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Friday, December 30, 2016

The King's Singers: Joy to the World (Audio video)






















The King's Singers, an all-male a cappella sextet, have issued an extraordinarily large range of recordings, most of them quite successful. But they may be at their best in a circumscribed setting like that of the Christmas album, which brings their innovative harmonies into the sharpest relief. In this seasonal collection they offer traditional Christmas carols given new levels of musical tension by the addition of repeated harmonic figures in the accompanying voices, clashing with but not destabliizing the melody. They include a few highly chromatic pieces, such as an arrangement by English-American composer Jeremy Lubbock of a Tchaikovsky hymn called "The Crown of Roses". And listeners will have to discover for themselves what to make of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Throughout, the trademark mixture of awesomely precise harmonies and equally awesome sense of enjoyment is fully in evidence, and they are backed here by the superior capabilities of Signum's engineering team, working in London's acoustically fine Cadogan Hall. A delightful holiday release.

Source: James Manheim (allmusic.com)



Ο πλούσιος ήχος, ο ακριβής τονισμός, η εξαιρετικά σωστή άρθρωση που αναδεικνύει όμορφα και την παραμικρή λεπτομέρεια, και φυσικά το χαρακτηριστικό τους χιούμορ, είναι αυτά που κάνουν συναρπαστική κάθε εμφάνιση ή ηχογράφηση του διάσημου βρετανικού a cappella φωνητικού συνόλου The King's Singers.

Στον δίσκο "Joy to the World", οι King's Singers ερμηνεύουν, με τον δικό τους μοναδικό τρόπο, χριστουγεννιάτικα τραγούδια και κάλαντα. Η εξαιρετική, ζωντανή ηχογράφηση έγινε στο Cadogan Hall του Λονδίνου στις 19 Δεκεμβρίου 2010 και κυκλοφόρησε σε ψηφιακό δίσκο από τη βρετανική δισκογραφική εταιρεία Signum Records το 2011.


The King's Singers

"Joy to the World"

1. Rise up, shepherd, and follow (Traditional, arr. Carl Davis)
2. Gabriel's message (Edgar Pettiman)
3. Noël nouvelet (Traditional, arr. Philip Lawson)
4. What child is this? (Traditional / William Chatterton Dix, arr. Bob Chilcott)
5. The crown of roses (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arr. Jeremy Lubbock)
6. O little one sweet (Traditional, harmonised Johann Sebastian Bach)
7. Lullay my liking (Philip Lawson)
8. Stille Nacht (Franz Gruber / Joseph Mohr, arr. John Rutter)
9. The quiet heart (June Collin / James Morgan)
10. There is a flower (John Rutter)
11. Joy to the world (Lowell Mason / Isaac Watts, arr. Philip Lawson)
12. Sérénade d'hiver (Camille Saint-Saëns)
13. The twelve days of Christmas (Traditional, arr. Geoffrey Keating, featuring John Julius Norwich's "A correspondence")
14. Gaudete (Traditional, arr. Brian Kay)
15. God rest you merry gentlemen (Traditional, arr. Geoffrey Keating)
16. The little drummer boy (Katherine K. Davis / Henry Onorati / Harry Simeone, arr. John McCarthy)
17. Jingle bells (James Lord Pierpont, arr. Gordon Langford)
18. Deck the hall with boughs of holly (Traditional / Thomas Oliphant, arr. Gordon Langford)

The King's Singers:
David Hurley, countertenor
Timothy Wayne-Wright, countertenor
Paul Phoenix, tenor
Philip Lawson, baritone
Christopher Gabbitas, baritone
Jonathan Howard, bass

Recorded live at Cadogan Hall, London, on 19th December 2010

Signum Records 2011

(HD 1080p – Audio video)

In the video is missing the name of Philip Lawson (baritone). We apologize.


Over the years, The King's Singers have built up a great variety of music for Christmas, mirroring the eclecticism of our general repertoire. Our roots lie in the English choral tradition of the great cathedrals and college chapels, a tradition perhaps most strongly associated in the minds of the public with this time of year. This programme, which has the title "Joy to the World", consists of music that reflects the atmosphere of the season, and although some of the music in this group will not be known to every one of you, we are sure that the images in the texts are ones with which you will all feel quite familiar. We were delighted to have been able to record this CD live during a concert at London's Cadogan Hall on 19th December 2010, and the event was made all the more festive by the large amount of snow (for Southern England) that had fallen in the previous 36 hours.

The programme begins with the traditional Christmas spiritual, "Rise up, shepherd, and follow", in an arrangement by New York-born composer and conductor Carl Davis, who now resides in London. Edgar Pettiman's "Gabriel's message" (also known as "The Angel Gabriel") is a well-known English Christmas song, based on a traditional Basque tune. There is more musical "Pan-Nationalism" in "The crown of roses", written by the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, but heard here in an arrangement by Jeremy Lubbock, an Englishman now living in southern California. Philip Lawson's "Nöel nouvelet" sets an old French text dating from the 15th century, while the American 19thcentury composer Lowell Mason sets a text by the 18th-century English hymn-writer, Isaac Watts. William Chatterton Dix's words for "What child is this?" were designed to be sung to the famous traditional English tune "Greensleeves". There has been a persistent belief that the composer of this melody was King Henry VIII, written in honour of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, during their courtship. There is little concrete proof that this is true, but the song was certainly well known during the reign of Henry's daughter, Elizabeth. In 1602, Shakespeare makes two references to the song in his play "The Merry Wives of Windsor".

"O little one sweet" is the English-language version of a traditional German song, "O Jesulein süss", sung here using Johann Sebastian Bach's harmonisation. Percy Dearmer wrote the English words in 1928. One of the lesser-known works in this concert is June Collin's "The Quiet Heart", which sets words by James Morgan. This piece was written for performance by the Songster choirs of the Salvation Army. By contrast Franz Gruber's "Stille Nacht" must be one of the most famous of all Christmas tunes. Gruber was organist of St Nicholas' Church in the Austrian town of Oberndorf, and he set words by the church's assistant pastor, Joseph Mohr. There are many myths that have arisen around this song. There is, sadly, no proof that the work was composed at haste on Christmas Eve after the church's organ had broken down. Some even blame mice for the organ's failure. What is known is that on 24th December 1818 this much-loved Christmas song was given its first performance. The remaining two works in the first half are original songs by two British composers, John Rutter and our very own Philip Lawson. In "There is a flower" Rutter sets a text by the early 15th-century chronicler, poet and priest John Audelay, one of the few poets of this time whose name is known to us. Philip's "Lullay my liking" sets a traditional English text dating from the 15th century.

