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Vocal Fantasy Festival

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra opens the concert season

with the

“VOCAL FANTASY ONLINE” FESTIVAL

 

October 27-31 2020

Artistic director: David Shemer

The St. John Passion – Handel, Les Nations – Couperin, Léandre et Hêrố – Clérambault, Bach chorales, Handel arias and a selection of varied and fascinating concerts, performed by the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra and guest artists.

Despite- and in keeping with – the restrictions dictated by the present situation, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra will open the 2020-2021 concert season with an online festival featuring the human voice – the ONLINE VOCAL FANTASY FESTIVAL – five days of concerts, master classes and pre-concert talks that will be transmitted live from various Jerusalem locations. The festival will take place on October 27-31. The concerts, offering quality video and sound production, will be streamed in real time for private viewing.

The festival’s central work will be the Israeli premiere of one of Handel’s earlier works (composed before the composer had reached the age of 20):  the St. John Passion, performed by David Shemer with singers Ye’ela Avital, Liron Givoni, Alon Harari, Hillel Sherman, Doron Florentin, and Noam Lowenstein. Handel’s vocal music will be featured in another program – “The Divas of Handel”. With the help of soprano and mezzo-soprano Inbal Brill and Karina Radzion, and actor Itzik Cohen-Patilon, we will follow the amusing story of the rivalry between Handel and Giovanni Bononcini as well as that between two Italian prima donnas performing in London in opera productions by both composers.

The festival will host the inaugural concert of “From Johann to Hans”, an album comprising chorales and other works by Bach in the unique arrangement of the Jewish-Peruvian composer Hans Lewitus, alongside works from the Spanish Renaissance and music from South America, performed by Yeela Avital, recorder player Inbar Solomon, and other musicians. 

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s concert-master, violinist Noam Schuss, will lead “A French Fantasy” – a program of late French Baroque music, with pieces from François Couperin’s “Les Nations”, alongside “Léandre et Hêrố”, a cantata by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, performed by Daniela Skorka.

As always, in Vocal Fantasy Festival, we will host a choir; this time it will be the Great Gehenna Choir in “Assembly”, a program of original music that has been especially designed for the ensemble to perform with the JBO players under Orit Messer-Jacobi, the orchestra’s first cellist. In this program we will also be performing Italian instrumental Renaissance works via interesting and non-self explanatory associations between the various periods and styles.

The concerts will be broadcast live and will include a pre-concert talk with the artists. Concerts will be available for 48 hours after broadcast. During the festival, master-classes will be transmitted at no charge.

Admission to concerts:

80 NIS for a single concert

350 NIS for the whole festival

Admission including donation:

470 NIS or 600 NIS

Full programme:

Tuesday, 27.10.2020 at 20:00

From Johann to Hans – Bach and Lewitus meet in the Spanish Baroque

A concert launching a new album – Bach Chorales rearranged by Hans Lewitus to a recorders’ quartet.

Lewitus was a clarinet player, composer and pedagogue. Among the many works he wrote and rearranged for recorder – a Bach Chorales book that he rearranged for a recorder quartet.

The Chorales, with their special instrumentation, were recorded to an album by Inbar Solomon (recorder) who gathered outstanding musicians to join her for the project. The recording was commissioned by the composer’s son – Riccardo Lewitus. The album and the concert tell the story of the work’s incarnation, in which each chorale has in fact three composers: various composers from the German Baroque and Renaissance who wrote the soprano line; Bach, who wrote the bass line and Lewitus, 200 years later, who wrote the inner parts. The concert will include the performance of the chorales alongside other works by Lewitus – traditional songs from South America.

The concert will be live broadcast from Mishkenot Shaananim Music Center.

Inbar Solomon, artistic director and recorders player

Yeela Avital, soprano; Adi Silberberg, recorders; Inbar Navot, viola da gamba and baroque bassoon; Gideon Bretler, classic and baroque guitars.

