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Saturday, August 29 / 10.00 pm


Concerti e sonate da camera
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All of us here at the Festival de Pollença regret to inform you that Mr. Giovanni Antonini will no longer be able to perform in the Il Giardino Armonicoconcert, scheduled for Saturday 29 August, due to an unforeseen and severe family health problem which, without doubt, he must attend to in Milan.

The Il Giardino Armonico concert shall go ahead with an instrumental format and a programme that has been adapted to this modification, which you can find below.

We would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Dario Castello (sec.XVI - ante 1658)

Sonata duodecima for 2 violins, cello and b.c.

"Sonate concertate in stil moderno" libro secondo

Venezia, 1644

Tarquinio Merula (1595 - 1665)

Canzon "La Pedrina"

Canzoni overo Sonate concertate per chiesa e camera, book 3 Op. 12

Venezia 1637

Luigi Rossi (1597 - 1653)

Passacaille Del seig.r Louigi

for theorbo solo

Tarquinio Merula

Ciaccona per due violini e b.c.

Op 12, nr 20 Venezia 1637

in Canzoni overo sonate concertate per chiesa e camera

Tomaso Albinoni (1671 - 1751)

Adagio in d-minor for two violins and b.c.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)

Trio Sonata in D minor RV 64 op.1/8 for 2 violins and continuo


Pietro Marchitelli (1643 - 1729)

Sonata n.11 in A minor for two violins and b.c.

Andante, Allegro, Grave, Allegro

Dario Castello

Sonata decima a tre

"Sonate concertate in stil moderno" libro secondo

Venezia, 1644

Antonio Vivaldi

Sonata "Follia" op. I n. 12 RV63 for two violins and b.c

Stefano Barneschi i Marco Bianchi, violins
Marcello Scandelli, violoncel
Riccardo Doni, clavicèmbal*
Michele Pasotti, tiorba

*Instrument cedit per cortesia de la família Ignaczak

Program notes

Bàrbara Duran Bordoy

Musicologist and writer


For a traveller, turning the corner of Venice's narrow streets still evokes memories of bygone music from the distant past, an audible shadow of the city's former self. Lost among the crowds of tourists and gondolas, passages of tunes from the Venetian maestros can still be heard from a few of the city's music shops. Listening to Vivaldi or Castello in the middle of the street, whatever the occasion, is a strange and intoxicating gift, a fleeting moment that is completely disconnected from real life, a mirage that encompasses a particular space and time, an echo of the majestic sounds that once resonated though the palazzos of Baroque Italy.

And, correspondingly, it's easy to imagine Vivaldi wandering the same streets and entering the Ospedale della Pietà, his rehearsal space between 1703 and 1740, only interrupted briefly for eight years. It was here that homeless and illegitimate boys and girls would come. Here they would be given a good education and the youngsters excelled at music, becoming known as the figlie di coro. It was here that Vivaldi became a violin teacher and was able to get so much out of the children, turning them into such exceptional musicians that they were acknowledged by the city's aristocracy and were often invited to play at their parties and ceremonies. It's worth asking ourselves whether Vivaldi's music would be the same without these young instrumentalists and singers who allowed him to try out and experiment with, in the workplace, the myriad possibilities posed by the new instrumental languages that he was conceiving each day. A language that included the timbral exploration of stringed instruments, as well as—and this can't be understated—the creation and consolidation of formal structures that nowadays we know as concerto grosso, concerto with ritornello and, more simply, concerti for various musical instruments.

Dario Castello, on the other hand, was one of the maestri of music of Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice, before Vivaldi, and a contemporary of Monteverdi. A musician who lived in a shroud of mystery did not know much about him, but he departed from the Renaissance canzona form, which featured contrasting sections. They formed recitative passages featuring basso continuo in the new stile moderno, creating an almost virtuosic language that brings improvised performances to mind. All told, he paved the way for Vivaldi's generation. Great examples of this are some of the pieces being played in today's concert, Sonata No. 12 for two violins and Sonata No. 10 for three players, both with basso continuo. And when basso continuo emerged—usually played by harpsichord or organ with viola, but also with theorbo or lute—this was proof that Renaissance techniques had passed by the wayside and that the new Baroque music, the stile moderno, was here to stay, as evidenced by Castello in the general title of his collection Sonate concertante in stile moderno.

Tarquinio Merula worked similarly. The canzona "La Pedrina" presents us with a familiar melody, with the instrumental discourses and melodic ornaments played over the top, offering the instruments the chance to find their own language. In other words, melodic exploration leads to the creation of a language that is exclusively instrumental and that must forge its path through the use of earlier forms of vocal music which instrumental canzone was based on. Once again, however, the title of the collection Canzoni overo sonate concertante per chiesa e camera, which introduces new concepts to us, like sonate concertante, and which help Merula become one of the earliest examples of Baroque experimentation.