Berlioz said of Camille Saint-Saëns: "He knows everything but lacks inexperience". This was a shrewd assessment of someone who had perfect pitch, wrote his first piano piece at the age of three, gave a concert at which he played concertos by Mozart and Beethoven from memory at the age of ten, and in later years, had all the Mozart concertos in his repertory – an astonishing feat at a time when only a handful of them were at all well known. Saint-Saëns was also well versed in Latin, mathematics, astronomy, archeology, and geology. Not surprisingly, perhaps, there were few aspects of composition that he did not explore with extraordinary fluency and competence. Among the more specialised musical genres that engaged his interest was that of the unaccompanied part-song, of which he composed some 20 examples for various combinations. "Sérénade d'hiver", a charming "winter serenade" to words by Henri Cazalis, dates from 1867 and was dedicated to Auguste Wolff.

"The twelve days of Christmas" is a traditional English song which dates back to the 18th century, although it is believed the song may be French in origin. It tells of the incredible generosity of a man in giving an extraordinary array of presents to his beloved, ranging from a partridge in a pear tree, through gold rings and swans, through to pipers and drummers, to name but a few. The British historian, broadcaster and writer John Julius Norwich has written twelve "thank you letters" that reflect the reality of this array of gifts, and which challenges the old adage, "It's not the gift, but the thought that counts".

"Gaudete" is taken from a collection of sacred songs published in 1582 by Theodoric Petri of Nyland. Its exact origin is unknown, but it is likely to have come from Sweden or Finland. Our version was arranged by founding King's Singers bass Brian Kay. Geoffrey Keating's arrangement of the traditional English carol "God rest you merry gentlemen" owes rather a lot to the American jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, and his catchy hit, "Take Five". The hugely popular Christmas song, "The little drummer boy" (originally titled "Carol of the drum"), was composed by Katherine K. Davis in 1941. Many singers have covered the song, ranging from Marlene Dietrich (a version in German) to David Bowie (a duet with Bing Crosby). Apparently the song's lyric contains no less than 21 times "pa-ru-pa-pum-pums". Our programme ends with two classic King's Singers' arrangements by Gordon Langford, without which our Christmas would not be complete. James Lord Pierpont wrote "Jingle Bells" in 1850, not as a Christmas song, but for a Thanksgiving celebration. It describes the winter sleigh races through snow-bound Boston – races whose main purpose was to impress young ladies. Despite this, it remains one of the standard tunes of shopping centres at Christmas! We finish with an inventive version of "Deck the hall with boughs of holly", which is based on a traditional Welsh dance tune. It is not sure when the English language version was penned, but it is thought they were inspired by the Welsh language New Year song "Nos Galan", set to the same tune. We hope you will enjoy this light-hearted end to our Christmas programme.

The King's Singers, 2011

Source: CD Booklet


The King's Singers are an entertaining six-man vocal ensemble that tours the world singing a variety of repertory to appreciative listeners. The group was formed in 1965 by a few of the choral scholars of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. They had decided to make a private recording of some of the secular music they had been working on, calling themselves "Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana in Cantabridgiense". They commissioned 100 pressings to keep and give to friends and families. From this start, the six (Martin Lane, Alastair Hume, Neil Jenkins, Richard Salter, Simon Carrington, and Brian Kay) decided to undertake a tour, and booked themselves as "Six Choral Scholars from King's College".

All at Once Well Met: English Madrigals. The tour was a success, and a new name – the King's Singers, suggested by an Argo Records executive – was chosen. Their first concert officially took place on May 1, 1968. By 1971, the King's Singers had drawn considerable attention in England and began making their first recordings. By Appointment and The King's Music appeared in 1971 and 1972, respectively. In the 1980s, the King's Singers experienced their first personnel changes, but the group's popularity remained high, bolstered by a heavy touring schedule that even included an appearance on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Then-recent recordings, like their All at Once Well Met: English Madrigals (1985) and Beatles Connection (1986), achieved impressive sales.

The King's Singers continue to entertain audiences with their music, maintaining their meticulous style through numerous changes in their lineup. The longest-serving member of the group was Alastair Hume, who remained with the King's Singers until the end of their 1992 season. Several former members, such as Nigel Short and Gabriel Crouch, have established successful solo careers. Members of the 2016-2017 season included Patrick Dunachie and Timothy Wayne-Wright, countertenors; Julian Gregory, tenor; Christopher Bruerton and Christopher Gabbitas, baritones; and Jonathan Howard, bass.

Simple GiftsThe King's Singers have made several dozen recordings of a wide variety of music for several labels, everything from madrigals and motets to Japanese folk songs to a cappella arrangements of pop songs. They have also commissioned a large number of new compositions from composers such as Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, James MacMillan, and Gabriela Lena Frank. They also teach masterclasses and summer programs for young musicians. In 2009, the King's Singers won a Grammy Award for their recording Simple Gifts, on the Signum label. They were also part of Eric Whitacre's 2012 Grammy-winning recording Light & Gold. The King's Singers continue to perform, frequently to sold-out audiences, and make recordings that are not only critically admired but also much loved by fans.

Source: Rovi Staff (allmusic.com)

















Photos of The King's Singers: Ben Wright (2011)


See also

The King's Singers: America – Paul Simon, Peter Cetera, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, Don McLean – English Chamber Orchestra, Carl Davis (Audio video)

The King's Singers: Christmas Concert 2011 (HD 1080p)


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The King's Singers: America – Paul Simon, Peter Cetera, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, Don McLean – English Chamber Orchestra, Carl Davis (Audio video)





















This 1989 disc by the King's Singers was an oddity to begin with: it is just one of a few orchestrally accompanied discs that this mostly a cappella group has done, and it was not just orchestrally accompanied, but accompanied by ornate, almost experimental arrangements that in some cases substantially recast the meanings of the original songs. Furthermore, although the album's title led one to expect a collection of familiar American pop hits, what the buyer received was a rather strange-looking assortment: four songs by Paul Simon, two by Jimmy Webb, and two by Randy Newman, with outliers by Don MacLean ("Vincent") and Peter Cetera ("If You Leave Me Now"). Not all the songs were well known, and at least one (Webb's "Scissors Cut", originally the title track of an Art Garfunkel album with anemic sales) could qualify as obscure. The group's stated explanation was that it looked for great melodists, and indeed each of these songwriters qualifies. Nearly two decades down the road, the choices look pretty good; Paul Simon, bless his essentially parasitic little heart, is still very much with us, and if "Vincent" now seems to cloy a little, Jimmy Webb is looking more and more like a candidate for the hall of immortals, and it wasn't easy to see that in 1989.

