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THE REVOLUTIONARY WORLD
OF J.B. VIOTTI

CHERUBINI – VIOTTI – MOZART

Elicia Silverstein, violino
Atalanta Fugiens
Vanni Moretto, conductor

Program

L. Cherubini: Ouverture to “Les Deux Journées” (1800)

(2 Fl., 2 Ob., 2 Cl., Fag., 2 Cor., 2. Trbn., Archi) 8’

G.B. Viotti: Violin Concerto n.22 in A minor (1793-97)

(Fl., 2 Ob., 2 Cl., 2 Fag., 2 Cor., 2 Tr., Tp., Archi) Moderato – Adagio – Agitato assai 28’

W.A. Mozart: Symphony n.41 in C Major, “Jupiter,” K. 551 (1788)

(Fl., 2 Ob., 2 Fag., 2 Cor., 2 Tr., Tp., Archi) Allegro vivace – Adante cantabile – Menuetto: Allegro – Molto allegro 30’

Hubert Robert – The Monuments of Paris, 1789

Atalanta Fugiens

The figure of Viotti is inextricably linked to the violin. Though he himself was a product of the great Italian violinistic tradition, which in his era already counted amongst its “giants,” the likes of Corelli, Vivaldi, Locatelli and Tartini, Viotti became known as the founder of the French (and later Franco-Belgian) violin school. In his compositions and his performances, he was able to unite the most virtuosic aspects of violin technique with a distinctive, specifically violinistic lyricism.

There are many contemporary accounts that highlight how the, “[enchanting] sweetness and perfections of his tone,” alongside a striking “degree of power and energy,” distinguished Viotti as a uniquely revered master of his art. Viotti earned the admiration and respect of the greatest musicians of his time, including Mozart who knew several of his compositions and even orchestrated one of his violin concerti (n.16 in E minor). Although his public performance career, cut short by the French revolution which caused him to flee France, lasted for fewer than ten years, his approach to sound production and expression and his original concept of musical form influenced an entire generation of violinist composers, such as Rode, Baillot, Kreutzer and Beriot, who codified his teachings in the Méthode de violon by Baillot, Rode and Kreutzer (1803) and in Baillot’s  L’art du violon (1834), thus forming the so-called modern French violin school.

It was also thanks to Viotti, in collaboration with François Xavier Tourte, that the modern bow, still in use today, was brought to life. He enormously pushed the boundaries of violin technique, offering new and highly effective solutions that not only paved the way for the great violinistic repertoire of the nineteenth century but also became in large degree the legacy inherited by and further developed by Paganini.

Vanni Moretto

Orchestral conductor, composer and violone/double bass player Vanni Moretto is the Editorial Director of the series “Archivio della Sinfonia Milanese,” published by Casa Ricordi and is artistic director of the discographic series published by Sony of the same name.
As a bass player, Vanni has given concerts in the most important halls on all continents (including Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Sydney Opera House, Berlin Philharmonie, Il Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Opéra de Paris, Colòn in Buenos Aires, Santa Cecilia in Rome, etc). He has recorded for prestigious record labels including Teldec, Decca and Amadeus.
Moretto has collaborated with Il Giardino Armonico, i Barocchisti, i Pomeriggi Musicali, Orchestra dell’Angelicum, Musica Rara, i Solisti Aquilani, Capella Teatina, Orchestra Litta, Musici di Santa Pelagia, Archi del Cherubino and the Orquestra Barroca de Sevilla. For the past fifteen years, he has been a regular guest of the Milano Classica orchestra, with whom he recorded three albums (for Dynamic for the magazine Le Stelle). In 2004, he founded L’Orchestra Classica Atalanta Fugiens, with whom he is realizing the project, “Archivio della Sinfonia Milanese,” with the aim of recording and publishing Milanese symphonic repertoire of the eighteenth century. The recordings are published by Sony and, thus far, seven volumes have been released. The scores, edited in collaboration with a research committee of the Università Statale di Milano, are published by Casa Ricordi. Moretto’s compositions, published by Ricordi, Sonzogno and Bèrben, have won numerous national and international competitions, including V. Bucchi, “Petrassi”, “Rocco Rodio”, and “Fiumara d’Arte,” and they have been performed by ensembles including l’Orchestra della RAI di Milano, L’Orchestra Sinfonica della Fenice di Venezia, l’Orchestra dell’Accademia Chigiana l’Ensemble Sonar Parlante di Vittorio Ghielmi, l’Orchestra Musica Rara e l’Orchestra Milano Classica. Specialized in composition for children, he is a consecutive two-time (1994, 1995) first-prize winner of the Composition Competition entitled, “Il bambino e il suo strumento,” run by Grugliasco. He also won second prize in the Composition Competition for children in Sàrmede (1994) and in the competition “J. Brahms” of the same year. He has recently devoted himself to the study of issues around historical tunings and temperaments and the historical performance practices of eighteenth-century Italian. He holds lessons and conferences at various academic institutions, including the Università di Milano and at the Collegio Ghislieri in Pavia.

