Young performers fill CaixaForum with music at ”la Caixa” Foundation's XXVI Festival of Early Music
Barcelona, 25 April 2003
A new edition of ”la Caixa” Foundation’s Festival of Early Music is with us again, bringing a timetable of concerts and activities which will fill Barcelona with major figures in the sphere of performance based on historical research and played on period instruments, over the last days of April and the first three weeks of May. Outstanding within this 2003 edition is the creation of a new concert format headed by five young ensembles on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 May: over the course of the day these ensembles will be offering a taste of their musical talent in CaixaForum’s various open-air spaces, which they will be combining with concerts in the CaixaForum auditorium itself. The highlights of the programme for this XXVI edition of the festival include, on the one hand, figures such as Philip Pickett, Gustav Leonhardt, Quatuor Mosaïques and Hiro Kurosaki, and on the other offerings to be discovered such as those of the Renaissance cabaret by the Doulce Mémoire group, I Fagiolini group’s Venetian comedy and a special exhibition of Pakistani music provided by the ensemble led by Muhammad Faqir. Finally, the Fringe (26 and 27 April) and Café Zimmermann (9 May) will be returning with their new ideas for yet another year to the Gothic Quarter and the entrance hall of CaixaForum, respectively.
The XXVI Festival of Early Music will begin on Saturday 26 April with a new edition of the Fringe in various places of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The first concert in the CaixaForum auditorium will be on the next day, Sunday 27 April at 8 p.m., with the instrumental and vocal group Musicians of the Globe, conducted by Philip Pickett. This group revives the spirit of London’s Globe Theatre and of the works of William Shakespeare through songs and plays popular in that period. This group of musicians is joined in performance by the minstrel John Ballanger, an acrobat and actor known as John the Juggling Jester and as the director of the Fools Paradise Theatre Company, who revives the traditional techniques of theatrical performance.
The second concert, scheduled for Monday 28 April at 9 p.m., will be given by two great performers: Neal Peres da Costa, fortepiano and harpsichord performer, and the cellist Daniel Yeadon. They will be playing works by Boccherini, C. P. E. Bach, Beethoven, J. S. Bach and Brahms. Peres da Costa, who was a teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in London for ten years and is now at the Sydney Conservatory, will be giving master classes in harpsichord, fortepiano and piano from 28 April to 4 May at CaixaForum. The students taking the master classes will give a free recital on Sunday 4 May at 12 noon.
Gustav Leonhardt is returning to Barcelona to offer a harpsichord recital at the invitation of the XXVI Festival of Early Music on Saturday 3 May at 9 p.m. at CaixaForum with works by Strogers, Byrd, Randall, Gibbons and Farnaby. Leonhardt’s career has brought him a place among the greatest specialists in early music. He was lecturer in musicology and harpsichord at the Vienna Music Academy, Amsterdam Conservatory and the University of Harvard, as well as conductor of groups such as La Petite Bande, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Freiburger Barockorchester.
CLASSICAL STRINGS AND THE PAKISTANI SURANTHU
On Thursday 1 May at 8 p.m. the French string quartet Mosaïques can be heard playing works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Specialising in the classical repertoire ever since they came together at Concentus Musicus in Vienna, they have achieved firm international prestige. The other string concert scheduled within this XXVI Festival of Early Music will be by Les Quatre Violons, who will be performing at CaixaForum on Thursday 8 May at 9 p.m., with Hiro Kurosaki on first violin. They will be playing works by Telemann, Mozart and Rameau.
Another string ensemble is Muhammad Faqir & Ensemble, from Pakistan, the leading performers on the suranthu, the most characteristic instrument of sindhi music, which the virtuosos Muhammad Faqir has managed to revive as a solo instrument alongside Pakistan’s other traditional instruments. This concert will show how early music formed the common trunk of sound culture between the East and the West.
THE RENAISSANCE SOUND
The XXVI Festival of Early Music also includes three vocal and instrumental ensembles offering various performances from the Renaissance musical repertoire. Firstly there is the Renaissance cabaret of the French ensemble Doulce Mémoire, which will be performing on Wednesday 14 May at 9 p.m. at CaixaForum. Doulce Mémoire will be staging the theatrical and musical show La Dive Bouteille based on a work by the French poet François Rabelais. On Friday 16 May at 9 p.m. at CaixaForum we can hear the vocal group Viana Consort, with its six singers conducted by Àngel Recasens, who will be performing a medley of motets from the golden age of Spanish polyphony, by composers such as Antxieta, Morales, Lobo, Guerrero and Victoria. Finally, the British ensemble I Fagiolini, conducted by Robert Hollingworth, will be offering a Venetian play with works by the polyphonists of the Italian Renaissance such as Croce, Gabrieli, Monteverdi and Banchieri. I Fagiolini is considered to be one of the most innovative vocal ensembles of recent years, due to its sense of theatricality and of humour, not to mention its musical virtuosity. They will also be the protagonists of the Family Concert on Sunday 18 May at 12.30 p.m.
THE FRINGE, CAFÉ ZIMMERMANN AND YOUNG PERFORMERS
The Fringe will be returning to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter with performances from nine different instrumental and vocal groups which can be heard on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 April at 12 noon and 1 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Plaça Sant Felip Neri, in Palau Centelles, in the courtyard of the Palau Episcopal and in Plaça Manel Ribé. This year the performers will be the groups Calliope Ensemble, Les Délices and Quintus (Holland), La Cantoria, La Folata and Synthèse à deux (Catalonia), Trinitas (France) and the duos formed by Hazel Brooks and David Pollock (England) and David Munderloh and Julian Behr (Switzerland), chosen from among nearly fifty candidates.
This new edition of the Festival of Early Music will be staging for the third consecutive year Café Zimmermann, a homage to the Leipzig café which Bach made into the first music bar in history. Now, young performers will assemble in the entrance hall of CaixaForum, on Friday 9 May at 21.15 p.m., in a performance which will be broadcast live by Catalunya Música radio station. This year, performances are scheduled by the instrumental ensembles Amnis, L’Instramonium (La Follia XVIII) and La Bergamasca. These same groups, along with the groups Concanentes and La Trulla de Bozes, will gather again on the weekend of 10 and 11 May to fill the various areas of CaixaForum with short pieces and the auditorium with concerts.
Also on Saturday, 10 May at 8.15 p.m., CaixaForum will be the setting for presentation of the book Estudios sobre Fernando Sor (Studies on Fernando Sor) by the musicologist Luis Gásser, who will be talking to the music journalist Joan Vives about this work, while we will also be able to hear a number of pieces by Fernando Sor for four-hand pianoforte played by Josep Maria Roger and Rumiko Harada.
Festival of Early Music
from 26 April to 18 May
Av. Marquès de Comillas, 6-8
Café Zimmermann: 4
Concerts by young performers: 3 per session (morning or evening)
Family Concert: 3
Literary presentation: no charge
Students, pensioners and the unemployed: 20 % discount
Carnet Jove and carnet + 25: 50 % discount
Ticket sales at CaixaForum, Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. By ServiCaixa up to one hour before the concert and by Internet up to three hours before the concert.