Does it all work? There's a level of "interference" here – lovers of the unaccompanied King's Singers sound will experience interference from the very busy English Chamber Orchestra, and for pop fans the layers of meaning piled on by the King's Singers will interfere with the subtleties of the original compositions. Simon, Newman, and Webb all built inventively on foundations made up of blocks of pop, R&B, and country syntax, but each had a distinct emphasis that gets lost here. The original rhythms of the songs are present only intermittently. Still and all, this is a virtuoso effort unlike anything else you've ever heard. There's a surprise a minute, and the range of textures gives a full workout to the group's remarkable vocal capabilities. Sample "The Sound of Silence", track 2, for an idea of how wild some of the arrangements can get. If you're still on board, you're in line for a unique look at some great American popular songs.

Source: James Manheim (allmusic.com)



Το βραβευμένο με Γκράμι, διάσημο βρετανικό a cappella φωνητικό σύνολο The King's Singers ερμηνεύει, με τον δικό του μοναδικό τρόπο, ποπ τραγούδια των Αμερικανών συνθετών Paul Simon, Peter Cetera, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb και Don McLean. Τους King's Singers συνοδεύει η Αγγλική Ορχήστρα Δωματίου (English Chamber Orchestra) υπό τη διεύθυνση του Αμερικανού συνθέτη και μαέστρου Carl Davis. Η ηχογράφηση έγινε στα Abbey Road Studios στο Λονδίνο το 1988 και κυκλοφόρησε σε δίσκο βινυλίου το 1989 από την EMI Records, ενώ επανακυκλοφόρησε σε ψηφιακό δίσκο το 2006.


The King's Singers

"America"


Paul Simon (b. 1941)

1. Bridge Over Troubled Water [00:00]****
2. The Sound of Silence [04:29]
3. America [09:58]
4. Homeward Bound [13:59]


Peter Cetera (b. 1944)

5. If You Leave Me Now [18:13]


Randy Newman (b. 1943)

6. Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear [22:53]


Jimmy Webb (b. 1946)

7. Scissors Cut [26:49]


Randy Newman

8. Lonely at the Top* [31:10]


Don McLean (b. 1945)

9. Vincent** [35:24]


Jimmy Webb

10. Wichita Lineman*** [42:44]


* Howard Shelley, piano
** José-Luis Garcia, violin
*** Michael Laird, trumpet

Arrangements by David Cullen (b. 1959)

The King's Singers:
Jeremy Jackman, Alastair Hume, altos
Robert Chilcott, tenor
Bruce Russell, Simon Carrington, baritones
Stephen Connolly, bass

English Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Carl Davis

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, 1988

EMI Records 1989 / 2006

Cover: Poster, France, 1917

(HD 1080p – Audio video)

**** Start time of each track


The King's Singers, 1989 (Photo by Steve Hickey)
The King's Singers are an entertaining six-man vocal ensemble that tours the world singing a variety of repertory to appreciative listeners. The group was formed in 1965 by a few of the choral scholars of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. They had decided to make a private recording of some of the secular music they had been working on, calling themselves "Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana in Cantabridgiense". They commissioned 100 pressings to keep and give to friends and families. From this start, the six (Martin Lane, Alastair Hume, Neil Jenkins, Richard Salter, Simon Carrington, and Brian Kay) decided to undertake a tour, and booked themselves as "Six Choral Scholars from King's College".

All at Once Well Met: English Madrigals. The tour was a success, and a new name – the King's Singers, suggested by an Argo Records executive – was chosen. Their first concert officially took place on May 1, 1968. By 1971, the King's Singers had drawn considerable attention in England and began making their first recordings. By Appointment and The King's Music appeared in 1971 and 1972, respectively. In the 1980s, the King's Singers experienced their first personnel changes, but the group's popularity remained high, bolstered by a heavy touring schedule that even included an appearance on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Then-recent recordings, like their All at Once Well Met: English Madrigals (1985) and Beatles Connection (1986), achieved impressive sales.

The King's Singers continue to entertain audiences with their music, maintaining their meticulous style through numerous changes in their lineup. The longest-serving member of the group was Alastair Hume, who remained with the King's Singers until the end of their 1992 season. Several former members, such as Nigel Short and Gabriel Crouch, have established successful solo careers. Members of the 2016-2017 season included Patrick Dunachie and Timothy Wayne-Wright, countertenors; Julian Gregory, tenor; Christopher Bruerton and Christopher Gabbitas, baritones; and Jonathan Howard, bass.

Simple GiftsThe King's Singers have made several dozen recordings of a wide variety of music for several labels, everything from madrigals and motets to Japanese folk songs to a cappella arrangements of pop songs. They have also commissioned a large number of new compositions from composers such as Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, James MacMillan, and Gabriela Lena Frank. They also teach masterclasses and summer programs for young musicians. In 2009, the King's Singers won a Grammy Award for their recording Simple Gifts, on the Signum label. They were also part of Eric Whitacre's 2012 Grammy-winning recording Light & Gold. The King's Singers continue to perform, frequently to sold-out audiences, and make recordings that are not only critically admired but also much loved by fans.

Source: Rovi Staff (allmusic.com)
























See also

The King's Singers: Joy to the World (Audio video)

The King's Singers: Christmas Concert 2011 (HD 1080p)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor – Ray Chen, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano














Ray Chen plays Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor with Kent Nagano and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall, on February 28, 2015.

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64, concerto for violin and orchestra by Felix Mendelssohn, one of the most lyrical and flowing works of its type and one of the most frequently performed of all violin concertos. It premiered in Leipzig on March 13, 1845.

Mendelssohn, then conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, composed his concerto with violinist Ferdinand David (1810-1873), his concertmaster, in mind. The men had been good friends since they were teenagers. Although Mendelssohn had first mentioned writing a violin concerto in 1838, it was not completed until 1844. On the day of the premiere, David was the soloist, but Mendelssohn, who was ill, could not conduct his new work, so the orchestra was led instead by Mendelssohn's assistant, Danish conductor and composer Niels Gade (1817-1890).