Wednesday, 28.10.2020 at 20:00

St. John Passion – Handel

An Israeli premiere of one of the earliest and boldest works written by G. F. Handel. Until this day, there is no certainty that it was indeed Handel who wrote the St. John Passion, first performed in Hamburg in 1704, before he even turned 20. The musical language of the work,  that clearly shows signs of genius in many of its sections, is indeed very different than that of the mature Handel. Therefore, the work was attributed to other German composers including Matteson and Bohn. However, the most updated musicological research tends to claim that this is truly the work of a young genius who became, in time, one of the musical pillars of the baroque era.

The concert will be live broadcast from Hansen House.

David Shemer, conductor

Soloists: Yeela Avital, Liron Givoni, Alon Harari, Doron Florentin, Hillel Sherman, Noam Lowenstein

 

Thursday, 29.10.2020 at 20:00

“Assembly” – Great Gehenna Choir and Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra players

The Jerusalem-based Great Gehenna Choir, in a first and unique collaboration with the musicians of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, will present an original repertoire of the choir, settings of original music for the choir and players and music from the Renaissance played by JBO musicians. An encounter of different colours from different eras which complete and echo each other.

The concert will be broadcast from Hansen House

 

Great Gehenna Choir. JBO players: Doret Florentin, recorders; Idit Shemer, Renaissance flutes; Orit Messer- Jacobi, baroque cello; Aviad Stier, harpsichord

Artistic directors: Amit Fishbein, Itamar Friedrich (Great Gehenna Choir), Orit Messer-Jacobi (JBO)

Friday, 30.10.2020 at 12:00

The Divas of Handel – A theatrical concert from London’s 18th century opera stages

Since the dawn of its existence, the life behind the opera stage has been saturated with intrigue and rivalry – no less than the operatic plots themselves. The English opera world, in the first half of the 18th century, provided two affairs that fed the gossip columns of the press and conversations in the salons. One was the rivalry between two important opera composers: G. F. Handel (from Germany) and G. Bononcini (from Italy). Both composers hired two Italian prima donnas  for their opera productions: Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni. In our concert we will accompany the two affairs. We will receive a glimpse into the lives of those figures and the ones around them, and hear the beautiful music of both composers sung by two contemporary prima-donnas.

The concert will be broadcast from Hansen House

Inbal Brill, soprano (Faustina Borodni)

Karina Radzion, mezzo-soprano (Francesca Cuzzoni)

David Shemer, harpsichord

Itzik Cohen-Patilon, actor

Players of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra

Artistic director: David Shemer

Saturday, 31.10.2020 at 20:30

A French Fantasy – works from the late French Baroque

At the center of the concert, soloists from the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra and soprano Daniela Skorka will present two outstanding pieces from the late and mature French Baroque. Works that recreate in sounds, the atmosphere of luxury, sensuality and elegance of the aristocratic courts of France in the days of the “Sun King”, Louis XIV.

La Francoise, from the masterpiece collection “Les Nations” by Francoise Couperin (le Grand), is a colourful chamber sonata in which Couperin combines in a fascinating manner the Italian taste with the French court dances; the dramatic cantata Leandre et Héro written by Louis -Nicolas Clérambault draws, in enchanting notes and a raging storm scene, the miserable love affair of the lovers from the Greek Mythology, separated by a strait.

An instrumental jewel, written in stylus fantasticus (fantasy style), is the sonata for violin, viola da gamba and continuo written by composer Dietrich Buxtehude. The work, in spite of being written by a German-Danish composer, is well rooted in the Italian musical tradition of his time, with a personal twist. The result is a virtuoso, energetic, inspiring and emotional work.

The concert will be live broadcast from the Mishkenot Shaananim Music Center and will be transmitted also, live, in Kan Kol Hamusica.

Daniel Skorka, soprano

Noam Schuss, Dafna Ravid, violin; Ofira Zakai, theorbo; Tal Arbel, viola da gamba; Aviad Stier, harpsichord

Artistic director: Noam Schuss

 

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