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Leipzig Metamorphosis

Elicia Silverstein violin
Accademia dell’Annunciata
Riccardo Doni harpsichord, chamber organ & conductor

Program

J.S. Bach: Violin Concerto in D minor BWV 1052R

(Vln, Strings, continuo) Allegro – Adagio – Allegro

J.S. Bach: Chorale, “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen,” BWV 244-3

(SATB)

F. Mendelssohn: Fugue in F Major “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen,” MWV R 12

(String Quartet)

F. Mendelssohn: Fugue in G minor for String Quartet “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,” MWV R 11

(String Quartet)

J.S. Bach: Chorale “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,” BWV 436

(SATB)

F. Mendelssohn: Concerto in D minor for Violin & Strings, MWV O 3

(Vln, strings) Allegro – Andante – Allegro

"Highly emotionally intelligent... pure art"

Gramophone

"Delicious... wonderfully inventive"

The Strad

"Silverstein set the bar high"

The Strad

"A revelation"

The Telegraph

Acquarello fatto da Mendelssohn del Thomaskirche a Lipsia

Bach’s D minor keyboard concerto, BWV 1052 (presented here in a hypothetical reconstruction for violin, strings and continuo), was written in the composer’s first years in Leipzig, likely originally for organ and made famous in its version for harpsichord. Its revival in the nineteenth century was a Mendelssohn family affair. The piece was first performed in Berlin by Mendelssohn’s great aunt, the harpsichordist Sara Levy, a student of W.F. Bach and major patron of C.P.E. Bach. In 1824, the concerto was performed again in Berlin – this time by Fanny Mendelssohn, and in 1835, Felix Mendelssohn’s very first year as director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, he himself performed the piece. Eleven years earlier, at age twelve, as he first experimented with writing for string quartet, Mendelssohn elaborated two chorale themes previously set by Bach in his Twelve Fugues for String Quartet. This program, Leipzig Metamorphosis, alternates between Bach’s settings of these chorales and Mendelssohn’s fugues until this tug of war leads both performers and listeners with Mendelssohn from the past to a future that feels, already in such a young composer, more richly experienced and masterful than merely “informed”, in Mendelssohn’s Concerto for violin and strings MWV O3 in D minor of 1822. It was not just at an academic level that Mendelssohn had inherited and absorbed the language of the great seventeenth Thomaskantor of Leipzig. With a unique naturalness, depth and rigor, Mendelssohn had already begun to “remember the future” (as Luciano Berio much later put it). Mendelssohn’s absolutely modern, distinctly personal, new romantic language in itself was a sort of Leipzig metamorphosis with very deep roots in the music of Bach and his world. This Leipzig metamorphosis is a human journey of memory, invention, interconnectedness and some of the greatest music ever written.

Elicia Silverstein, Cesena (Italy), January 2022

Accademia dell’ Annunciata

The baroque orchestra Accademia dell’Annunciata was born in September 2009 in the former convent Annunciata, in Abbiategrasso (MI), an elegant renaissance building decorated with Leonardesque frescos, auspicious symbol of beauty and harmony. Two years later, M° Riccardo Doni took over the direction of this group of young and talented musicians, assisted by colleagues with consolidated experience, to give life to a wide-ranging artistic project. The ensemble aims to live a constantly evolving professional and aesthetic experience. Therefore, through many and varied experiences, the Accademia has developed its own distinctive identity – probably unique in Italy – by combining the specialization in the Baroque field, through the use of original instruments, with a solid preparation in the pre-classical and classical fields. So, The Accaedmia’s repertoire embraces a wide time span, from the age of Bach, Häendel and Vivaldi to Mozart’s classicism; particular attention is dedicated to composers who are rarely included in concert programs. The orchestra has collaborated with soloists such as Enrico Onofri, Evangelina Mascardi and Filippo Mineccia and works assiduously with Maestro Giuliano Carmignola, with whom it has performed a World Premiere Recording of the Concertos for violin and orchestra op. 15 by Felice Giardini. With the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, the Accademia created the “itinerant exhibition” of Händel’s Alcina, while it has recently established a fruitful collaborative relationship with Maestro Mario Brunello. The Accademia dell’Annunciata can be proud of its recording activity, which has captured the interest and applause of critics. Among the releases which have received awards in Italy and abroad we mention La Milano dei Borromeo (Classic Voice): Sonar in Ottava with Giuliano Carmignola and Mario Brunello (Arcana, 2020) named on BBC Music Magazine Awards and proclaimed CD of the month on “Classica” and “Amadeus” magazines; Concerti e Sonate per violoncello piccolo with Mario Brunello (Arcana, 2020) recorded on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Tartini and awarded with the Diapason d’Or by the French magazine Diapason; Bach Transcription: Six Concertos for Cello Piccolo with Mario Brunello (Arcana, 2023); Concerts for strings: Francesco Durante (Arcana, 2023) enthusiastically reviewed in The Strad magazine by Robin Stowell, it collected a nomination for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and five diapason in the homonym French magazine. The Accademia dell’Annunciata is generously supported by the Morosini Fund for Music and Culture and by Dr. Giuseppe Zilioli and it is a regular guest at prestigious festivals both in Italy and abroad. In addition, every year since its foundation, the orchestra has organized a musical season at Abbiategrasso, creating an evocative combination of harmony, sound, and place.