Mendelssohn used the standard classical structures for the piece, but he made adaptations to better suit both his own tastes and the changing times. These changes include an almost instant introduction of the solo instrument and, until then unusual, a written-out solo cadenza; these were usually improvised by the soloist.

The turbulent first movement, Allegro molto appassionato, is written in classic sonata form, having a variety of thematic expositions, a development, and recapitulation of the themes. Rather than bringing this movement to a defined close after the coda, Mendelssohn has a single bassoon playing a sustained tone provide the bridge to the overall restful mood of the second movement, Andante, which is in ternary (ABA) form. Again eliminating the standard moments of silence between movements, Mendelssohn immediately starts the third movement, Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace, which he composed in hybrid sonata rondo form. He concludes with the sprightly, vibrant, even joyous music he seemed to create so effortlessly throughout his career.

Evidence from Mendelssohn's correspondence suggests that he connected the movements into an uninterrupted span of music because he, as a performer, found mid-composition applause to be distracting. It is in part because of Mendelssohn that the modern tradition of holding applause to the end of a work came to be standard practice.

Source: Betsy Schwarm (britannica.com)



Το Κοντσέρτο σε Μι ελάσσονα, έργο 64, του Φέλιξ Μέντελσον, ερμηνεύει ο 28χρονος Ταϊβανο-αυστραλός δεξιοτέχνης βιολονίστας Ρέι Τσεν. Τη Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα του Γκέτεμποργκ διευθύνει ένας από τους μεγαλύτερους μαέστρους των ημερών μας, ο Αμερικανός Κεντ Ναγκάνο. Η συναυλία δόθηκε στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής του Γκέτεμποργκ στις 28 Φεβρουαρίου 2015.

O Μέντελσον συνέλαβε την ιδέα να γράψει ένα κοντσέρτο για βιολί το 1838 και την υλοποίησε στις 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 1844, όταν ολοκλήρωσε το έργο. Όλο αυτό το διάστημα βρισκόταν σε επαφή με τον φίλο του βιολονίστα Φέρντιναντ Ντάβιντ (1810-1873), ο οποίος με τις συμβουλές του τον καθοδήγησε στη σύνθεση των σολιστικών μερών του βιολιού.

Φυσικό ήταν ο Ντάβιντ να είναι ο σολίστ του Κοντσέρτου στην πρώτη του παρουσίαση στις 13 Μαρτίου 1845, στην αίθουσα Γκεβαντχάους της Λειψίας. Ο Μέντελσον, που θα διηύθυνε την ορχήστρα, απουσίαζε λόγω ενός προβλήματος υγείας. Έδωσε, όμως, το «παρών» στη δεύτερη παρουσίαση του έργου, στις 23 Οκτωβρίου 1845, όταν ανέβηκε στο πόντιουμ με τον Ντάβιντ και πάλι ως σολίστ.

Το Κοντσέρτο σε Μι ελάσσονα, έργο 64 του Φέλιξ Μέντελσον, είναι γραμμένο για σόλο βιολί και ορχήστρα που περιλαμβάνει 2 φλάουτα, 2 όμποε, 2 κλαρινέτα, 2 φαγκότα, 2 κόρνα, 2 τρομπέτες, τύμπανα και έγχορδα.

Πηγή: sansimera.gr



Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847)

♪ Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 (1844)

i. Allegro molto appassionato
ii. Andante
iii. Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace

Ray Chen, violin

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Kent Nagano

Gothenburg Concert Hall, February 28, 2015

(HD 720p)




Encore:

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840)

♪ Caprice for solo violin, Op.1 No.21 in A major (1802-1817)

Ray Chen, violin

(HD 720p)


The Taiwanese Australian violinist, Ray Chen, was born on March 6, 1989 in Taiwan and raised in Australia. He began violin studies at the age of 4, and within 5 years he successfully completed all 10 levels set by the Suzuki Music Education in Queensland, Australia. Aged 8, he was invited to play solo with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra. In the year 2002, aged 13, he won first prize in the Australian Youth Concerto Competition, and in the following year was awarded the Australian Music Examinations Board's Sydney May Memorial Scholarship for being the youngest and most talented musician. Ray won third prize in the Junior Section of the 2004 International Yehudi Menuhin Competition and First prize in the 2005 Australia National Kendall Violin Competition. Ray Chen has given many public performances throughout Australia and has taken many master-classes with notable artists including Midori, Cho-Liang Lin, Maxim Vengerov, Antje Weithaas, and Rudolf Koelman. In the summer of 2006, he attended Encore School for Strings, studying under David Cerone. He was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 15, where he continues to work with Aaron Rosand on expanding his repertoire. He was the first prize winner at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 2008, and at the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Brussels, Belgium in 2009. He was the latter Competition's youngest participant.

The winning brought Ray Chen numerous concert engagements, a recording, and a three-year loan of the "Huggins" Stradivarius from the Nippon Music Foundation. As Grand Prize Winner, he was immediately launched on a concert tour, performing with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (DeFilharmonie) under Jaap van Zweden and Aldert Vermeulen, the National Orchestra of Belgium under Rumon Gamba, and the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under Emmanuel Krivine, as well as in recitals throughout Belgium. He is currently on the roster of CAMI Music, and in March 2010 signed an exclusive, multi-disc contract with Sony Classical.

Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. Although his repertoire takes in a broad range of works by J.S. Bach, Tartini, L.v. Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Paganini, Franck, Wieniawski, Béla Bartók, Prokofiev, Samuel Barber, and many others, he is still has been working with Rosand to expand his already vast repertory. His recent performances, including debut recitals at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Merkin Hall in New York, have enraptured both the audiences and the critics. "Ray Chen can do pretty much anything he wants on the violin" (Anne Midgette, The Washington Post). "His whole performance was out of this world" (Elise Simoens, De Standaard).

Ray Chen's performance of J.S. Bach's Double Violin Concerto (BWV 1043) became the much-discussed highlight of the 2009 Aspen Music Festival. Maxim Vengerov, who met Chen while serving on the jury of the Menuhin Competition, immediately engaged him to perform with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in St Petersburg as well as at the opening concert of the next Menuhin Competition in April 2010 in Oslo. "I have had the pleasure of knowing Ray Chen since his triumph at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition", says Maxim Vengerov. "Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter."

