The Nova Ars Organorum series of the Festival de Música Antigua de Tenerife (Fimante) [Tenerife Early Music Festival] offers on Saturday, the 21st at 8:00 pm the concert Cuatro autores para un órgano, [Four authors for an organ] by German organist Heinrich Walther. It takes place at Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Merced in El Médano, in the municipality of Granadilla de Abona. Admission to listen to this programme that includes pieces by Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Liszt is free.
The artistic director of the series, Rosario Álvarez, explained that “the German organ made by Gerhard Schmid in the late 20th century is ideal to play authors of different styles like the great Johann Sebastian Bach, the classical Haydn and Mozart -the former in a transcription by Heinrich Walther- or the Romantic composer Frank Liszt, in one of his most spectacular and greatest creations for this instrument, which will display all its sound qualities with it”.
Heinrich Walther is one of the busiest concert organists in his generation. The core of his repertoire includes the most important literature for organ as well as his own transcriptions of symphonic works and music for piano by Bach, played in a grand piano, in harpsichord or in clavichord.
In the past few years he has toured the United States, Mexico, many European countries and Israel, as well as Singapore, Korea and Japan. He has given concerts with the state philharmonics of Perm, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Barnaul, Omsk, Tomsk, Irkutsk, Chita and Khabarovsk, St. Petersburg and Moscow. Also, he was invited to the Israel International Organ Festival, to the Bach Festival of Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra in 2017, the Max Reger Festival in Leipzig and as a cembalist to the Bach Festival in Tübingen, in 2018.
He has a released a large number of very versatile records. Walther teaches organ at the Higher School of Sacred Music in Heidelberg since 2002 and is a lecturer in organ at the Higher School of Sacred Music in Rottenburg since 1994. He also teaches the interdisciplinary subject “Score Reading” at the Higher School of Music in Freiburg.
On Friday, the 13th Sinfónica de Tenerife is performing En tono al mar [About the Sea], the concert that opens the 2019-2020 season at the Auditorio de Tenerife. Under the baton of its principal conductor, Antonio Méndez, it features four pieces inspired by the watery world. From the strength of the ocean that shapes Peter Grimes and The Flying Dutchman to the colourist Fontani di Roma, this is a rotund musical homage the Tenerife orchestra pays to the natural surroundings of the island.
Premiered in 1843, The Flying Dutchman Overture WWV 63 by Richard Wagner (1813-1883), was the first drama by the German composer about which he said “my career as a poet starts here”. The very essence of the work is present in the overture through its main motifs: the storm, the ship in the mist fighting against the inclemency of the sea, the joy of the seafarers and the redemption of the Dutchman; in addition to the well-known ballad of his beloved Senta.
British composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) immerses listeners in a sea that reflects the characters of his opera Peter Grimes, premiered in 1945. Four Sea Interludes, op. 33a is a symphonic piece that synthesizes his own opera. It starts at dawn, which is represented by violins that could very well be the beams of the early sun on the peaceful waters of the ocean. A rougher writing anticipates Sunday and the anxiety that is beginning to gain hold of Ellen.
Luz de luna (Moonlight) introduces listeners to a tense calmness, simulating waves that come and go in the darkness, since the sea is an open wound in the fisherman Peter Grimes. Finally, the storm, the inner portrait of the hero that Britten moves from the original first act to the end of these four movements; here is where he suggests that although calmness seems to have arrived, it is really just pretence, as the end is an absorbing spiral of the fate he cannot escape from.
The second part of the programme starts with Fontane di Roma by the colourist Italian Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), one of the major representatives of Italian symphony. This symphonic poem comes straight from French impressionism; it is a real sound stroll around the fountains of Rome. So, the tour will takes us from the wavy waters of the Valle Giulia fountain in a bucolic, pastoral atmosphere; to Fontana di Tritone, where the horns will bring to life Triton’s conch, which, as in Ovid’s Metamorphoses he plays to control the waters. There is also room for Fontana di Trevi, where the atmosphere becomes triumphant upon the distinguished appearance of god Neptune. The melancholy nightfall gazes at the Fontana di Villa Medici until the darkness of night makes everything vanish.
The first subscription concert in the season ends with La mer CD 111 by Claude Debussy (1862- 1918), an exquisite sensory experience. The French author started to work on his childhood memories of the beach and portrayed a sea that sways in exoticism, symbolism and impressionism. The composer plays with the light by drawing different sun reflections on the water and the waves, executing a continuous movement in which harmony and rhythm gain greater importance.
