Sunday, April 25, 2021, 3:30 pm
New York Classical Quartet
Margaret Ziemnicka and Vita Wallace, violins, Kate Goddard, viola; David Bakamjian, cello
Haydn: Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze
(The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross)
Haydn's Seven Last Words dates from 1786, when he was commissioned to write seven meditations for a Good Friday church service. Originally composed for Orchestra, he soon adapted them for piano, and also published a version for String Quartet, the form in which they are most often heard today. The work consists of an Introduction, then seven slow movements, as a reflection upon Christ's seven last sentences that he uttered on the Cross. To finish the work, he includes a dramatic final Allegro - representing the Earthquake described in Matthew's Gospel as happening at the moment of Christ's death.
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We offer this concert in memory of Judson Griffin, and those who have died in this year of the Covid Pandemic.
Listen to an excerpt from Judson playing at a concert on March 6th.
Sunday, May 9, 2021, 3:30 pm
& Michael Bahmann
Sonatas for violin and obligato harpsichord
by Mondonville, Guillemain, and J.S. Bach
Baroque Trio Sonatas are one of the highlights of the age - a conversation between two high instruments, written over a bass line. Two violins and cello are the most frequent combination, along with harpsichord or organ to fill out the texture - three composed lines of music, and the keyboard player improvises their harmonic support, so normally - it takes four people to play the Trio!
Bach wrote six Trio sonatas for his eldest Son Wilhelm Friedemann, where the two hands of the organist each take a melody line, and the organ pedals taking the cello line. The other trio texture he employed was to fully write out the harpsichord part, where the right hand of the keyboard player has the dialogue with the instrumentalist. He described the texture as harpsichord obligato - meaning one is obliged to play what is written, and not improvise! The six Sonatas for violin and obligato harpsichord are among his most inward and expressive works. The French also used this texture - Mondonville who is known for his church music written for the Royal Chapel, composed several such Sonatas. Guillemain was active as a chamber musician to the King, and was described as ' a man full of fire, genius and life."
Sunday, May 23, 2021, 3:30 pm
Providence Baroque Orchestra
Kathryn Roth, traverso
Frederick Jodry & Michael Bahmann,
Bach: Trio Sonata from “Musical Offering”
Bach: Concerto in C for 2 harpsichords
Muffat: Sonata 5 in G Major
Bach's Musical Offering was written as a gift to King Frederick the Great of Prussia. Bach went to Potsdam in 1747 to visit his son Carl Philipp Emmanuel, who served as harpsichordist to the King. Frederick gave J. S. Bach a musical subject, and requested him to improvise. Bach did so to the admiration of all present, and in later weeks composed a Trio Sonata, two keyboard fugues, and some canons on the same subject, engraved them on copper and published them - hence the "offering" to the King.
Bach was fond of arranging and re-writing his music, and of his 15 keyboard concertos that survive, many are known to be arrangements of concertos originally written for other instruments. Concertos by Bach are re-written, as well as works by Vivaldi and others. The C major double harpsichord concerto seems the opposite, first written by Bach for keyboard duet, and with string parts added to the outer movements at a later date.
Georg Muffat trained in Paris in the 1680's and published several suites of Orchestral music in 1695 and 1698 under the title of Florilegium 1 & 2. These collections are particularly valuable as they contain introductory material about style and interpretation. Muffat was active in Salzburg and Vienna, and his music is seen as a synthesis as French and German instrumental styles. The Passacaille that ends the G major Sonata is one of the masterpieces of Muffat's work.