Ray Chen's upcoming engagements include a performance with the Taipei Symphony at this year's World Expo in Shanghai, a North American orchestral debut with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as well as concerts with the Orchestre National de Lille, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. His festival engagements include Verbier, Ravinia, Schleswig-Holstein and Dresdner Festspiele. He will also return to Rostropovich Festival in Moscow in 2012 to participate in the celebration of Maestro's 85th anniversary. Ray is looking forward to his upcoming debuts with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Münchner Philharmoniker, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and National Orchestra of Spain, among others.

Ray Chen's premiere album "Virtuoso", released worldwide on Sony Classical in January 2011, received glowing reviews from a range of major publications including The Times and Chicago Tribune, which named it the "CD of the week". Following the success of this recording, Ray Chen was profiled by The Strad and Gramophone magazines as "the one to watch". His 2011 recital tour featuring Virtuoso repertoire will bring him to Tokyo, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zürich, and Dresden. He is currently working on his next CD with Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. This will be his first orchestral recording; the release is planned for January 2012. "The musicianship of Ray Chen is just as exciting as that of Gustavo Dudamel. He seems to have it all: instantly recognizable tone, charismatic personality and musical authority unusual for his age. He is at the beginning of a major career and it is a privilege to build it with him", says Bogdan Roscic, President of Sony Classical.

Ray Chen plays the "Huggins" Stradivarius, on loan from The Nippon Music Foundation, and the 1721 Stradivarius known as "The Macmillan", provided as part of the award for winning the 2008-2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. He has a little sister called Jennifer Chen who currently plays the flute and violin.

Source: bach-cantatas.com



















































More photos


See also

Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor – Ray Chen, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor – Vlad Stanculeasa, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Lahav Shani

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor – Alina Ibragimova, Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Philippe Herreweghe

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Johann Sebastian Bach: Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 – Andreas Weller, Lenneke Ruiten, Cécile van de Sant, Alberto ter Doest, Panajotis Iconomou – Cappella Amsterdam, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Jan Willem de Vriend (HD 1080p)














Although German composer Johann Sebastian Bach entitled his work Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), it is in fact closer to a cantata cycle than an oratorio. Composed and compiled for the Christmas season as celebrated in Leipzig in 1734 and early 1735, the six parts of the Christmas Oratorio were intended to be performed on the six major feast days over that 13-day period from December 25 through January 6: the "First Day of Christmas", the "Second Day of Christmas", the "Third Day of Christmas", the "Feast of the Circumcision", the "First Sunday of the New Year", and the "Feast of the Epiphany". Furthermore, each part of the work is designed to function as an independent musical unit; each part (except the second, which starts with a "Pastoral Symphony") begins and ends with choruses in the tonic key, and each part tells a separate part of the Christmas story.

However, Bach also clearly intended the music to be heard as a unified work: not only does the oratorio tell a single story based on Biblical texts, but it is musically organized around the key of D major. The musical content of the oratorio is, for the most part, drawn from three secular cantatas: Herkules auf dem Scheidewege, BWV 213; Tonet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!, BWV 214; and Preisse dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215. In addition, portions of the music were drawn from the lost St. Mark Passion, and the sixth part of the oratorio was later given an independent existence as a separate cantata (BWV 248a).

So skillful is Bach's adaptation that listeners at the time would have been unlikely to be disturbed by Bach's self-plagiarism (which was a common procedure for him anyhow). In the manner of Bach's Passions, the text of the Christmas Oratorio is drawn from the Gospel interspersed with meditations on the meaning of the Gospel texts. While scholars conjecture that these meditations were written by Bach's usual collaborator, Christian Friedrich Henrici (known as Picander), some also suspect that Bach might have written or rewritten many of them himself because Picander did not include the text of the oratorio among his collected works. A joyfully celebratory work, the Christmas Oratorio is one of the peaks in Bach's compositional oeuvre.

The story is related in recitative by an Evangelist, or narrator, thus placing the work within the long-established tradition of religious drama. However, unlike earlier oratorios and unlike Bach's own settings of the Passion story, there is virtually no dramatic dialogue. The only named characters are the Angel in Part Two and Herod in Part Six. Scored for the usual four-part vocal forces, the oratorio is given is own distinctive character through the varied orchestration featured in each section. Thus, Part One, largely a joyous celebration of Christ's birth, is adorned by brilliantly festive trumpets and timpani. The following cantata stands in complete contrast, its gentle pastoral mood reflected in scoring that includes pairs of oboes d'amore and their more rustic cousin, the oboe da caccia. Bach then gives symmetry to the first three cantatas by bringing the trumpets and timpani back for Part Three, which opens with an exultant chorus before proceeding to the arrival of the shepherds at the manger. Part Four introduces a pair of horns into the orchestra; their resplendent tones dominate an opening chorus celebrating the glory of God. Part Five, for the lesser feast of the Sunday after New Year, calls for smaller orchestral forces – just a pair of oboes supporting the usual strings and continuo, perhaps as a counterpart to the second cantata. Finally the full majesty of trumpets and drums returns in Part 6, the topic of which is God's power over evil, here personified by Herod and his dealings with the three Magi.

Source: James Leonard (allmusic.com)



Έργο χορωδιακό που παράλληλα προϋποθέτει τη συμμετοχή σολίστ και ορχήστρας, γράφτηκε για τον εκκλησιαστικό εορτασμό της χριστουγεννιάτικης περιόδου του 1734 και ενσωματώνει μουσική από προγενέστερες – κοσμικές κυρίως – συνθέσεις του Μπαχ.

Το «Ορατόριο των Χριστουγέννων» αποτελεί το πρώτο ενός τρίπτυχου που συνέθεσε ο Γιόχαν Σεμπάστιαν Μπαχ προς το τέλος της καριέρας του. Πρόκειται για ένα έργο ιδιότυπο, που συντίθεται από έξι αυτοτελείς Καντάτες, οι οποίες αφηγούνται επεισόδια από την ιστορία της Γέννησης και παρουσιάστηκαν στις εκκλησίες του Αγίου Νικολάου και του Αγίου Θωμά της Λειψίας, υπό τη διεύθυνση του συνθέτη, σε έξι διαφορετικές ημέρες, από τις 25 Δεκεμβρίου του 1734 έως τις 6 Ιανουαρίου του 1735. Στη σημερινή πρακτική το έργο συνηθίζεται να παρουσιάζεται ως ενιαίο, ωστόσο στην αυθεντική του μορφή κάθε μία από τις Καντάτες παρουσιάστηκε ανεξάρτητα σε μιαν εκτενή μουσική αφήγηση που κάλυψε με έξι συναυλίες όλο το διάστημα του λουθηρανικού εορτασμού της Γέννησης, από την πρώτη ημέρα των Χριστουγέννων μέχρι τα Επιφάνια.

