PROGRAM NOTES BY ANDREW APPEL

     
     
Four Nations 25th Anniversary Season  

FOUR NATIONS 25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

The Four Nations Ensemble presents its final concert in its 25th anniversary year. Concertos of Vivaldi, Bach and Corrette, love songs of Braga and Martini and Schmelzer's moving and colorful Lament.

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The Palace at Versailles  

DREAMSCAPES: VENICE & VERSAILLES

In a moment of fantastic realism from Ariane Mnouchkine’s film biography Moliere, we see laborers carry two long, black, gilded gondolas over a mountain pass between Italy and France on a bone-chilling march across the Alps. They are bringing the magic of Venice to Versailles where Louis XIV will create small scenes on his grand canal.

 Click here to listen to the "Chaconne" by J. M. Leclair, view a video and read the complete liner notes.

     
     
The Conservatoire Concert Hall  

PARIS CONSERVATORY: REVOLUTION'S GENERATION

Something happened in Paris between the last days of Louis XIV’s reign, in the first quarter of the 18th century, and the first days of the 19th century. At the inauguration of France’s state run Conservatoire, the country could claim a tradition of musical accomplishments that was subtle, elegant, emotionally restrained--a tradition emblematic of a court society: a French Classical tradition. Calme Luxe et volupté. Words to be marched to the guillotine!

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J. S. Bach & the St. Thomas School  

THE BACHS: HOME SCHOOLING

If students at the Venetian and Neapolitan conservatories, the ospedali, were given music education as compensation for the lack of family and questionable origins, for the Bachs, the science of music was a family legacy and right. The young Johann Sebastian could look towards so many cities in his native Thuringia to find brothers, cousins and uncles who could serve as mentors during his bright apprenticeship. Thus his teenage decision to travel north to study in a school far away and work with North German musicians was unique and daring. After all, for almost 200 years fathers taught sons, nephews travelled to live in the homes of uncles and, at the deaths of parents, older brothers who took on the guardianship of kid brothers, directing their general and musical educations.

Click here to listen to Bach's Sonata in E minor and to read the complete liner notes.

     
     
San Carlo Opera House  

THE NAPLES CONSERVATORIES: TEACHING EUROPE

Today, after a visit to Rome and Milan, a tourist might be surprised to learn that, next to Paris,Naples was the largest metropolis in 18th century Europe, with 300,000 inhabitants, a royal palace, four conservatories of music and Europe’s largest opera house. The center of a substantial realm known for centuries as The Two Sicilies, Naples moved from the hands of the Habsburgs to those of the Bourbons in the early 1700’s.

Click here to listen to "Adagio" from Porpora's Cello Concerto and to read the complete liner notes.

     

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