Hobart Baroque Showcases Class ’85 – Bach Handel & Scarlatti

Hobart Baroque, the newest and liveliest of cultural events in Australia, is offering a splendid musical program for their festival in 2014, one that is highly focused and explicitly directional.

The ‘class of ‘85’ will be a splendid series of five recitals to be played in the superb acoustic of the Hobart Town Hall from 31st March to the 4th April, 2014. It has been the scene for many grand occasions since pre-eminent 19th century architect Henry Hunter completed his classically inspired building between 1864 – 1866.

The main auditorium, including the magnificent chandeliers and Town Hall organ, have been in use since 1870.

The program will highlight three renowned ‘Baroque’ composers; German born London based Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), German born and based Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759), as well as Italian master Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757).

This illustrious trio were all born in 1685.

Highly respected by their peers in their day, their music has been celebrated ever since because of its beauty, command and great depth.

Known throughout Europe for their often-harmonic audacity and distinctive style, many of Scarlatti’s sonatas remained unpublished during his lifetime. Today there are a staggering 555 to choose from.

First up on Monday 31st March keyboard virtuosos Erin Helyard and Donald Nicolson will alternate as they play their Duelling Harpsichords, presenting selection of the best-known sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti on the harpsichord. There is no doubt is fabulous duo will do them justice.

Both have traveled and performed widely achieving great success and are acknowledged by their peers as an important part of the early music movement in the Antipodes.

Helyard is also an accomplished conductor, working at forefront of a new generation of young musicians combining historical inquiry with a passion for promoting live music in contemporary culture.

Nicholson is also co-founder of the fast-rising Melbourne-based baroque trio Latitude 37, who were a great hit at the first Hobart Baroque festival in 2013.

Named after the latitudinal position which links Melbourne, Australia, to New Zealand Latitude 37 consists of Julia Fredersdorff (baroque violin), Laura Vaughan (viola da gamba) and Donald Nicolson (harpsichord).

On Tuesday April 1 they will channel Bach and the glories of London based German composer Georg Frideric Handel, as well as a few outstanding colleagues.

They enjoy, as many music aficionados do, Baroque music’s balanced austerity, which is punctuated now and again with an exciting eccentricity and then topped off with luscious layers of complexity and striking tonal textures.

Bach combined philosophical thought and musical aesthetics to reflect the passions, preferences and affections of modern man. He produced many musical gems, with utmost conviction, clarity and vividness.

Handel’s music on the other hand combined lush sound with magical string textures. A classy drop out of his day, Handel earnestly wanted to pursue his love for music.

He made a huge impression in London from 1712, composing the Hallelujah Chorus as part of his masterwork The Messiah for his former employer from Hanover, George 1 of England.

Recognised genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart confessed himself humble in the face of Handel’s talent.

He re-orchestrated his famous Messiah in 1789 noting ‘any alterations to Handel’s score should not be interpreted as an effort to improve the music – ‘Handel knows better than any of us what will make an effect – when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt’!

Finnish born musician Timo-Veikko ‘Tipi’ Valve is a versatile musician, who today performs all over the world.

On Wednesday 2nd April he will play Johann Sebastian Bach’s 6th suite for solo cello BWV 1012 with the instrument it was originally meant to be played with; a 5-string violoncello piccolo, which adds richness and deep tonality to any performance.

Bach’s music for the cello has a complex structure with a wealth of detail that utilizes and extends the full possibilities of composition. It’s all about a fusion of the old and the new and the notion that man and nature are once more back in harmony with each other and happy.

Bach’s now famous Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello have achieved legendary status. Their emotional range, their intimacy and their intensity have made them among the most popular of all Bach’s works today.

You may find yourself, just like author and Canadian rock critic Eric Siblin who had an epiphany of sorts when he first attended a recital of J S Bach’s Cello Suites, falling completely under the spell of this classic musical masterpiece.

Ensemble HB has been brought together especially for this program. They will perform on Thursday 3rd April.

Orchestra of the Antipodes, playing for the Pinchgut Opera, Sydney

All the performers are key soloists in the highly regarded Orchestra of the Antipodes; they will perform works by Bach and Handel on original instruments, mixing familiar favourites with less well-known works. They will be directed by Erin Helyard.

On Friday 4th April for the final concert of the series, young Greek guitar virtuoso, scholar and composer Smaro Gregoriadou will play music by all three composers, Bach, Scarlatti and Handel.

Her appearance is exclusive to Hobart Baroque.