Κάθε μία από τις έξι Καντάτες, δηλαδή, αντιστοιχεί σε μία γιορτινή ημέρα: η Πρώτη (των Χριστουγέννων) περιγράφει τη Γέννηση του Χριστού, η Δεύτερη (για την 26η Δεκεμβρίου) την αναγγελία στους βοσκούς, η Τρίτη (για την 27η Δεκεμβρίου) τη λατρεία των βοσκών, η Τέταρτη (για την Πρωτοχρονιά) την περιτομή και τη βάπτιση του Ιησού, η Πέμπτη (για την πρώτη Κυριακή μετά την Πρωτοχρονιά) το ταξίδι των Μάγων, και, τέλος, η Έκτη (για τα Θεοφάνια) περιγράφει τη λατρεία των Μάγων.

Μετά το θάνατο του Μπαχ, το έργο ξεχάστηκε. Μόνο μετά την εκ νέου ανακάλυψη των «Κατά Ματθαίον Παθών» (1829), το «Ορατόριο των Χριστουγέννων» παρουσιάστηκε και πάλι με πρώτη εκτέλεση αυτήν του Έντουαρντ Γκρελ με την Sing-Akademie του Βερολίνου το 1857. Σήμερα, πρόκειται για το δημοφιλέστερο, ίσως, έργο της χριστουγεννιάτικης περιόδου, έχοντας γνωρίσει αναρίθμητες εκτελέσεις και ηχογραφήσεις από διάσημους μαέστρους και σύνολα.

Πηγή: Τουλάτου Ισμα Μ. (tovima.gr)


Το «Ορατόριο των Χριστουγέννων» του Γιόχαν Σεμπάστιαν Μπαχ ερμηνεύουν οι σολίστες Andreas Weller (τενόρος, στο ρόλο του Ευαγγελιστή), Lenneke Ruiten (υψίφωνος), Cécile van de Sant (μεσόφωνος), Alberto ter Doest (τενόρος), και Panajotis Iconomou (μπάσος). Μία από τις καλύτερες χορωδίες δωματίου της Ολλανδίας, την Cappella Amsterdam και το πολύ γνωστό μπαρόκ σύνολο, με μουσικά όργανα του 19ου αιώνα, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam διευθύνει ο διεθνώς αναγνωρισμένος Ολλανδός βιολονίστας και αρχιμουσικός, καθώς και ιδρυτής του παραπάνω μουσικού συνόλου, Jan Willem de Vriend. Η συναυλία δόθηκε στην Grote Kerk (Μεγάλη Εκκλησία), η οποία χρονολογείται στον δέκατο πέμπτο αιώνα, στην ολλανδική πόλη Naarden, την 21η Δεκεμβρίου του 2012.















Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 (1734)

Andreas Weller, tenor (Evangelist)
Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
Cécile van de Sant, mezzo-soprano
Alberto ter Doest, tenor
Panajotis Iconomou, bass

Cappella Amsterdam
Combattimento Consort Amsterdam
Conductor: Jan Willem de Vriend

Grote Kerk Naarden, December 21, 2012

(HD 1080p)















I. Jauchzet, frohlocket! auf, preiset die Tage

For the First Day of Christmas / Για την Πρώτη Ημέρα των Χριστουγέννων

First performance: 25 December 1734, early in the morning at St. Nicholas Church, in the afternoon at St. Thomas Church.

Πρώτη παρουσίαση: 25 Δεκεμβρίου 1734, νωρίς το πρωί στον ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου, ενώ το απόγευμα στον ναό του Αγίου Θωμά.

Andreas Weller, tenor (Evangelist)
Cécile van de Sant, altο
Panajotis Iconomou, bass

Instrumentation: 3 trumpets, timpani, 2 transverse flutes, 2 oboes, 2 oboes d'amore, 2 violins, viola, continuo group.




II. Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend auf dem Felde

For the Second Day of Christmas / Για τη Δεύτερη Ημέρα των Χριστουγέννων

First performance: 26 December 1734, morning at St. Thomas Church, afternoon at St. Nicholas Church.

Πρώτη παρουσίαση: 26 Δεκεμβρίου 1734, το πρωί στον ναό του Αγίου Θωμά, ενώ το απόγευμα στον ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου.


Andreas Weller, tenor (Evangelist)
Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
Cécile van de Sant, mezzo-soprano
Alberto ter Doest, tenor
Panajotis Iconomou, bass

Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes d'amore, 2 oboes da caccia, 2 violins, viola, continuo group.




III. Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen

For the Third Day of Christmas / Για την Τρίτη Ημέρα των Χριστουγέννων

First performance: 27 December 1734, morning at St. Nicholas Church.

Πρώτη παρουσίαση: 27 Δεκεμβρίου 1734, πρωί στον ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου.


Andreas Weller, tenor (Evangelist)
Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
Cécile van de Sant, mezzo-soprano
Panajotis Iconomou, bass

Instrumentation: 3 trumpets, timpani, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 oboes d'amore, 2 violins, viola, continuo group.




IV. Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben

For New Year's Day – Feast of the Circumcision / Για την Πρωτοχρονιά – Εορτή της Περιτομής


First performance: 1 January 1735, morning at St Thomas Church, afternoon at St Nicholas Church.


Πρώτη παρουσίαση: 1 Ιανουαρίου 1735, πρωί στον ναό του Αγίου Θωμά, απόγευμα στον ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου.


Andreas Weller, tenor (Evangelist)

Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
Panajotis Iconomou, bass
Alberto ter Doest, tenor

Instrumentation: 2 horns, 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo group.




V. Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen

For the First Sunday in the New Year / Για την πρώτη Κυριακή του νέου έτους

First performance: 2 January 1735, morning at St. Nicholas Church.

Πρώτη παρουσίαση: 2 Ιανουαρίου 1735, πρωί στον ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου.


Andreas Weller, tenor (Evangelist)
Cécile van de Sant, mezzo-soprano
Panajotis Iconomou, bass
Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
Alberto ter Doest, tenor

Instrumentation: 2 horns, 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo group




VI. Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben

For the Feast of Epiphany / Για τον εορτασμό των Θεοφανίων

First performance: 6 January 1735, morning at St. Thomas Church, afternoon at St. Nicholas Church.

