The Early Music Studio presents
Italia: Music of Fantasy and Vitality
With Clive Titmuss, lute, archlute, early guitar, and Susan Adams, Italian harpsichord, early piano
Sunday, November 18, at 2:30 pm
Kelowna Forum, 1317 Ethel (at Cawston), in Kelowna
Available at Kelowna Tickets (2600 Enterprise), Annegret’s Chocolates and brownpapertickets.com.
The Italian spirit is fundamental to the history of music. They invented the violin, the piano, and they developed the whole idea of music as a performance art over centuries, beginning in the 1500s. Even the words “music” and “concert” are Italian.
Early Music Studio is celebrating this pioneering and adventurous flowering in music with a concert devoted entirely to music by Italian composers from around 1500 to the early 1800s.
From one of the earliest decorated illuminated manuscripts from Venice comes music for the lute by Brescian nobleman Vincenzo Capirola. His works are among the first pieces of music to be written down in precise form, and his book was preserved because of its beautiful watercolour illustrations. It also includes the music history’s first clear instructions on how to play a musical instrument.
The concert continues with music written by Alessandro Piccinini for the archlute and published in Venice in 1629. A larger instrument with long bass strings, the archlute was built recently after historic models by luthier Clive Titmuss. Piccinini developed a complex personal style based court dances and improvised pieces that he played in private concerts in the breath-taking interiors of Venetian palazzi.
Some of the greatest music and most influential keyboard music from the early seventeenth century comes from the pen of Girolamo Frescobaldi. He was from Ferrara, and became the organist of St. Peters Basilica. Famous for his improvisations, thousands of people would gather to hear him play, and much of what he improvised found its way into his work.
Harpsichordist Susan Adams plays his pieces on a precise copy of an Italian harpsichord originally built in 1694, now at the Smithsonian Institution. Playing his toccatas and variations, she creates a portrait of a composer as he explores the limits of sophistication in counterpoint and the elaborate technique of variation unique to his style.
In the second half of the concert, Susan and Clive present an entirely different kind of music from the beginning of the 1800s, playing a replica of Mozarts piano and a guitar designed by Luigi Legnani and made by Hermann Hauser, Munich, 1922.
Clive plays music by Ferdinando Carulli, a prolific Neapolitan composer and teacher who migrated to Paris. In addition to music for the unusual combination of piano and guitar, Clive plays a large-scale solo Sonata, which showcases Carullis gift for melody.
On a remarkable copy of a Viennese piano from the late 18th Century, Susan plays the music of Muzio Clementi, who once met Mozart in a competition. It was decided that Mozart was the better improviser. Clementi was unquestionably the better player and during his life he was called the father of the piano for his astonishing technical prowess. He was an innovator, who explored dramatic ideas never previously heard on a keyboard instrument.
Eventually he moved to London, and began a long career of performing, publishing his music, and manufacturing fine pianos. For many years the music of Clementi was overshadowed by his German and English rivals, but more recently he has returned to the international esteem which he enjoyed during his lifetime.
The concert shows that our idea of music as a performing art has its roots in early Italian composers who innovated relentlessly over successive centuries, creating an entire repertoire of masterpieces. Their influence on composers in Northern Europe was incalculable, and almost every aspiring musicians training was based on Italian models.
It will be a full and fascinating program of highly unusual music, played with gusto by seasoned professionals who make their home in Kelowna, and who have carved out a reputation for unique early music played on period instruments public in the Okanagan.
Ballo Granduca (Aria di Fiorenza, after 1589) by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
La Villanella, Canto Bello (before 1512) by Vincenzo Capirola
Canzon sopra Il est bel et bon (Passerau, about 1543) by Girolamo Cavazzoni
Ricercar “La Compagna” (about 1536) by Francesco da Milano
Canzona Quarta (1627) by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Toccata, Corrente, Volta (1620) by Michelangolo Galilei
Galiarda Prima e Seconda (1627) by Frescobaldi
Toccata XX, Corrente VI, (Venice/Bologna 1623) by Alessandro Piccinini
Partite sopra Ruggiero (Rome, 1608) by Frescobaldi
Toccata XI, Corrente IX, Gagaliard III, by Piccinini
Toccata per dui (stromenti) by Piccinini
Sonata Op. 24, No. 2 (before 1789): Allegro con brio, Andante, Rondo Allegro assai, by Muzio Clementi
Sonata per Chitarra, Op. 21 No. 1 (Paris, around 1810): Moderato, Largo, Rondo, by Fernando Carulli
Duo pour Piano et Guitare (Paris, after 1800) Op. 150 by Carulli
About Friends of Early Music
The Society of Friends of the Early Music (EMS) is a registered non-profit organization operating in Kelowna, dedicated to the performance of, and education about music written before about 1850 played on period instruments. Executive Directors Susan Adams and Clive Titmuss produce historically-informed concerts, videos and recordings as they play on a variety of keyboards, guitars and lutes in their collection. A survey of their work in these media appears on the Portfolio page at www.earlymusicstudio.com/portfolio. The Society receives support from the City of Kelowna, The Province of BC, and private donors. Their most recent concerts at Kelowna Forum have been filled with sell-out crowds.
Curious about what one of our concerts are like? You can see more photos from previous concerts on our Facebook page.