Christ Church Cathedral
Artists: Augusta McKay Lodge & Sophie de Bardonnèche, violins; Hanna Salzenstein, cello; Justin Taylor, harpsichord
“Ravishing, exhilarating and uniquely beautiful.” – BBC Music Magazine
The young French ensemble Le Consort likens itself to an early-music version of a string quartet—a closeknit group of four musicians performing Baroque chamber repertoire. Join these rising stars of the early music world in their Vancouver debut as they lead us on a Grand Tour through Italy, England, Germany, and France, illustrating the immense expressive range and creativity of Bach, Vivaldi, Corelli, Purcell, Rameau, and others. This program features two magnificent settings of “Follia” – the era’s most recognizable melody, and one which still resonates today.
This concert is generously sponsored by Mark De Silva
There will be a pre-concert chat with members of Le Consort hosted by Sylvia L’Ecuyer at 7 p.m.
*Le Consort is grateful to Augusta McKay Lodge for performing with us while Théotime Langlois de Swarte is away on paternity leave for the birth of his second child.
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Trio Sonata in G-minor, Op. 1, No. 1
Giovanni Battista Reali (1681-1751)
Violin Sonata Op. 2, No. 1 (Grave)
Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
Trio Sonata in C-Major, Op. 4, No. 1
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1883-1764)
Gavotte et ses doubles
Excerpts from “Les Indes galantes”
Jean-François Dandrieu (1682-1738)
Trio Sonata in G-minor, Op. 1, No. 3
Giovanni Battista Reali
“La Folia” Op. 1, No. 12
Nicola Matteis (ca. 1690-1749)
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Sonata of Four Parts in G Minor, Z807
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Trio Sonata in G-Major, BWV 1038
Andante, BWV 974 (after Marcello)
Trio Sonata in D-minor, Op. 1, No. 12, “Folia”
At the beginning of the 18th century, the city of Venice was home to violinists and genius composers. Antonio Vivaldi’s talents are beyond question: he has achieved lasting fame as one of the most inventive, prolific and virtuosic composers of the baroque period. The sonata in G minor is the very first work Vivaldi published, when he was 23 years old. Its five sections mingle elements of the sonata da chiesa (Preludio Grave and Adagio) with dances (Allemanda, Capriccio, Gavotta). Vivaldi first plunges us into the intensely contemplative atmosphere of a Venetian church, then surprises us with dance movements in which the violins vie with each other in virtuosity.
As for the violinist-composer Giovanni Battista Reali, his life is shrouded in mystery. He published only two opus numbers: a set of 12 trio sonatas in 1709, followed in 1712 by solo sonatas for violin and bass continuo. That his trio sonatas were republished in Amsterdam by Estienne Roger in 1710 is proof that his works enjoyed a degree of success, but we know very little of his biography. He is mentioned as being a violinist in Venice’s Teatro San Fantin, then in 1727 as maestro di cappella for the Duke of Guastalla in Emilia-Romagna – after which we lose all trace of him. This Grave isan intimate duet of two violins.
The trio sonata was born during the second half of the 17th century and it was Arcangelo Corelli, the master of the genre, who developed, established and popularized it throughout Europe. A violin virtuoso himself, he devoted his entire output to that instrument. Of the six sets of compositions he left behind, the first four are devoted to the trio with two violins, which became the paramount ensemble of the baroque era. The immensely famed Corelli became a model for his contemporaries, with a strong influence on the composers of his own time and on succeeding generations as well. Publication of his works was keenly anticipated in the whole of Europe, each new opus enjoying a success even greater than the last. The sonata in C major, is luminous, with a breathtaking third movement.
In Gavotte et ses doubles, the term “double”, derived from the French air of the XVII century, denotes the variety of reprise of a piece. Here, Rameau has an “orchestral” bent, his variations are based on rhythm, harmony, melodic variation, and the interplay between registers.