Πρώτη παρουσίαση: 6 Ιανουαρίου 1735, πρωί στον ναό του Αγίου Θωμά, απόγευμα στον ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου.


Andreas Weller, tenor (Evangelist)
Cécile van de Sant, mezzo-soprano
Panajotis Iconomou, bass
Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
Alberto ter Doest, tenor

Instrumentation: 2 horns, 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo group.



Cappella Amsterdam

Cappella Amsterdam was established by Jan Boeke in 1970 and has, since 1990, been under the artistic leadership of Daniel Reuss. In recent years the choir has occupied a prominent position in the field of Dutch music and has also enjoyed great success in Europe and beyond. Cappella Amsterdam has thus played a vital role in the European Tenso Network of choirs.

Cappella Amsterdam is renowned for it's homogenous, refined consonance and its extraordinary versatility. The choir excels in both modern repertoires as in music by the old masters and especially embraces the works of Dutch composers.

The choir has special attention for works by Dutch composers, from Sweelinck to Andriessen and Ton de Leeuw. Cappella Amsterdam adamant about bringing Dutch musical heritage towards audiences in The Netherlands and abroad.

Not only does Cappella enjoys success with her own productions but also through collaborations with other renowned choirs, ensembles and orchestras, such as the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Asko/Schönberg.

Harmonia mundi has released several CDs by Cappella Amsterdam, which have all been received with praise. "Lux Aeterna", for instance, which included works by Görgy Ligeti and Robert Heppener, was crowned with the "Diapason d'Or de l'année 2009". The productions of Sweelinck and Frank Martin's Golgotha (released by the same label in 2010) also welcomed rave revues.The latter was nominated for a Grammy for best choral performance. Other prizes include the Dutch award Edison Klassiek 2013 for choral works by Leoš Janáček, the Choc de l'Année 2014 for Stabat Mater by Francis Poulenc and the Preis der deutchen Schallplattenkritik for Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen? with choral works by Johannes Brahms.

Source: cappellaamsterdam.com

Cappella Amsterdam














Combattimento Consort Amsterdam

Founded in 1982 by violinist Jan Willem de Vriend, the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam (CCA) has developed into a close-knit ensemble specialising in music between 1600 and 1800. In view of the repertoire, concerts comprising small and medium-sized groups of instruments are given, but each year, the ensemble also programs oratorios and operas. The wish not to focus solely on the standard repertoire has resulted in many interesting programmes featuring remarkable and little-known works, some of which are only available in manuscript. The performance of these compositions in conjunction with more familiar works has proved to be refreshing and inspiring to listeners and performers alike.

The CCA generally performs on instruments built in the 19th century. This offers great advantages. For example, the ensemble often performs in large concert halls in relatively small instrumental groups. If the ensemble were to choose to work exclusively with original instruments, this would impose a variety of location and time limitations on the programming. After all, not only did tuning differ greatly in the various European cities, but also the instruments on hand and even the way these instruments were played. After considering all of these advantages and disadvantages as a whole, the Combattimento Consort has chosen to continue using 19th-century instruments – but under certain conditions.

Over the years the CCA has given many memorable concerts and operatic performances including George Frideric Handel's Rodelinda – a co-production with Studio's Onafhankelijk Toneel – Alcina, also by Handel, and Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, in collaboration with De Nationale Reisopera. In September 2002 the ensemble has made its debut at the Early Music Holland Festival in Utrecht, giving two performances of Rameau's opera Platée in a co-production with Onafhankelijk Toneel and the Nationale Reisopera.

Apart from numerous concerts in the Netherlands the CCA also appeared in various European countries as well as Japan, the USA and South America. In the Netherlands, the ensemble often gives performances in the larger concert halls but also in more intimate spaces and for private gatherings. In 2002 season the group performed in Germany, England and Italy. These successful tours have always been attracting attention in national and international media.

In addition to solo performances by members of the ensemble, the CCA has also worked with great performers such as Barbara Bonney, Andreas Scholl and Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Hieke Meppelink, Thomas Zehetmair, Ronald Brautigam and Sabine Meyer, as well as joining forces with Collegium Vocale Gent and other groups. In addition to renowned soloists, the CCA place great importance on working with young, talented singers.

The CCA has made numerous CD recordings, the last two of which appeared on the early music label Bona Nova. Several recordings have won the highest praise of the Dutch music magazine Luister. Their CD recordings include the operas La Resurrezione by G. F. Handel and Der Stein der Weisen. The last one had its premiere in the Wielki Theatre in Lodz (Poland, 2003), and after that it toured in The Netherlands and Flanders. In 2004 the CCA toured through Central Europe and The Netherlands with Handel's opera Agrippina, the largest cultural project within the Netherlands Presidency of the European Union. In addition the CCA can be heard regularly as part of radio and television broadcasts.

The Combattimento Consort Amsterdam is sponsored by Bouwfonds. It has its own foundation of friends, which enables the ensemble to continue funding special productions.

But above all, the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam is a closely-knit group of musicians (consort), who dare to take on the battle (combattimento) of voice against voice. A Baroque ensemble that takes advantage of oppositions, thereby collectively creating something beautiful, in which contrasts lead to an intensely pleasurable experience. An ensemble that bridges the gap between players and audience with its fresh musical individuality.

Source: bach-cantatas.com

Combattimento Consort Amsterdam














Jan Willem de Vriend

The Dutch conductor and violinist, Jan Willem de Vriend (b. 1963), studied the violin with Davina van Wely at the conservatories of Amsterdam and The Hague. During this time there, he already conducted several opera productions, such as Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss and Silbersee by Kurt Weill.

After finishing his studies Jan Willem de Vriend performed all over the world in various chamber music combinations. In 1982 he established the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, an ensemble that focuses on the performance of 17th and 18th-century music. As a violinist and artistic director he has directed many remarkable concerts and opera productions in the Netherlands, and also in a number of countries across Europe, in North and South America and in Japan. With the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, he features on numerous CDs and in many recordings for radio and television, a number of which were highly acclaimed in Dutch reviews. De Vriend was guest concertmaster with Camerata Bern and Ensemble Oriol Berlin, among others.

