Opera with and without words
A trip into the theatrical gestures of Viennese classicism
Cristina Esclapez, fortepiano
Lorenzo Coppola, clarinet and clarinet d'amore
Encanto House Band
"How often taste changes in music! How corrupt is it not, right now! Everything must be foolish and comic."
C.P.E. Bach, Letter to Jacob Decker, 1774
We are looking forward to sharing with you, our audience, the happiness and communicativity of this incredible repertoire, the so called "Classical style", which in fact has nothing about "classical", but rather "revolutionary"!
Since Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Serva Padrona had been performed in Paris in 1752, the new modern "theatrical style", - strictly connected to speech, every day conversation and every day human situations, through the marriage of music and commedia dell'arte-, had conquered Europe, driving the audience to worrying excesses of enthusiasm! The kind of enthusiasm that we dream to provoke during the concert, with your help! We'll try, as much as we can, to share with you a lot of historical information about music, society, literature, anecdotes...
Commedia dell'arte, this sort of popular theater, performed originally rather on the market place by non-professional actors, had little by little gained popularity even among the cultivated classes, bourgeois and aristocrats, who wouldn't hesitate to mix up even with "low" class people at the, one among many, Kärntertortheater in Vienna, where Haydn used to provide music to the comedies of the great comic actor, Felix Kurz "Bernardon".
This is the spirit of the concert of today : living once more an atmosphere where music and theater cohabited with spontaneity, conversation, exchange, food and drinks...
We'll go from the profound opera seria atmosphere of Mozart e minor violin sonata, played on the very exotic clarinetto d'amore (one of Mozart favorite instruments, rarely used today), to the sophisticated opera buffa gestures of Haydn piano sonata, touching also late Schubert lied, just not to forget the deep connection between instrumental music, speech, voice, declamation and romantic depiction of nature. And the touch of popular Hungarian and Jewish music smell, as in the Andantino of his piano sonata.
Concerning Mozart and Beethoven trios, they are undoubtedly the best way to enter the world of commedia dell'arte... people yelling at each other, falling in love, making fun, kicks in the bottom... Excess and craziness...lots of fun!
And in the last part, while Mozart tries to behave "well", having a polite conversation between four characters, Haydn rather prefers to create very sophisticated and unexpected misunderstandings... Through these musical comedies, we can learn a lot about ourselves...
"And what is all this life but a kind of comedy, wherein men walk up and down in one another's disguise and act their respective parts? Thus are all things represented by counterfeit, and yet without this there would be no living."
Erasmus: The Praise of Folly (1509)
Duration: 2 h 45 min (incl. intermissions)