Atalanta Fugiens

Atalanta Fugiens was born in 1995 out of the meeting of a group of musicians who shared a passion and enthusiasm for the performance of baroque, classical and romantic repertoire on period instruments, informed by deep philological study of the score, musical treatises and general history. The name of the ensemble, Atalanta Fugiens, is inspired by the myth of Atalanta, as described in the text of Michael Maier, and underlines the ineffable and mysterious spirit of art and music. Amongst the goals of the Association is the rediscovery, the revaluation, the revision, the performance, the recording and the distribution to the greater public of Milanese and Lombardic symphonic repertoire, the historical and biographical study of the pioneers of musical classicism and the definition of a performance practice that is pertinent to this repertoire. The repertoire of Atalanta Fugiens spans from the first half of the eighteenth century through the end of the nineteenth and includes unpublished, newly discovered works and transcriptions made by renowned composers, without excluding the repertoire of celebrated composers that were known to have had contact with the Lombardic classical style, such as Leopold and W.A. Mozart, Michael Haydn, Johann Christian Bach, and even Frank Zappa. The musicians of Atalanta Fugiens are regular guests of the most important European concert series, halls and festivals, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Cologne Philarmonie, the Munich Philharmonie, the Hamburg Musikhalle, the Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Brussels and Feldkirch Opera house, as well as the the Auditorium di Roma, and Lingotto di Torino. Atalanta Fugiens has also collaborated with Musica e Poesia a San Maurizio, MITO (Milan-Turin International Music Festival, “Settembre Musica”), Dias da Musica in Lisbon (Portugal), the Bremen Festival in Germany, Festival de Lucerne in Switzerland, the, Osterfestival Tirol in Austria, Grandezze e Meraviglie in Modena, Festival Esta in Cremona, Muiscantiqua in Martinengo, Musica a Villa Palestro in Milan, Settimane Musicali in Stresa, and I Concerti delle Camelie in Locarno. They recently performed at the Basilica di San Simpliciano di Milano, in the Sinagoga degli Argenti in Casale Monferrato, and in the Duomo in Alessandria. For the past five years, Atalanta Fugiens has maintained a fruitful collaboration with Sony/Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, for the realization of a series of albums focused on Milanese composers who were instrumental in the creation and diffusion of the classical style. Seven volumes have been released to date. Parallel to these discographic releases, Atalanta Fugiens has collaborated with Casa Ricordi and the Università Statale di Milano, over the past two years, in the publication of a critical edition of a set of scores of the same works, with four volumes published to date. The association dedicates particular attention to the transfer of knowledge about historical performance practice and musicological research to future generations of musicians and specialists in the field through courses and conferences.

Other projects

Leipzig Metamorphosis

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

In this program, Elicia Silverstein, Riccardo Doni and his Accademia dell’Annunciata offer the listener a window into a dialogue between the musical world of J.S. Bach and that of his Leipzig compatriot, the young Felix Mendelssohn, who, through his knowledge of the music of Bach is able to “remember the future,” as Luciano Berio later put it, forging a new musical language, informed, colored and perfumed by the past.

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 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.