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AFFINITY NOUANCES by virtue of the fortepiano
A. Soler (1729-1783)
Sonata nº78 in F sharp minor
J. Montero (1740-1815)
Sonata nº1 in A Major
M. Pérez de Albéniz (1755-1831)
Sonata in D Major (5’)
J. Haydn (1732- 1809)
Sonata in E flat Major n. 59, Hob. XVI-49
Allegro, Adagio e cantabile, Finale: Tempo di Menuet
Marianne von Martinez (1744-1812)
Sonata in E Major
Allegro, Andante, Presto
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonata nº8 Op.13 in C minor “Pathétique” (1798)
Grave; allegro di molto e con brio, Adagio cantabile, Rondo: allegro
PATRICIA GARCIA GIL, fortepiano J. Haselmann
AFFINITY NOUANCES by virtue of the fortepiano
The fortepiano arrived in Spain in connection with the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment. Although the harpsichord and the fortepiano coexisted for several years, the desire of equality that led to universal access to culture and its internationalization was reflected in the development of the piano, the musical compositions and the piano writing. In the 18th century, Europe became a prosperous open-minded space for culture that enabled composers and audiences to broaden their cultural horizons and taste.
The three brief sonatas of the “fathers” of the Spanish keyboard school are written halfway between the Baroque and the Classical styles, deeply influenced by the Andalusian tones and modes and by the live rhythm of the guitar strumming or castanets.
Antonio Soler was one of the most notable keyboard performers of his time. He taught both organ and harpsichord to members of the royal family. He was himself a student of Domenico Scarlatti who was a remarkable supporter of the fortepiano and whose influence may be perceived in the lively keyboard technique, the form, and the frequently unexpected harmonic progressions of Soler’s numerous sonatas. In Soler’s sonatas there is a predilection for the moderate tempo and this is thought to be owed mainly to the inclination to a very expressive melodic line; this is greatly owed to the processing of beauty and simplicity of singing the songs and dances from Catalonia which have definitely enriched his childhood.
The lesser known and earlier of the two Spanish composers bearing the surname Albéniz is a somewhat forgotten figure today, though Mateo Albéniz (no relation to Isaac) enjoyed great success throughout much of Spain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The author of many works for harpsichord and fortepiano, as well as numerous sacred works, including Mass settings and Vespers, Albéniz is generally represented in concert today by a single work, his Piano Sonata in D.
Albéniz was a talented keyboard player, trained in theory and composition. Much of Albéniz‘s sacred music was written for performance at the churches where he served as maestro de capilla and became widely performed throughout Northern Spain in the early nineteenth century. Many manuscripts of these still unpublished works have survived, tempting one to speculate that performances could still be forthcoming. Albéniz was also an influential music theorist, promoting the music of Mozart and Haydn to his students and producing a substantial volume (published in 1802) on the performance of modern and early music.
We have little information about the Sevillian composer Joaquin Montero but his work is known for two important collections: the manuscript of the National Library of Madrid, which contains ten minutes for fortepiano, and the only surviving copy of his six sonatas for harpsichord or fortepiano. Montero also left two theoretical works: a harmonic Compendium (Madrid, 1790) and a theoretical-practical treatise on counterpoint (Manuscript, 1815). The six sonatas have two strongly opposed movements, not only because of the rhythm but also because of the technique used. The slow movements, usually “Adagio”, show their melodic quality of great beauty, while the fast movements require a great virtuosity on the part of the interpreter and sound the records of the instrument with scales and arpeggios. These sonatas testify to the arrival of fortepiano in Spain.
Marianne von Martínez, known as “the little Spanish” in Wien because of her origins, studied with the poet Pietro Trapassi (Metastasio), Nicola Porpora and a young Joseph Haydn who admired her.
She was an active and highly accomplished performer and composer. In fact, she was the favorite of the Emperor Maria Theresa from Austria. Her keyboard works, for harpsichord or fortepiano, are written in the Viennese galant style but preserve some of the fioriture (ornaments) of the Baroque era that recall the Spanish sonatas.
Marianna and her sister hosted musical soirees at their home. These weekly musical events attracted many distinguished guests, like Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart, who composed four-hand piano sonatas to perform with Marianne. She never sought an appointed position because it would have been unacceptable for a woman in her social class to seek such employment, however her music fell out of favor as the new concept of the composer as independent genius came into vogue. She was the author of the only symphony composed by a woman during the Classical period in music (c. 1750–1790), and she also wrote a number of other ambitious vocal and instrumental works.
In the same city Beethoven was able to pursue a freelance career, as Marianne did, to compose according to his imagination. Haydn, was already an eminence when he became his first composition teacher; they had a difficult relationship due to Beethoven’s impetuous personality but both developed a reciprocal admiration throughout the years.