In addition to his activities as artistic leader of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Jan Willem de Vriend is much in demand as a conductor, having been invited by numerous ensembles and orchestras in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. He regularly acts as the guest conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Brabant Orchestra, Het Gelders Orkest, Noord Nederlands Orchestra and the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. He has made recordings for radio, television and CD's with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Brabant Orchestra. Abroad, he has conducted the RIAS Jugend Orchester and the Deutsche Kammer Philharmonie, among others.

Opera has always played an important part in Jan Willem de Vriend's activities. De Vriend's arrangements of some operas by Monteverdi have been performed under his direction in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA. He directed various co-productions (George Frideric Handel's Rodelinda and Alcina, Monteverdi's L'incoronnazione di Poppea and L'Orfeo, Purcell's King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas) with the Onafhankelijk Toneel theatre company, Huis aan de Amstel and the Nationale Reisopera. Moreover, he conducted W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with Opéra du Rhin in Strassbourg, Monteverdi's L’Orfeo at the Luzern Opera and the opera Der Stein der Weisen as directed by Eva Buchmann, and he made an extensive tour of the Netherlands with Die Fledermaus (Strauss).

During the 2003-2004 season, Jan Willem de Vriend was invited by the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven Academy, Nederlands Kamerorkest, Het Gelders Orkest, Brabant Orchestra, Noord Nederlands Orchestra, Limburg Symphony Orchestra, and he conducted Jan van Vlijmen's version of Die Kunst der Fuge played by members of the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, recorded on CD. For the 2004-2005 season, he has accepted invitations to conduct the Swedish ensemble Musica Vitae, Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Noord Nederlands Orchestra and Brabant Orchestra. Since 2006 he is Chief Conductor of Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.

Jan Willem de Vriend has given master-classes in the USA and Europe and is associated with several violin competitions as a member of the jury.

Source: bach-cantatas.com

Jan Willem de Vriend













Andreas Weller













Lenneke Ruiten













Cécile van de Sant













Alberto ter Doest













Panajotis Iconomou


























More photos


See also

Johan Sebastian Bach: Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 – Tölzer Knabenchor, Concentus Musicus Wien, Peter Schreier, Robert Holl, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (HD 1080p)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Το ταξίδι της δυτικής αρμονίας














Το ταξίδι της δυτικής αρμονίας. Μια αλληγορία.

Του Σωτήρη Νικόλα Κάσσου

Πώς θα μπορούσαμε να περιγράψουμε τη δημιουργία της δυτικής τρίφωνης συγχορδίας, η οποία αποτελεί ένα εργαλείο της αρμονίας, αλλιώς και όχι ως μια πράξη ύβρεως, σαν αυτές που διέπρατταν οι αρχαίοι θεοί και άνθρωποι.

Φανταστείτε δύο κόσμους, τον γήινο και τον ουράνιο. Από τα έγκατα της Γης ξεκινά ένας βόμβος, ο οποίος, καθώς πλησιάζει την επιφάνεια, γίνεται ολοένα και μια πιο καθαρή ταλάντωση. Αυτή, όταν θα φτάσει να γευτεί τον αέρα της Γης, θα έχει γίνει μέσα από καθάρσεις ο μουσικός φθόγγος της "Ρε". Ας πούμε πως αυτός είναι και ο βάσιμος φθόγγος της Γης.

Η ταλάντωση όμως θα συνεχίσει να ανέρχεται και θα ξεφύγει από το γήινο επίπεδο, γιατί ο προορισμός της είναι να γίνει μουσική και αυτό γίνεται μόνο στον ουρανό. Έτσι, θα κινηθεί προς τα άστρα. Για να φτάσει εκεί, θα πρέπει να αφήσει μερικά βαρύτερα κομμάτια της και θα μείνει στην αρχή μισή. Θα είναι μια ελαφρύτερη "Ρε", αλλά μόλις φτάσει στον ουράνιο κόσμο θα έχει μείνει το ένα πέμπτο της και πλέον θα ονομάζεται "Λα". Αυτός θα είναι ο πρώτος ουράνιος φθόγγος. Όμως εκεί ψηλά, οι φθόγγοι αποκτούν την ελευθερία τους και αρχίζουν να κινούνται γρήγορα προς όλες τις κατευθύνσεις. Μέσα σε αυτήν την απεραντοσύνη, η "Λα" αρχίζει και σκεδάζεται και σπάει σε πολύ μικρότερες νότες. Από αυτές η πιο σημαντική είναι η "Φα". Εάν η "Φα" γεννηθεί σε ένα σκοτεινό μέρος, μένει για πάντα "Φα". Εάν όμως γεννηθεί πλάι σε έναν ήλιο, τότε ο ήλιος θα τη ζεσταίνει και θα της δώσει μια παραπάνω ενέργεια και θα την κάνει"Φα δίεση". Αυτή η νότα θα λάμπει περισσότερο από την αδερφή της.

Ας φανταστούμε τώρα έναν από τους παλαιούς Τιτάνες, ο οποίος αποφασίζει, σαν τον Προμηθέα, να δώσει το δώρο της αρμονίας στην ανθρωπότητα. Με το χέρι του θα συλλέξει όλα τα κομμάτια που έχουν σκορπίσει στο σύμπαν και θα τα αιχμαλωτίσει στη Γη.

Εάν θελήσει να μας δώσει μια σκοτεινή φύση του σύμπαντος, όπως αυτή υπάρχει και μέσα μας, θα διαλέξει να φέρει στον κόσμο μας τις "Λα" και "Φα", και έτσι θα δημιουργήσει την ελάσσονα συγχορδία της Ρε (Ρε, Φα, Λα).

Εάν διαλέξει να φέρει το φωτεινό κομμάτι, θα το κάνει σχηματίζοντας τη μείζονα συγχορδία της Ρε (Ρε, Φα δίεση, Λα).

Εμείς γινόμαστε αυτοί οι Τιτάνες, όταν είτε απλώς συνθέτουμε μουσική είτε συνθέτουμε την πραγματικότητά μας. Ας φέρουμε λίγο από το φως ενός ήλιου στον κόσμο μας.

Θερμές ευχές για καλές εορτές και για ένα ευτυχισμένο νέο έτος.

Σωτήρης Νικόλας Κάσσος
Συνθέτης / Ρ. Ψ.
Καλλιτεχνικός διευθυντής των Συνόλων ΙΕΡΑΞ

Σωτήρης Νικόλας Κάσσος: Official Site


Σωτήρης Νικόλας Κάσσος



















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