Riccardo Doni

Born in Milan in 1965, Riccardo Doni graduated in organ and composition at the “Arrigo Boito” Conservatory in Parma under the guidance of Lorenzo Ghielmi. He later perfected himself in organ and harpsichord at the Schola Cantorum in Basel with Maestro Jean-Claude Zehnder. In Switzerland, a few years later, he will record two discs dedicated to the organ works of Johann Ludwig Krebs at the Silbermann organ of the Arlesheim cathedral. From 1984 to 2009 he assumed the artistic direction of the association Musica Laudantes which had a vocal group with which he performed over 300 concerts, deepening the choral repertoire a cappella and with instruments, in particular from the baroque and classical periods. With this ensemble he records music by Antonio Vivaldi, pieces by Giuseppe Sarti and compositions by Isabella Leonarda from Novara. The experience in the field of choral music is enriched with the Nuova Polifonica Ambrosiana, which he directed from 1990 to 1996, and with the Madrigalisti Ambrosiani, with whom he performed from 1996 to 1998 in Italy and abroad. In 2002 he became harpsichord player of the ensemble Imaginarium, founded by violinist Enrico Onofri, and since 2008 he has been playing in duo with violinist Giuliano Carmignola.

As a harpsichord player and organist – both soloist and accompanist – Riccardo Doni currently has over 3000 concerts to his credit, many of them with instrumental formations of absolute importance. For almost thirty years he has collaborated with the prestigious ensemble the Giardino Armonico directed by Giovanni Antonini, with whom he has performed all over the world, in the most important halls and with internationally renowned artists including Avi Avital, Isabelle Faust, Cecilia Bartoli, Christophe Coin, Ottavio Dantone, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Gustav Leonhardt, Eva Mei, Viktoria Mullova, Anna Prohaska and others. Also with the Giardino Armonico he took on the role of master preparer of numerous vocal productions including The martyrdom of S. Lawrence by Conti (1999, Mozarteum of Salzburg), The pilgrims at the Holy Shrines by Hasse (2000, Vienna), The Resurrection (2003, Graz) and Orlando (2020, Vienna) by Handel, Representation of soul and body by De’ Cavalieri (2021, Vienna). He was also a master collaborator in the staging of operas such as Ercole lover by Francesco Cavalli (Alighieri Theatre in Ravenna), Orfeo by Monteverdi (2000, Styriarte di Graz; 2005, Grand Théâtre de Genève), Agrippina by Händel (2002, Graz Theatre).

In addition to the Giardino Armonico, he has collaborated with the chamber orchestra I Solisti di Pavia (conducted by Enrico Dindo), the Cameristi della Scala, the orchestra of I Pomeriggi Musicali.

Since 2011 he has directed the Accademia dell’Annunciata, an orchestra specialized in baroque and classical repertoire performed on original instruments, constantly collaborating with famous soloists: in addition to Mario Brunello and Giuliano Carmignola, with whom he has an intense recording and concert activity in Italy and Europe, we also remember Gabriele Cassone, Evangelina Mascardi, Andrea Mastroni and Filippo Mineccia. With the Academy, since 2018, he has worked for the Arcana record company and, in parallel with his concert activities, has taught at the conservatories of Castelfranco Veneto, Ferrara and Frosinone. He is currently teacher of basso continuo at the Conservatory of Parma.