Antonio Méndez, who took up the position of principal conductor of the Sinfónica de Tenerife last season, has become one of the best established and most sough-after conductors in his generation. The Mallorca maestro has built links with the main orchestras in Europe, having conducted the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, StaatskapelleDresden, Scottish Chamber Orchestra or Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
In the 2018-2019 season, apart from his participation in the Sinfónica de Tenerife, Antonio Méndez returned to the Orquesta Nacional de España, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Kammerakademie Potsdam, making his debut with Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Orchestre de Chambre de Paris.
During the current season, the conductor of the Cabildo’s orchestra will return to Orchestre de Chambre de Paris or to Iceland Symphony, in addition to making his debut with Orquestra Gulbenkian and Stavanger Symphony. In Spain he will continue his connection with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León. He will also make his debut in the opera productions L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor and Don Carlo.
Tickets for this concert can be purchased at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; by phone on 902 317 327; or via the internet on the websites www.sinfonicadetenerife.es and www.auditoriodetenerife.com.
On 19 July, Sinfónica de Tenerife held their last season concert entitled “Costa Adeje Sinfónico”. This year the orchestra has given a total of 67 concerts which were attended by more than 80,000 people. Cabildo de Tenerife’s orchestra also visited three other islands: Gran Canaria, La Palma and La Gomera.
In addition to their usual subscription season, which included 19 concerts featuring 47 pieces by 27 composers, Sinfónica de Tenerife offered the extraordinary concerts of Fiestas del Cristo in La Laguna, La Laguna Cathedral, San Pedro Apóstol Church in Güímar, their traditional Christmas concert at the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Parque de la Torre del Conde in La Gomera and Costa Adeje Sinfónico in the south of the island.
Once again, Sinfónica de Tenerife provided the music to all the opera productions performed at Auditorio de Tenerife in the Ópera de Tenerife season. Apart from these fifteen shows, the orchestra was also present at Tenerife International Film Music Festival (Fimucité), the Festival Internacional de Música de Canarias, and La Palma Festival Internacional de Música, which amounted to five performances.
The Sinfónica de Tenerife also continued their outreach programme by offering 22 didactic concerts for schoolchildren and families, in addition to four masterclasses, three talks, three workshops plus visits to hospitals and health centres on the Island.
Cabildo de Tenerife’s orchestra will be back in September. The first concert will be held on the 6th at Cristo de La Laguna while their subscription season is starting on 13 September. You can learn all about subscriptions and ticket prices for the 2019-2020 season at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Box Office, calling 902 317 327 or on the websites www.sinfonicadetenerife.es and www.auditoriodetenerife.com.
The Festival de Música Antigua de Tenerife (Fimante) [Tenerife Early Music Festival] next concert is Dialectic of Bach and Couperin by The Goldfinch Ensemble to be held in Guía de Isora. Baroque maestros can be listened to at 8:45 pm on Saturday, the 27th at Centro Cultural Playa de San Juan. Admission is free.
The members of The Goldfinch Ensemble are Pablo Sosa (traverso), Salomé Gasselin (viola da gamba) and Emmanuel Frankenberg (harpsichord) whose performance of early music enjoys international recognition. They are specialised in the repertoire of the late 17th and the 18th centuries and stand out for the liveliness and spontaneity of their interpretation.
The group has received different international awards including the first prize at the chamber music competition "International Händel Festpiele Gottingen Competition" (2016), or second prize in the French chamber music contest "International Early Music Competition Lorey Valley" (2015). Their international career started in 2015, when they took part in renowned early music festivals like Festival de Sablé (France), Festival de Musique Baroque d'Ambronay (France), Festival di Natale (Italy), York Early Music Festival (England) or Festival Son Antigos Sul Lagos (Portugal), among others.
It was in 1722 when Johann Sebastian Bach finished his first book Das Wohltemperierte Klavier in Köthen, Germany. That same year, François Couperin published his Concerts Royaux in Paris, France. It was a highly creative time for both musicians who delivered a good deal of compositions some of which have remained among the most important works of the first half of the 18th century.
Fimante’s artistic director, Conrado Álvarez, explains that “both Bach and Couperin were influenced by their respective national styles -German and French- although they never stopped seeking new musical possibilities”.
Through this programme we try to show what these two maestros represented and even how they may have been reciprocally inspired. The goût français had considerable influence in German music in the 18th century. Bach himself was familiarised with the French style, apart from knowing many French musicians, including meeting the composer, organist and harpsichordist Louis Marchand in 1717. He also copied and used Jean-Henri d’Anglebert’s famous table of ornaments.
François Couperin’s music had a great influence on Bach. Although undocumented, it is quite likely they both exchanged correspondence. “True or not, what we certainly know is that Bach knew some of Couperin’s compositions. He even copied some pieces both for himself and for his wife, Anna Magdalena”, Álvarez explains, to then goes on to say that “thanks to a 1790 piece of writing of one of Bach’s student, Gerber, we also know he loved Couperin’s music and he recommended his students to study it”.
“Although both composers were strongly influenced by music from the past, it was their creativity that turned their compositions into groundbreaking music as it reflected the lively culture of their time”, Fimante’s artistic director concludes.
“Aun siendo dos compositores fuertemente influenciados por la música del pasado, fue su creatividad la que convirtió su música en revolucionaria, componiendo música que reflejaba la vívida cultura de su tiempo”, sentencia el director artístico de Fimante.
Quantum Ensemble, the chamber music ensemble resident in Auditorio de Tenerife, will give seven concerts in their 2019/2020 season. In addition to international performers, they are also inviting ensembles, singers, choirs plus a dancer to round off their offer. The group is led by its founding musicians, Cristo Barrios and Gustavo Díaz-Jerez. The first concert, Vínculos, will take place on 17 October at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara.
The ensemble, who has a modern, more flexible, and warmer approach to the interpretation of classical music, is calling in international musicians like cellist Tim Gill, violinist Priya Mitchell, clarinettist Romain Guyot, violinist Frederieke Saeijs, pianist Rolf Hind and ensembles like Elias String Quartet, Fauré Quartett and Lendvai String Trio. We will also have the chance to listen to soprano Anna Dennis, mezzo soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons and baritone Tristan Hambleton.
Pre-concert talks are reinforced this season. They are free of charge and are held at the same place of the concert one hour before it starts. The talks look into the repertoire, its contexts and the guest musicians, and will be given by personalities like the manager of Scherzo magazine, Juan Lucas; the director of the music programme of Fundación Juan March, Miguel Ángel Marín; the University of Leeds lecturer, Víctor Durà-Vilà; or the director and presenter of the RNE show Entre dos luces, Carlos Santos.
Vínculos brings together composers Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky and Gustav Mahler, three figures who through their co-existence in time and space in the Vienna of the late 19th century and early 20th century illustrate the extraordinary creative wealth of this Austrian city.
The second concert in the season will be Fricciones, on 22 November, featuring the performance of dancer Carmen Macías. The repertoire will confront creative styles and personalities in two pair of composers whose biographies overlap in space and time: Benjamin Britten and Harrison Birtwistle; and John Cage and Aaron Copland.
The end of the year brings Texturas, on 19 December. The unquestionable protagonist of this concert is the piano quartet Fauré Quartett, with a special programme that includes compositions by George Enescu, Gabriel Fauré and Paul Dukas.
Espejos is on in February 2020, featuring three works which are most unusual in current repertoires. These are very different compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Francis Poulenc and Bohuslav Martinů. Lendvai String Trio is playing in this concert.
Quantum Ensemble’s next concert is Estructuras, on 20 March, with three compositions spanning three centuries, an evidence of the time and stylistic ambition of the Tenerife ensemble’s repertoire. It also features the premiere of a piece composed by Gustavo Trujillo expressly for this concert.
Voces comes on 23 April with a programme that makes a contrast between outstanding compositions by Gioacchino Rossini with the work of two 20th century Italian composers: Luigi Nono and Salvatore Sciarrino.
Finally, Quantum Ensemble’s last concert this season is Prisma to be held on 14 May. They will be counting on Camerata Lacunensis, conducted by José Herrero and eleven clarinets, which are needed to perform Steven Reich’s New York Counterpoint. The event also includes works for mixed choir with and without piano by Samuel Barber and George Crumb’s composition for two pianos and two percussionists.
Quantum Ensemble is part of the Education and Social Area of Auditorio de Tenerife with their new didactic concerts for schoolchildren and their usual outreach activities, which offer sensory work sessions to bring music to people in a different way, also used as a means of expression. They carry out these activities with different social groups included people with functional diversity, at risk of exclusion, users of penitentiaries, etc.
Tickets for all these concerts, which are held at 7:30 pm at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara are available through Auditorio’s usual sale channels: at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday except holidays, via www.auditoriodetenerife.com or by phone on 902 317 327.
Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife, Auditorio de Tenerife’s resident ensemble, will offer six concerts in their third season, four of which at their main base and two at the churches of Granadilla de Abona and Buenavista del Norte. Many of its members have steady positions in other European groups but with the OBT these young musicians bring to life instruments and scores from the past. Their first engagement in the new season Will be on 12 September with Baroque Tulips.
The artistic director of the Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife, Conrado Álvarez highlights this season “the repertoire that includes great composers of the 18th century, the accuracy of the interpretation, and the historical performance with our young interpreters to share the sound of the Baroque by using period instruments”.
Dutch Jacques Ogg, Valencia-born Juan de la Rubia and Alfonso Sebastián from Zaragoza will join us again to conduct different concerts, in addition to the young Adrián Linares from Tenerife, concert master of OBT since the beginning and a soloist of violins II at the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia.
Also, from 2019 the Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife is joining the activities of the Auditorio de Tenerife Educational and Social Area with tailor-made concerts for primary school children from the 3rd to the 6th year plus for social groups. The main goal of these special concerts is to encourage active listening to Baroque music and learning about the period instruments the performers play.
Baroque Tulips pays tribute to Dutch good taste -inherited from the Baroque period- especially to the delight of their tulips and the excellent music they printed. This programme, to be conducted by Jacques Ogg, includes compositions by Unico van Wassenaer, Willem de Fesch, Antonio Vivaldi, Pietro Locatelli and Jean-Marie Leclair. Their outreach activity will take place during a specific music session with a group of elderly people who are part of the Cabildo’s social entertainment scheme “Ansina”.
The second concert will be held at the end of the year: Baroque Christmas Music (Barocke Weihnachtsmusik). It is taking place at 7:30 pm on 12 December at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara. The programme includes a selection of cantatas, one of the musical forms that best represent the sound laboratory of the Baroque; works from the vocal catalogue of the so-called German Baroque music and the instrument practices of the workshop of J. Rosenmüller, G. Muffat and J. C. F. Fischer.
The programme of Festival de Música Antigua de Tenerife (Fimante) [Tenerife Early Music Festival] includes again two concerts by Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife, their two season extensions. The programme Baroque Christmas Music (Barocke Weihnachtsmusik) will be played on 14 December at 7:00 pm in the church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced in El Médano, Granadilla de Abona. The following day, OBT will perform at 5:00 pm in Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, in Buenavista del Norte. Entry to both concerts is free.
The first concert of OBT in 2020 will be Mulieribus, on 12 March at 7:30 pm in the Auditorio de Tenerife. Their repertoire pays homage to the performers of the Ospedale della Pietá in Venice, where one of the European great music conservatoires of the time was set up; it is also a tribute to the maestros who built a better world through music during the Baroque. This concert will be conducted by the leader of the orchestra Andrés Linares.
Finally, the ensemble will close the season on 21 May at 7:30 pm at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara with Sounds from Brandenburg . The event includes a selection of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the organist of the Basílica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Juan de la Rubia, as harpsichordist and conductor.
Most of the period instruments the Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife play belong to the collection of the Real Academia Canaria de las Bellas Artes, at whose base they hold some of their rehearsals.
Tickets for all the concerts taking place at Auditorio de Tenerife are no won sale through the usual channels of this Cabildo’s cultural venue: at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday except holidays, via www.auditoriodetenerife.com or calling 902 317 327.
The Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife, part of the Tenerife 2030 strategy, was established by Andmúsica, Asociación para la Normalización de la Música Antigua en Canarias [Association for the Standardization of Early Music in the Canaries], in 2017. Its goal is to promote young Canarian interpreters, who have been educated in Europe, in period styles and instruments, providing a suitable coordination platform to encourage the historical musical heritage from different sound perspectives, bringing all the music forms of the 17th and 18th centuries to new audiences, thus adding to the cultural events available on the island.