Les Sauvages is undoubtedly Jean-Philippe Rameau’s most famous piece. Originally for harpsichord, it was orchestrated and inserted into the new “entrée” added in 1736 in his celebrated Opéra Les Indes Galantes. Rameau’s source of inspiration was the presentation, in 1725, at the Théâtre des Italiens, of Indians from Louisiana dancing to the sounds of their instruments. Influenced by the exoticism of this encounter, he translated into music this obsessive rhythmic repetition.
The trio sonatas of Jean-François Dandrieu really do deserve a place in the very front rank of the chamber music of the period. They show a mastery of style as well as a variety of astonishing character types. There are dances overflowing with energy, a playful, spirited counterpoint between the three voices, movements that seem suspended in time by the most expressive italianate ritardandi, with articulation, phrasing, rhythm, sweetness, passion – full of life. So who was Dandrieu? Born in 1682, in the heart of Paris, on the l’Île de la Cité, Jean-François grew up in the family home. From his earliest years he devoted himself to music: even as a young boy he was able to play the harpsichord with tremendous facility. In 1687, aged only five, he presented himself at the court of Versailles before the Princess of the Palatinate, to whom he later dedicated his trio sonatas. On reaching adulthood, Dandrieu decided to consecrate himself to God, taking holy orders. Dandrieu’s Op. 1 sonatas carry special meaning for us, as they were the very first works we read during our initial rehearsals! Perhaps we felt a special connection since he was about our ages – 23 – when he published them. Whatever the reasons, we felt a common bond with his Sonata in G minor. From our very first notes together we discovered the darting motifs of those descending appoggiaturas and there was, quite simply, a feeling we all shared: a common rhythm. The ensuing rapid, light-footed Allegro is marked by a fugue that is completely Italian in character. The third movement, meditative, quasi-liturgical, is a contemplation in an introspective lyrical form, without a trace of ostentation. The final Gigue brings us back to the French style, with its bass voice recalling the full, earthy style of a Forqueray. For all of us, it was the moment of falling in love, both musically and emotionally. This sonata has become our anthem, our watchword, an emblematic banner of our vision of the trio sonata.
Reali’s Folia has a highly original instrumentation – Reali adds an extra violoncello concertante part to the two violins and continuo, to enrich the mellifluous dialogue between the violins. He also introduces an extremely novel feature by altering the metre, changing the triple time of the Folia to duple time for the last two variations. The effect is quite dramatic, making the performer increase the pace (well before the term ‘accelerando’ had appeared in any score!) Between the Corelli tradition and the influence of Vivaldi, Reali establishes his own eminently personal style, dramatising the play of textures, resonances and fragmented phrases in sumptuous and inspired harmonic language. `
Although born in Naples Nicola Matteis – a violinist of supreme accomplishment – spent his entire musical career in London. He brought to England an Italian lyricism and virtuosity, and created an eccentric type of Anglo-Italian melancholy which can be heard in the Sarabanda Amorosa.
The greatest musical genius of late seventeenth century London was undoubtedly Henry Purcell, an extraordinary musician present on all fronts. At a time when both the form and the instrument already belonged to a fast-disappearing world, he wrote the last fantasias for viols in the great English tradition. He was also enthusiastic about the newer violin and the Italian sonata. Purcell had his Sonatas of III Parts printed at his own expense in 1683, a significant risk for the youthful composer, still only twenty-four years old. And sadly, these works remained misunderstood: the 1683 collection, along with a successor of 1697 published by his widow after his death, sold so poorly that Frances Purcell was forced to remainder them, without being able to sell off her stock. Purcell, so beloved for his operas, had bad luck with his sonatas. Yet from the very beginnings of our ensemble we have performed the wonderful Sonata VI. Built on a ground that repeats itself tirelessly, this work is a compendium of Purcell’s genius which question the human soul in its most intimate aspects, and through its emotional intensity remind us of Dido’s Lament by the same composer.