Other projects

Harmonia Artificiosa

BIBER - BERIO - PANNI

Elicia Silverstein & Marco Bianchi, violins
Francesco Cera, harpsichord & chamber organ

Created by Elicia Silverstein for the Ravenna Festival 2023, Heinrich  Ignaz Franz von Biber’s remarkable Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa for two violins in various scordatura tunings and basso continuo, six of Luciano Berio’s 32 Duetti for two violins, and seven new duets for two violins by Berio’s longtime friend and collaborator Marcello Panni, written on commission from Ravenna Festival for this project, make up this program’s fascinating mosaic of sounds past, present and future explored by Silverstein and her most extraordinary travel companions, violinist Marco Bianchi and harpsichordist/organist Francesco Cera.

E se sei solo?

BACH SONATAS & PARTITAS

Elicia Silverstein, violin

Revered as the “holy grail” of the violin repertoire, the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, which Silverstein explores in this project, highlight her personal, nuanced, historically informed approach to music making. From both the concert stage and the classroom, Silverstein shares her participation in, what she describes as, the “wonderfully rich living history of the infinite source of inspiration, invention, beauty, humanity and Music,” that these works embody, in an ongoing masterclass-recital tour dedicated to curious, aspiring, music-loving “students” at all stages of the journey.

BIBER MYSTERY SONATAS

Elicia Silverstein, violin
Francesco Cera, harpsichord & portative organ
Silverstein and her esteemed musical collaborator, harpsichordist and organist Francesco Cera, explore the highly spiritual world of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas (also known as the “Rosary Sonatas”), some of the most fascinating music ever composed for the violin. Rich with symbolism, each sonata depicts one of the fifteen Mysteries of the Cross described in the Catholic liturgical tradition. With unusual scordatura tunings and symbolically charged harmonic and rhythmic devices, Biber brings each Mystery of the Cross vividly to life. The fourteen different scordatura tunings help establish the unique character of each sonata by varying the tension on the violin and thereby eliciting from the instrument a distinctive resonance, color, and affect matched to the Mystery depicted. In order to equip themselves to recreate for both themselves and modern listeners the scenery, action, and emotions of each Mystery, Silverstein and Cera have delved deeply into the liturgical texts associated with each.  Their aim is nothing less than the fully immersive meditative experience they believe Biber envisioned when he composed the sonatas in the seventeenth century.

THE REVOLUTIONARY WORLD OF J.B. VIOTTI

CHERUBINI - VIOTTI - MOZART
Elicia Silverstein, violino
Atalanta Fugiens
Vanni Moretto, conductor
Elicia Silverstein, conductor Vanni Moretto and his phenomenal period-instrument orchestra Atalanta Fugiens celebrate the 200th anniversary of the death of J.B. Viotti, a musical figure of immeasurable impact on the critical transition that took place in music history at the turn of the nineteenth century. Though undervalued today, Viotti had a profound influence, both as violinist and composer on the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, and his lifelong friend Cherubini, as well as François Xavier Tourte, with whom he developed the modern violin bow. This program seeks to create a sort of sound “photograph” of the musical world in the years that directly surrounded the French Revolution, with Viotti as the protagonist at the center of one of the most important transformations of the western European musical language in modern history.

The Dreams & Fables I Fashion

BIBER - SCIARRINO - MONTANARI - BERIO - BACH

Elicia Silverstein, violin

This highly personal program, which Silverstein recorded to critical acclaim for Rubicon Classics in 2018 and which won her the BBC Music Magazine’s “Best Newcomer” Award in 2020, takes its title from a 1733 sonnet by Pietro Metastasio, which poignantly expresses the emotionally-charged, sometimes inevitably solitary nature of creating art. Moving seamlessly between works that span from the 17th to the 20th centuries by Biber, Sciarrino, Montanari, Berio and Bach, Silverstein ‘traces the mental circuits that capture and link points distant from each other in place and time’ (Italo Calvino), and aims to highlight the universal nature of the inner human experience, connecting us in ways that transcend the boundaries of time and place.