Interestingly, also Beethoven was known in Vienna as “The Spaniard” because of his dark complexion, short stature compared with the average Germanic type and a turbulent and very passionate temperament. There was a constant interest that Beethoven showed in news coming out of the “south.” Beethoven was always intrigued by the figure of Egmont (a Dutch hero fighting the Spanish occupation from Goethe’s play). His only Opera, “Fidelio,” is set in Seville and one of his characters is named Pizarro (Spanish conquer in the 16th century). Three of the Songs of Various Nationalities Wo0 158 are in Spanish; apparently, he was overjoyed at news of Napoleon’s defeat in Spain in 1814.
Beethoven remained always loyal to the principles of the Enlightenment. The hallmark of his music is how it reflects his own unique personality and his time in history, while also transcending both. Beethoven’s work encompasses war, tension and the will of the people over tyranny and oppression. There is a fight between “the new” against “the old” that he experienced personally.
His piano sonatas are a “diary ” that show his progression as a composer. In his hands the sonata form reaches a new level, illuminating spirituality in a way that had never been expressed before. The listener feels the trials and tribulations of life with all its problems, hopes and desires. The ability to transmit emotions through pure sound construction is one of Beethoven’s revolutionary innovations that leads directly to the Romantic conception of music.
In the Pathetique Sonata, Beethoven created sonorities and textures never previously achieved. Many harmonic, figurative and textural gestures that had formerly been reserved for concertos were introduced into the framework of a sonata for the first time.
These and other unconventionalities, which bring a special drama to the Pathetique, pushed the possibilities of the current instruments beyond their limits. Beethoven’s sound conception was ahead of his time and upon his advice and request the fortepiano builders developed the innovative features that would lead to the modern concert grand piano.
PATRICIA GARCIA GIL – BIOGRAFIA
Patricia García Gil è una delle pianiste più versatili della sua generazione. La sua carriera vanta già un considerevole numero di concerti in tutto il mondo; si esibisce in recital e concerti come solista con l’orchestra in Spagna, Portogallo, Italia, Francia, Inghilterra, Scozia, Olanda, Messico, Argentina, Cile, Uruguay, Algeria, Sudafrica, Cina e gli Stati Uniti.
Dopo essersi laureata in Spagna, ha ottenuto quattro importanti borse di studio che le hanno permesso di proseguire i suoi studi in pianoforte al Royal Northern College of Music (Regno Unito) e alla Accademia Pianistica Internazionale di Imola per poi diplomarsi anche in Fortepiano presso l’Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori di Firenze, diretta da Stefano Fiuzzi.
Attualmente interviene come Fortepianista alle iniziative delle fondazioni di Villa Bossi in Italia, Royaumont e la Abbaye aux Dames in Francia, Geelvink Music Museum in Olanda, Cinese Baptist University a Hong Kong (Cina), Historical Keyboard Society of North America, American Musical Instrument Society and Carolina Music Museum (USA).
Fin dalla più tenera età si distingue in numerosi concorsi nazionali e internazionali, ricevendo il primo premio: “Ciutat de Manresa” (Barcelona), “Ciutat de Carlet” (Valencia), “Santa Cecilia” (Segovia), “Ciudad de Linares, Marisa Montiel” (Jaén),“Ciudad de Huesca” (Huesca), “Ricard Viñes” (Lérida), “Sant Anastasi” (Lérida) “Ciudad de San Sebastián” (San Sebastian), “Compositores de España” (Vigo),“Ruperto Chapi” (Alicante),“Chopin Competition” (Manchester), “ DuoPrize” (Manchester), “International Music Competition Virtuoso Prize” (Salzburg), Concorso Internazionale di Pianoforte Romantico “Mario Calado” (Rialp), “Premio Crescendo: miglior interpretazione della Musica di Mozart” (Firenze), “Early Music Competition Juventudes Musicales de España” (Spagna).
Inoltre, partecipa a numerosi progetti dedicati alla musica strumentale e vocale, con un particolare impegno nel diffondere la musica spagnola e quella di compositrici meno note. Ha inciso, con The World Orchestra, gran parte del repertorio sinfonico del compositore Michael Nyman; è la pianista collaboratrice per le masterclass di direzione orchestrale che svolge il Maestro Colin Metters (Royal Academy of Music, Londra), interviene come pianista negli spettacoli della rinomata compagnia teatrale “La Fura dels Baus” e insegna Pianoforte alla Accademia Enrico Caruso a Firenze (Italia).
Patricia crede che non solo la musica ma l’arte in generale sia fonte di ispirazione e sperimenta continuamente innovative collaborazioni attraverso l’arte visiva, scenica e la musica. Si è diplomata in Arte Drammatica e ha scritto, prodotto e interpretato diverse opere musico-teatrali per bambini.