Bach’s trio Sonata BWV 1038 is enigmatic. While the surviving material is in Bach’s handwriting, the source is unsigned and its authenticity regularly questioned. In 4 movements, this sonata in G major is inspired by the Italian style. This influence is even more visible in the Andante BWV 974, adapted from a work originally by the venetian composer Marcello for oboe and orchestra. Bach discovered the score and decided to transcribe it for his own instrument, the harpsichord. The Sonata No. 12, La Folia, by Vivaldi is a masterpiece of the trio sonata repertoire, irresistible in its sheer momentum. The variations are built up impressively: by turns slow and fast, introspective and passionately fiery, they unfold organically with stylistic mastery, taking performers and listeners alike on a journey from intimacy to virtuosity.
- Notes by Sophie de Bardonnèche
82 Main St. Brooklyn, NY
October 24, 2021
Le Consort, a leading baroque chamber ensemble, comprises four young musicians who interpret the trio sonata repertoire with enthusiasm, sincerity, and modernity. The group’s mission is to bring together compelling musical personalities in the service of chamber music from the repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. From Corelli to Vivaldi, from Purcell to Couperin, the dialogue between the two violins and the basso continuo displays a wealth of contrasts between vocality, sensuality and virtuosity. Le Consort takes this genre, the quintessence of baroque chamber music, and interprets it with a personal, dynamic, and colorful language.
With a core which has remained constant since their founding in 2016, Le Consort performances approach a level of musical integration typically found in long-standing string quartets. In 2017 they claimed First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Loire Valley International Early Music Competition, chaired by William Christie. Their recordings, including OPUS 1 (featuring the unpublished sonatas of Jean-François Dandrieu), and Specchio Veneziano (trio sonatas of Vivaldi alongside music of his less familiar contemporary, Giovanni Reali), have earned numerous awards and extensive critical acclaim.
In the 2023-24 season, Le Consort will make its North American debut with concerts in cities across the continent, including Montreal, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Kansas City, Berkeley, La Jolla, Vancouver, and many others. The ensemble has performed extensively throughout Europe, including at Radio France Auditorium and Louvre Auditorium (Paris); the Dijon Opera; the Deauville Easter Festival; the Arsenal in Metz; the MA Festival Brugge and in Antwerp de Singel (Belgium); the Pau Casals Foundation (Spain); and at the Misteria Paschalia Festival in Krakow (Poland). They have also been featured on numerous broadcasts on France 3, France Musique, France Inter and Radio Classique.
Le Consort is in residence at the Banque de France, the Singer-Polignac Foundation, and the Abbaye de Royaumont.
Augusta McKay Lodge
Augusta McKay Lodge is an award-winning historically informed violinist, enjoying a blossoming career as leader and soloist at a young age. Already an experienced leader in the field, McKay Lodge performs regularly as concertmaster with Les Arts Florissants and Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, and recently with Opera Fuoco at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. She has also guest directed the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players as a substitute for Richard Egarr. In the past, she has held concertmaster of Bach Akademie Charlotte, The American Classical Orchestra, and Teatro Nuovo.
As a soloist, McKay Lodge has enjoyed multiple concerto appearances with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Juilliard415, and Voices of Music. She has appeared in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Concertgebouw’s Kleine Zaal, the Metropolitan Museum, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and William Christie’s festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie. A regular violinist with Voices of Music, she solos in numerous 4k high-definition videos on their successful YouTube channel. McKay Lodge’s discography includes award-winning, globally recognized solo albums Beyond Bach and Vivaldi and Corelli’s Band (Naxos), and an equally acclaimed chamber music disc with her sister Georgina McKay Lodge, J.G. Graun: Chamber Music from the Court of Frederick the Great (Brilliant Classics).
An avid chamber musician, McKay Lodge is a founding member of ensembles Voyage Sonique (New York) and Spielerei Piano Trio (Amsterdam). She performs regularly with the Ensemble Jupiter, including their recent rave debut at Carnegie Hall, and Le Consort in France. McKay Lodge is an English Concert American Fellow, a Juilliard-Mercury Fellow, and a Kovner Fellow, and holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School, and from The Juilliard School, completing her education at just 25 years old. McKay Lodge performs on a historical Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1867) and a baroque-copy Jason Viseltear (2014) violins, depending on the repertoire.
information can be found at www.augustamckaylodge.com.