However, there are still structures from previous musical styles that linger on in elaborating new instrumental forms. One the one hand, earlier vocal forms which the canzone was based on, and, on the other, the repetitive basslines from popular songs and dances, as was the case with "La Folia." Vivaldi is just one of the composers that use this well-known bassline in his Sonata "La Folia," Op. 1, No. 12, RV63, for two violins and basso continuo. The dance's energy guides the sonata, which could even be considered a ballata; the melody of the bass is famous enough and stretches the musicians to their limits almost hypnotically.

However, Vivaldi's work continued to grow as he discovered more and more new expressive forms combining a range of instruments, and as a result, the delicate sound of the recorder takes centre stage in Concerto in A minor RV 108. For whom—or for which musician, more precisely—did Vivaldi have in mind when writing this? The Concerto in G minor, RV 104 "La Notte," is one of Vivaldi's most revered concerti and one of his most challenging. Today's programme presents this concerto in six different movements, some of them with a clearly described intention (for example Fantasmi and Il Sonno), while still maintaining the movements’ slow/fast/slow/fast structure, which is definitely a nod to the slow tempo of “Autumn” in the Four Seasons concerti.

Before we sit back and enjoy the music, we must ask ourselves: who did Vivaldi write these concerti for? Were they for the soloists at the Ospedale, those young virtuosi? How would they be able to play something so seemingly difficult? Concerto RV 90, "Il Gardellino," emits a particular passion, liveliness and luminosity that would bring the spirits back to life. Vivaldi was blessed with a unique style, which Bach acknowledged when he began to copy and transcribe lots of his concerti. With music with such divine proportions, not even Bach could resist the temptation to feed on the Venetian salt, light and water of Vivaldi's music.


Il Giardino Armonico

Il Giardino Armonico

Il Giardino Armonico is regularly invited to festivals throughout the world in some of the most iconic concert halls and has received high acclaim for both its concerts and opera productions, such as Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Vivaldi’s Ottone in villa, Handel’s Agrippina, The Triumph of Time and Truth, La resurrezione and Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Cecilia Bartoli during the 2012 edition of Salzburg's Whitsun Festival and Summer Festival.

In addition to their ever-growing list of performances, Il Giardino Armonico is continuously busy in the studio, tirelessly recording albums and songs. For many years, the group was signed exclusively to Teldec Classics, receiving several major awards for the recordings of Vivaldi's works and the other 18th-century composers. Following on from the universal success of The Vivaldi Album, with Cecilia Bartoli (Decca, 2000) and for which they were awarded the Grammy Award, the group’s subsequent collaboration with the soprano resulted in Sacrificium, which went platinum and once again earned them a Grammy.

The group then went on to sign an exclusive deal with Decca/L’Oiseau-Lyre, releasing several highly successful albums with the label: Händel, Concerti Grossi op. VI, Il pianto di Maria with Bernarda Fink and two albums with Julia Lezhneva.

Il Giardino Armonico also released Vivaldi’s Cello Concertos with Christopher Coin on Naïve and Vivaldi’s Violin Concertos with Viktoria Mullova on Onyx.

In co-production with the National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, Poland, Il Giardino Armonico released Serpent & Fire with Anna Prohaska (Alpha Classics - Outhere Music Group, 2016), winning the “Baroque Vocal” category at the 2017 ICMA Awards, and La morte della ragione in 2019, which was awarded the Diapason d’Or and Le Choc by Classica magazine.

Still on Alpha Classic, teaming up with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the group launched a volume centred around Vivaldi and other select Italian composers.

The recording of five of Mozart's Violin Concertos with Isabelle Faust (Harmonia Mundi, 2016) is the result of the group's collaboration with the great violinist, for which they won the Gramophone Award and the Le Choc de L’Année in 2017.

Il Giardino Armonico is part of the two-decade-long project Haydn2032, recording the complete symphonies of Haydn, released on Alpha Classics, and performing a thematic series concerts throughout Europe. The first few albums were already released: La Passione, which won the 2015 Echo Klassik Award, and Il Filosofo, which was named the Choc de L’Année by Classica magazine. Solo e Pensoso and Il Distratto are also both now available to buy on CD and LP. The latest release from the project won the Gramophone Award in 2017.

Telemannwon the Diapason d’Or de l’Année and the Echo Klassik Award in 2017. The eighth volume of the Haydn2032 project, La Roxolana, was released in January 2020.

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