She is much acclaimed for being on a crusade to explore the historical roots of the guitar, applying her findings in her own modern artistry by presenting a ‘wealth of new sonic and interpretive possibilities for modern players’.

Smaro Gregoriadou will play the works on three different guitars all built by Yorgos Kertsopoulos, whose instruments embody exhaustive historical and aesthetic research with practical acoustic applications for modern audiences.

Hobart Baroque music festival, celebrating the wonderful sounds of the 17th and 18th centuries, was founded with a wonderful vision for attaining the highest degree of excellence.

It’s exclusive to Hobart, a city in the island state of Tasmania the little island with big ideas, whose charms are ‘still undiscovered by most Australian.

Baroque music was always powerful, often unpredictable, like wonderful fireworks going off in your head and heart. The Class of ’85 trio of composer’s loved musical life passionately and their audiences responded by elevating their artists as celebrities, just as we do today.

They achieved unity of both form and material and all attempts to keep to ‘rules’ inexorably failed, leading to a romantic overflow that was always inspiring and surprising.

The Class of ’85 at Hobart Baroque 2014 promises to delight their audiences by playing pieces you will know, and some you don’t, showcasing the ‘Baroque’, which thanks to the efforts of people all over the world, has once again become all brand new.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014


Details of Program

Monday March 31st at 8pm
Duelling Harpsichords
– Erin Helyard and Donald Nicolson

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Sonata in D, Allegro K. 119 (Erin Helyard) [5’] Sonata in D minor, Allegro K. 64 (Donald Nicolson) [2’] Sonata in G, Presto K. 13 (Erin Helyard) [4’] Sonata in F, Presto K. 367 (Donald Nicolson) [3] Sonatas in E, Andante K. 215, Allegro K. 216 (Erin Helyard) [8’] Sonatas in D minor, Aria K.32, Allegro K.9 (Donald Nicolson) [7’] Sonata in F minor, Presto K. 239 (Erin Helyard) [4’] Sonata in D minor, Allegro K. 141 (Donald Nicolson) [4’]

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in C major, BWV 1061a [16’] [Allegro] Adagio ovvero Largo
Fuga. Vivace.

Tuesday April 1 at 8pm
Latitude 37

Dieterich Buxtehude
Trio Sonata In D Minor, Op. 1 No. 6, BuxWV 257
Alessandro Scarlatti
Trio sonata in F major
D Buxtehude
‘Herzlich tut mich verlangen’ BuxWV 178 & Ciaconna BuxWV 160
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata (No. TBC)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Violin Sonata in G major BWV 1021
George Frideric Handel
‘Col partir la Bella Clori’ from Ah Che Pur Troppo e Vero HWV 77
Arcangelo Corelli
Sonata XII from Opus 5 ‘La Folia’

Wednesday April 2 at 8 pm
Timo-Veikko Valve, Violoncello Piccolo

(5-string Baroque cello by Warren Nolan-Fordham (2010) Melbourne)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Suite BWV1007 in G Major (performed in D Major)
Prelude Allemande Courante?Sarabande Menuet 1 & 2 and Gigue
Partita BWV1013 in a minor
Allemande Corrente Sarabande Bourrée Anglaise
Suite BWV1012 in D Major
Prelude Allemande Courante Sarabande Gavotte 1 & 2 and Gigue

Thursday April 3 at 8pm
Ensemble HB

J. S. Bach
Air [“on the G-string”] from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068.
Harpsichord Concerto in D major, BWV 1054
I. [Allegro] II. Adagio e piano sempre
III. Allegro

George Frideric Handel
Trio Sonata in G minor, Op. 2 No. 5, HWV 390

I. Larghetto
II. Allegro
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro

“Water Music”, Suite No. 3 HWV 350
I. Sarabande
II. Rigaudons
III. Menuets
IV. Gigues

Friday April 4 at 8pm
Smaro Gregoriadou

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Sonata K208/L238 (Adagio e cantabile) in A minor, Sonata K322/L483 (Allegro) in A major, Sonata K481/L187 (Andante cantabile) in F minor, Sonata K198/L22 (Allegro) in E minor, Sonata K1/L366 (Allegro) in D minor, Sonata K491/L164 (Allegro) in D major
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Toccata for keyboard instrument in E minor, BWV 914
Un poco Allegro, Adagio, Fuga (Allegro)
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Air and Variations “The Harmonious Blacksmith” (from Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430),
Chaconne No. 2 in G major, HWV 435
StepanRak (1945-)
Temptation of the Renaissance:
Aria, Variations and Dance
All works arranged by Smaro Gregoriadou

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