Wednesday January 13, 2021 | 7:30PM
Enjoy two of Canada’s most revered and influential violinists specializing in historically informed performance practice, Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik Music Director Emerita, and Marc Destrube, longtime concert master of the Orchestra of the 18th century as they sample the splendours of Baroque chamber music as realized by the great J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and French composers Jean-Marie Leclair and Marin Marais.
This concert is generously supported by Dr. Katherine E. Paton
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Concert will remain online one year from premiere date.
Trio Sonata in D minor Op.1 No.12, ‘Variations on La Folia’, RV63
Sonnerie de Ste. Geneviève du Mont de Paris
Johann Sebastian Bach
Trio Sonata in G Major, BWV 1039 (originally for two flutes and basso continuo)
Allegro ma non presto
Adagio e piano
Chaconne from Première Récréation de Musique, Op.6
Baroque musical style reached its zenith in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, who drew on myriad musical influences including the French dance styles developed at the court of Louis XIV and the Italian concerto and church sonata styles as found in the music of Vivaldi that Bach studied and copied. Bach also freely recycled his own music (and sometimes that of others), and his trio sonata BWV 1039, originally for two flutes and basso continuo, is a reworking by Bach of one of his three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord; three of the movements also exist in a version for organ.
By Bach’s time the viola da gamba had largely been replaced by the cello as the bass instrument of preference. Likewise, the music of the French gambist and composer Marin Marais had been largely forgotten until the 1991 film ‘Tous les Matins du Monde’ brought his beautiful music some well-deserved recognition. Marais, an important musician at the court of Louis XIV, was a noted defender of French music at a time when it was severely threatened by competition from the Italian style. Marais wrote a number of descriptive works for his instrument, including a sonata describing a surgical operation. The Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève du Mont de Paris, (“The Bells of St. Genevieve”) is a set of virtuosic variations on a repeating bass line, depicting the ringing bells of a church in Paris. Unusually it highlights the lower voice in the dialogue between the viola da gamba and the violin. Originally written to show off Marais’ skill as a gambist, it is also very effective when played on the cello.
The music of another fine French composer, Jean-Marie Leclair, exemplified the synthesis of the newer Italian style with the earlier French court dance style. Considered the founder of the French violin school, Leclair studied in Turin for a time, returning to France to perform regularly at the Concert Spirituel, one of the first public concert series in Europe. Along with trio sonatas for two violins and basso continuo, he wrote several sets of violin sonatas, violin concertos, and one opera. He came to an untimely end, murdered by stabbing after moving to a seedy neighbourhood of Paris after the break-up of his second marriage. The murder remains unsolved.
We are more familiar with Vivaldi’s concertos and other works for orchestra than with his chamber music, with The Four Seasons leading the charge. This is perhaps because his music for larger forces was generally more ‘progressive’ stylistically, while his chamber music followed closely the model establishes by Arcangelo Corelli a decade before. He even followed Corelli’s example by making the last sonata in two opuses a set of variations, and in this case based on the same Folia tune with which Corelli had ended his ground-breaking set of violin sonatas Opus 5. He took full advantage of the addition of a second violin to create wonderful dialogue effects, even while giving the cello a virtuosic role. The Folia tune is one of the most popular and prevalent tunes throughout the history of European music. It has been used by more than 150 composers over three centuries: Bach and Marais included it in their works and it is said that half of Swedish folk tunes are based on it. It even appears briefly in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
Jeanne Lamon, Violin
Music Director of Tafelmusik from 1981 to 2014, Jeanne Lamon has been praised by critics in Europe and North America for her strong musical leadership. She has won numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from York University, Mount Saint Vincent University, and University of Toronto, and the prestigious Molson Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2000, Jeanne Lamon was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2014, a Member of the Order of Ontario. She is in demand as guest director of symphony orchestras in North America and abroad. She is an enthusiastic teacher of young professionals, which she does as Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto and through Tafelmusik’s artist training programmes. Jeanne is the Artistic Director of the Health Arts Society of Ontario, an organization dedicated to providing seniors in long-term care and retirement homes with quality concerts, a project to which she is passionately devoted. She also volunteers at Bridgepoint Health Centre playing music for patients in palliative care. Jeanne Lamon stepped down as full-time Music Director of Tafelmusik in June, 2014, served as Chief Artistic Advisor until June of 2016, and is now Music Director Emerita. She recently moved to Victoria and plans to devote more time to playing chamber music, teaching, guest directing, and pursuing various hobbies.
Marc Destrubé, Violin
Canadian violinist Marc Destrubé is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster or director/conductor of orchestras and divides his time between performances of standard repertoire on modern instruments and performing baroque and classical music on period instruments.
As a concertmaster, he has played under Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Helmuth Rilling, Christopher Hogwood, Philippe Herreweghe, Gustav Leonhardt and Frans Brüggen. He is co-concertmaster of the Orchestra of the 18th Century with which he has toured the major concert halls and festivals of the world. He was concertmaster of the CBC Radio Orchestra from 1996 to 2002, concertmaster of the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, and founding director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra.
He is first violinist with the Axelrod String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., where the quartet plays on the museum’s exceptional collection of Stradivari and Amati instruments. He has also performed and recorded with L’Archibudelli and is a member of the Turning Point and la Modestine ensembles and Microcosmos string quartet in Vancouver.
He has appeared as soloist and guest director with symphony orchestras in Victoria, Windsor, Edmonton and Halifax as well as with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra and Lyra Baroque Orchestra. A founding member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, he has appeared with many of the leading period-instrument orchestras in North America and Europe including as guest concertmaster of the Academy of Ancient Music and of the Hanover Band.
Marc has recorded for Sony, EMI, Teldec, Channel Classics, Hänssler, Globe and CBC Records.
Christina Mahler, Cello
Dutch cellist Christina Mahler immigrated to Canada in 1981 to serve as principal cellist of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, a position she held until June of 2019. Reviews often praise her rich sound, energetic playing, and insightful musicianship. Christina has played and recorded numerous concertos with Tafelmusik, including works by Boccherini, Haydn, Vivaldi, C.P.E. Bach, and Leonardo Leo. She is very fortunate to own a beautiful baroque cello made by José Contreras, the “Stradivarius” of Spain. Christina is a very devoted and gifted teacher, and students have come from around the world to study with her, not only through the Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Institutes, but also at the University of Toronto and in her private studio. After 38 years as principal cellist of Tafelmusik, Christina has moved to Victoria where she is focusing on chamber music, teaching and pursuing her hobbies, such as pottery.
Christina Hutten, Harpsichord
Organist and harpsichordist Christina Hutten has presented recitals in Canada, the United States, and Europe. She performs regularly with Pacific Baroque Orchestra and has appeared as concerto soloist with the Okanagan Symphony, the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, and the Arizona State University Chamber Orchestra. Christina is also an enthusiastic teacher. She coaches and coordinates the early music ensembles at the University of British Columbia and has given masterclasses and workshops at institutions including the Victoria Baroque Summer Program, Brandon University, the University of Manitoba, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada’s National Music Centre in Calgary, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute. Funded by a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, she pursued historical keyboard studies in Europe with Francesco Cera, François Espinasse, and Bernard Winsemius. She participated in the Britten-Pears Programme, led by Andreas Scholl and Tamar Halperin, for which she was awarded the Loewen Prize. Christina obtained a master’s degree in Organ Performance from Arizona State University under the direction of Kimberly Marshall and an Advanced Certificate in Harpsichord Performance from the University of Toronto, where she studied with Charlotte Nediger. She is now a doctoral candidate in musicology at UBC.