsche Grammophon – Handel’s Solomon and Saul with Paul McCreesh and for Harmonia Mundi including Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater; Caldara’s Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo; and Crystal Tears – lute and consort songs by John Dowland. His DVD releases include productions of Giulio Cesare (for both Decca and Harmonia Mundi), Rodelinda (Warner) and Partenope (Decca).
His most recent recording, Small Gifts of Heaven, is released on the Sony label this season. It is a collection of arias for alto voice by JS Bach, bookended by two of the Brandenburg concerti, and is part of a new collaboration with Dorothee Oberlinger and Ensemble 1700.
Highlights this season include a new solo recital programme of 20th century song featuring Britten, Berg, Copland, Vaughan Williams and Pärt at the Kölner Philharmonie; Small Gifts of Heaven with Dorothee Oberlinger on tour to Antwerp, St Gallen, Luzern and Paris, an appearance at the Al Bustan Festival with Accademia Bizantina, and a tour to the Far East with the English Concert with a programme of arias by Purcell and Handel.
Scholl sang his signature operatic role Giulio Cesare in his recent debut at Oper Frankfurt as well as at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the 2012 Salzburger Festspiele (opposite Cecilia Bartoli). He has also appeared as Bertarido (Rodelinda) in which he made his debut at both the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and The Metropolitan Opera (opposite Renée Fleming). Concert performances have included appearances with Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and with all of the world’s leading baroque orchestras; and at the 2005 Last Night of the Proms – the first counter-tenor ever to have been invited.
Born in Germany, Andreas Scholl’s early musical training was with the Kiedricher Chorbuben. He later studied under Richard Levitt and René Jacobs at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. A Grammy nominated artist, he has won numerous awards and prizes including the prestigious ECHO Award for his composition The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Nightingale released on Deutsche Grammphon.
Andreas Scholl is the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Voice and Classical Music at the University of Oxford for 2017/18.
OTTAVIO DANTONE, Harpsichord/Conductor
While still quite young Ottavio Dantone received a performance degree in both organ and harpsichord and immediately launched into a concert career, quickly attracting the attention of the critics as one of the finest players of his generation.
In 1985 he was awarded the basso continuo prize at the International Competition in Paris and he was the highest prize winner at the 1986 International Competition in Bruges. He was the first Italian to have received this latter award, immediately bringing him international recognition.
His collaboration with the Baroque orchestra Accademia Bizantina from Ravenna began in 1989 and his profound understanding of historical performance practices in the Baroque period lead, in 1996, to his nomination as music director of that group. Under his direction Accademia Bizantina has affirmed itself as one of the most outstanding Baroque orchestras on the international scene today.
Over the last twenty years Ottavio Dantone has gradually added to his activities as soloist and director of chamber music and small orchestras that of a major conductor, extending his repertoire to the classic and romantic periods.
As an opera conductor he made his debut in 1999 in the first modern execution of Giovani Sarti’s “Giulio Sabino” in Ravenna’s Alighieri Theatre with Accademia Bizantina. From that time on his career lead him to conducting both well-known operas to the rediscovery of operas rarely heard or first modern performance in some of the most celebrated festivals and theatres in the world, among them the Scala in Milano, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Royal Theatres in both Madrid and Paris, Zurich Opera and the London Proms.
He has recorded as both soloist and as a conductor with such noted record companies as Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Naïve and Harmonia Mundi, winning numerous international awards and receiving high critical acclaim.
Accademia Bizantina was founded in Ravenna in 1983 with the intention of “making music like a large quartet”. Then as now, the group is managed autonomously by its guardian members, guaranteeing the chamber music approach to their performances which has ever been their distinguishing feature.
A number of prominent personalities in the musical world supported the orchestra’s development and growth, among them Jorg Demus, Carlo Chiarappa, Riccardo Muti and Luciano Berio. Over the years they have also enjoyed the collaboration of many fine musicians, among them Stefano Montanari who was an integral part of the orchestra for over 20 years. This has allowed the ensemble, which plays on period instruments, to become ever more specialised in 17th, 18th and 19th-century repertoire. Gradually the orchestra developed a distinguished voice by adopting its own interpretative style based on a common language and shared performance practice, reflecting the noblest tradition of Italian chamber music.
In 1989 Ottavio Dantone joined the group as harpsichordist and in 1996 he was appointed musical and artistic director, guaranteeing the prestige and artistic quality of the ensemble. Under his expert guidance Accademia Bizantina has merged philological research and an aesthetic approach to the interpretation of music from the Baroque period. Dantone’s competence, imagination and sophistication have united with the enthusiasm and artistic empathy of each member of the group, giving their interpretations the depth which makes them one of the most prestigious ensembles on the international musical scene today.
In 1999 Accademia Bizantina performed their first staged opera, Giuseppe Sarti’s “Giulio Sabino”. The orchestra has gone on to specialise in the rediscovery and performance of Baroque operas, ranging from major works to operas which have never been performed in modern times.
The ensemble performs in concerts halls and festivals worldwide. Their many recordings, most notably for Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Naïve, have won numerous awards including the Diapason d’Or, Midem and a Grammy Music Award nomination for Purcell’s “O Solitude” with Andreas Scholl. Of particular significance are their collaborations with violinists Viktoria Mullova and Giuliano Carmignola and with countertenor Andreas Scholl with whom they have had major international tours and recording projects (for Onyx, Deutsche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi and Decca).
Among the orchestra’s new productions scheduled for 2016 are Antonio Vivaldi’s “L’incoronazione di Dario”, Händel’s “Alcina” and “Belshazzar” and J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue.