Nicolas ALTSTAEDT, violoncel

Jonathan COHEN, director i clavecí

Simfonia en mi bemoll major, Wq 179

C. P. E. Bach (1714 – 1788)

      I. Prestissimo

      II. Larghetto

      III. Presto

Simfonia en fa major, BR C 2 / Fk 67

W. F. Bach (1710 – 1784)

      I. Vivace

      II. Andante

      III. Allegro

      IV. Menuetto I – II.   

Concert per a violoncel i orquestra en do major

F. J. Haydn (1732 – 1809)

      I. Moderato

      II. Adagio

      III. Allegro molto


    Concert per a violoncel núm. 3 en sol major, G 480

    L. Boccherini (1743 – 1805)

          I. Allegro

          II. Adagio

          III. Allegro

    Simfonia núm. 45 o «Simfonia dels adeus», en fa sostingut menor

    F. J. Haydn (1732 – 1809)

          I. Allegro assai

          II. Adagio

          III. Minuet. Allegretto – Trio

          IV. Finale. Presto – Adagio



    Joan Vives Bellalta, Musician and populariser

    A priori, this concert’s program brings us representative music from the last two-thirds of the XVIII century, halfway between gallant style and classicism. But it is clear that great geniuses always strive to break the fashion patterns and create works that transcend the limits established by each era.

    The Symphony in E flat major Wq 179 by C P. E. Bach, written in 1757 and subsequently revised, captures us from its first bars, since far from the tender, loving character that the baroque tradition had linked to the tonality of E flat major, the emotional instability and the contrasts draw the link of this work with the Empfindsamer (or sentimental) taste, which Frederick the Great of Prussia, the Flute King, had implanted in the music played in his Berlin and Potsdam palaces, where Carl Philipp worked as a harpsichordist for almost forty years. The disturbing calm of the central movement gives way to the final presto, written in the purest hunt topic.

    The Symphony by W. F. Bach, the older brother of the previous one, predisposes us to a pastoral setting by tradition among composers of the time to use the F major tonality, far from what we will hear here. Born during his time in Dresden at the beginning of the 1740s, this symphony lives up to the apocryphal nickname by which it is known in German, «Die Dissonanzen,» for the abundance of harmonic surprises with which Friedemann Bach will surprise and captivate us as if the free and intense style of his brother from Berlin had suddenly become his own. Or the unique style of Jan Dismas Zelenka, also a composer at the Dresden court. The gentle final minuets return us to tradition.

    Pure classical beauty bursts forth exultantly in the Concerto in C major for cello and orchestra, one of the two Haydn concertos for this instrument still preserved. Although it was known to exist – because Haydn mentions it in a draft catalogue of his own work made in 1765 – the concerto was lost until 1961. At that time, the Czech musicologist Oldřich Pulkert found the manuscript in the National Museum of Prague. We stand before a youthful work, created during the first years of the composer’s work at Eisenstadt Palace, in the service of the Esterhazy family, and most likely intended for that orchestra’s leading cellist, who at the time was Joseph Weigl. It is undoubtedly one of the most delicious pages written for cello during the second half of the XVIII century.

    In the composer from Lucca orchestral output, Luigi Boccherini, a dozen cello concertos particularly stand out (in addition to being a composer, he was also a virtuoso of this instrument). He published the first four in Paris around 1770, shortly after settling in Spain, where he worked for the Infante Luis de Borbón at the Boadilla del Monte Palace. One of these concerts is precisely the G. 480, written in G major, where the composer’s virtuosic ability and exquisite classicist charm become evident. By the way, this concerto’s adagio was one of the fragments used by Friedrich Grützmacher in 1895 to construct the hybrid work that was then called Boccherini’s Concerto in B flat major, combined with a fragment of the sonata G.  565 and the G. 482 concerto, with many additions by Grützmacher himself, including notes, ornaments and re-orchestration. Today, we will hear the music as Boccherini conceived it.

    After the parenthesis represented by the two pages for cello, we will complete the concert by returning to the almost pre-romantic singularity of one of Haydn’s most charismatic symphonies. Already from the first bars, this symphony’s Sturm und drang (storm and action) character is defined, which, more or less, will continue to mark, or simply perfume, the rest of the work. This term, taken from the play of the same name by Friedrich Klinger, is used to refer to a whole series of musical works that emerged around 1770, and not only by Haydn, which share features that seem to herald romanticism, such as the minor modes’ characteristic dark and melancholy colour, orchestral beats, syncopated rhythms, abrupt cuts, harmonic surprises… Composing exclusively for Prince Nikolaus allowed Haydn to make risky music, which would not have been well understood if it had been destined for an audience like that of Vienna. Especially singular is the Finale, which, after starting forcefully, stops abruptly, switching to a sweeter second part in major mode, from which the musicians will rise progressively, leaving only two violins to strike the final chord. Hence the nickname «Symphony of Farewells,» with which it became renowned. Haydn explained that this was the only diplomatic way he could find to let Prince Nikolaus know that the musicians wanted a few summer vacation days in 1772, even though he had exceptionally decided not to go. Genius put to the service of transcendence, even concerning the working rights of musicians.


    Arcangelo is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed period performance ensemble led by its founder and artistic director Jonathan Cohen. Its ethos is ruled by a determination to apply the deep listening skills and artistry of chamber music making to every piece in its repertoire. The ensemble’s collective energy and spirit continue to generate a flood of critical awards and five-star reviews, spark audience ovations, and prompt invitations to the foremost international venues and festivals.

    Arcangelo was the first ‘Baroque Ensemble in Residence’ at Wigmore Hall in London, where it maintains a close artistic relationship. Its three appearances at the BBC Proms include the Proms premiere of Handel’s ‘Theodora’ and a televised performance of Bach’s ‘St Matthew Passion’. In the past three years, Arcangelo has appeared at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Liszt Academy Budapest, De Bijloke Ghent, Festival Musika-Musica Bilbao, Zentrum Paul Klee Bern and Musis Arnhem, and enjoyed a second season residency at Wigmore Hall, appearing with soloists including Avi Avital, Iestyn Davies, Barnabas Kelemen, Katharina Konradi, Tim Mead, Carolyn Sampson. Arcangelo has previously appeared at Carnegie Hall, Snape Maltings, MA Festival Brugge, Dresden Arts Festival, Tonhalle Zurich, and Philharmonie Koeln.

    Arcangelo’s critically-lauded discography now comprises a total of 28 releases, most recently the debut solo Baroque recital of Tim Mead, ‘Sacroprofano’, released on Alpha Classics. Further highlights include Buxtehude’s Trio Sonatas Op.1 on Alpha, nominated for a 2018 GRAMMY Award; two Gramophone Award-winning albums with Iestyn Davies  on Hyperion; a BBC Music Magazine Award-winning survey of cello concerti by C.P.E. Bach with soloist Nicolas Altstaedt; a 2021 studio recording of Handel’s ‘Brockes Passion’ on Alpha, named Album of the Week by BBC Radio 3 and The Sunday Times; and a multiply-nominated concept recording with mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, ‘Tiranno’, hailed by Gramophone as “a model of what a recital album can be”.

    In 2021, Arcangelo launched its New Ensemblists programme to develop the next generation of ensemble musicians specialised in period performance. The scheme provides a two-year programme of bespoke training and opportunities to outstandingly promising young musicians. Arcangelo’s New Ensemblists 2022-24 are Cristina Prats-Costa (Violin), Yaoré Talibart (Violin) and Madeleine Bouissou (Cello).

    Nicolas ALTSTAEDT


    German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is one of the most sought after and versatile artists today. As a soloist, conductor and artistic director, he performs repertoire spanning from early music to the contemporary.

    Nicolas Altstaedt performs regularly with the most renowned orchestras around the world, including the Wiener Philharmoniker and Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zürich, OPRF and ONF Paris, and all BBC orchestras, with conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Roger Norrington, Lahav Shani, François-Xavier Roth, Robin Ticciati, as well as with orchestras of historical performance practice such as Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, Andrea Marcon and Jonathan Cohen.

    Nicolas Altstaedt was Artist in Focus at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and Artist in Residence at the SWR Symphonieorchester with Teodor Currentzis in 2019/20. During the 2017/18 season, Nicolas gave the highly acclaimed Finnish Premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto under the baton of the composer at the Helsinki Festival and was ‘Artist in Spotlight’ at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. In 2012, Nicolas Altstaedt succeeded Gidon Kremer as artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, and in 2014, he succeeded Ádám Fischer in this position at the Haydn Philharmonic.

    As a conductor, he works closely with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and conducted in recent seasons the SWR, OPRF Paris, Aurora Orchestra, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Les Violons du Roy and Münchener Kammerorchester orchestras. As a chamber musician, Nicolas’ regular partners include Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Pekka Kuusisto, Lawrence Power, Antoine Tamestit, Alexander Lonquich, Jean Rondeau and the Quatuor Ébène.

    Joint appearances with composers such as Thomas Adès, Jörg Widmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Thomas Larcher, Fazil Say and Sofia Gubaidulina consolidate his reputation as an outstanding interpreter of contemporary music.

    He has received numerous prizes including the Beethovenring Bonn 2015 and Musikpreis der Stadt Duisburg 2018. His most recent recording for his Lockenhaus Festival garnered the BBC Music Magazine 2020 Chamber Award and Grammophone Award 2020. He received the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award 2017 for his recording of CPE Bach Concertos on Hyperion with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen and the Edison Klassiek 2017 for his Recital Recording with Fazil Say on Warner Classics. Nicolas is a recipient of the Credit Suisse Award in 2010 and was a BBC New Generation Artist 2010-2012.

    Violins 1 

    Michael Gurevich (leader) 

    Emily Nebel 

    Sophia Prodanova

    Violins 2 

    James Toll (principal) 

    Jorge Jimenez 


    Aliye Cornish (principal) 

    Thomas Kettle 


    Jonathan Byers


    Ismael Campanero Nieto


    Christopher Palameta (principal)

    Sarah Humphrys


    Inga Maria Klaucke


    Ursula Paludan Monberg (principal)

    Nick Benz

    Director i Clavecí

    Jonathan Cohen

    Organitza i patrocina

    Amb el suport de


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    Convent de Sant Domingo

    C/. de Pere J. Cànaves Salas, s/n

    T.(+34) 971 899 323

    Horari oficina

    De dimarts a dissabte de 10.00 a 13.30h

    Dijous de 16.30 a 19.00

    Per a reservar i comprar entrades el mateix dia del concert, de 20.30 a 22.00h