La tradición musical teatral en España en torno a 1700
Francisco Guerau (1649-ca.1722)
Yo hermosísima Ninfa
Recitat - Ària
d’"El imposible mayor en amor le vence Amor"
Atribuïda a Sebastián Durón i a José de Torres (ca. 1670-1738)
Quantos teméis al rigor
Arietta ytaliana - Rezitado [Brioso] - [Vibo]
de "Las nuevas armas de Amor"
Xácaras & Folías
de "Salir el Amor del Mundo"
José de Nebra (1702-1768)
Ària, de “Viento es la dicha de Amor”
José de Nebra (1702-1768)
Pastorella che tra le selve
[ms 2245 de la Biblioteca Nacional d’Espanya]
Giovanni Bononcini (1670-1747)
Adiós, prenda de mi amor
Ària, de "Amor aumenta el valor"
José de Nebra
Tempestad grande, amigo
Fandango, de “Vendado es amor, no es ciego”
José de Nebra
Concepció, arranjaments i adaptació del programa: Fahmi Alqhai
Assessoria musicològica: Álvaro Torrente i José María Domínguez
Rodney Prada viola da gamba soprano
Johanna Rose viola da gamba
Rami Alqhai violó
Miguel Rincón guitarra barroca
Javier Núñez clavecí
Pedro Estevan percussió
Fahmi Alqhai viola da gamba soprano & direcció musical
Juan Ramón Lara
The labels we use to classify artistic styles often conceal very rich and diverse worlds so that at times they mean very little. A good example of this is the use of the word ‘baroque’ for music composed in the 17th and 18th century, the Spanish case of this is particularly revealing.
Paradoxically, it was the return to the throne of the French Bourbons that brought the Italian style to Madrid in 1701, a tidal wave that flooded European music of the time. Until then Spanish music was ruled by tradition and its own rules with characteristic harmonies, instrumental writing that was at times slightly idiomatic, vocal writing that was very syllabic and even with special notation for its singular rhythms amongst binary and ternary ones, rhythms that today we would call very flamenco. These characteristics are still recognisable in Sosieguen, descansen by Durón and in the contemporary dances that would serve as instrumental interludes.
The Italian cantatas in the Biblioteca Nacional de España (All’assalto de pensieri y Pastorella che tra le selve) serve as examples of the introduction of what North called at the time, “the fire and the fury of the Italian style”. The arrival of the Bourbons also signified Durón’s ascent to Maestro de Capilla (Kapellmeister), despite Durón curiously ending his days in exile having been discovered as an enthusiastic supporter of Charles VI, and the appearance of works such as Arietta ytaliana reveal his clear attempts to adapt to the new times, so much so that decades later it led him to being accused of ‘italianising’ by the priest Feijoo in “Música de los templos” (Teatro crítico universal, 1726):
“This is the music of these times, music that the Italians gave us by the hand of their fan, Maestro Durón, it was him that introduced foreign styles to Spanish music. It is true that since then they have changed so much that if Durón was resuscitated he would not recognise them, but you can always blame him for all these novelties as he was the first to open the door to them.”
It is probable that Feijoo despaired in the years immediately following this text listening to the operas and zarzuelas of José de Nebra, who masterfully took over this blooming, fiery Italian style, with its dry recitatives full of daring modulation, its da capo arias, specific instrumental writing, demanding coloraturas in its vocal writing… Skilfully combining them with popular forms and rhythms of the time such as the fandango or the seguidilla, Nebra led a successful career in the effervescent world of Madrid’s stage music of the first half of the 18th century without renouncing the qualities that made him, in many peoples opinion, the best Spanish composer of his century.
The bravery of its innovative projects and the strong artistic personality of its leader have made Accademia del Piacere the vanguard group of early Spanish music and one of the leading ensembles of its kind in Europe, thanks to its understanding of historical music as a living being, full of emotions that its musicians internalise as their own and transmit to the spectator.
In its recordings for Alqhai & Alqhai and Glossa, Accademia del Piacere have shed new light on repertoires that are fundamental to historical music such as the Italian Seicento, Spanish music of the Renaissance (Rediscovering Spain) or the theatre of Hispanic Baroque (Cantar de Amor, dedicated to Juan Hidalgo), and for this they have received acknowledgments such as the Choc de Classica in France, the Prelude Award in Holland and the GEMA award for the Best Spanish Baroque Group in 2016 and 2017, among many more. Accademia and Alghai further surprise by visiting artistic territories foreign to historicism, such as in Las idas y las vueltas y Diálogos together with the flamenco singers Arcángel y Rocío Márquez, for which they received Giraldillo Awards in the Bienal de Flamenco in Seville in 2012 and 2016.
Accademia del Piacere have performed on the most prestigious classical music stages in Europe and worldwide such as Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Berlin’s and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, the Kölner Philharmonie, Lisbon’s Fundação Gulbenkian, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional and many more in Holland, Mexico, Colombia, France, the United States, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain… Their concerts are usually broadcast live on the European Broadcasting Union and their associated transmissions and they have appeared on multiple television programmes.
Accademia del Piacere receives the support of:
Fahmi Alqhai is today considered one of the most important viola de gamba performers in the world and one of the main performers breathing life back into Early music thanks to his daring understanding and personal and communicative approach to historical repertoires.
He was born in Seville in 1976 to a Syrian father and a Palestinian mother, he trained in Seville and Switzerland (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana de Lugano) with Ventura Rico, Paolo Pandolfo and Vittorio Ghielmi as teachers. He worked for top level groups and directors (Jordi Savall, Ton Koopman, Pedro Memelsdorff, Uri Caine…), whilst earning his degree in Dentistry from the Universidad de Sevilla.
Already focussing his career on becoming a soloist and on his group, Accademia del Piacere, Fahmi Alqhai has led innovative recordings for Glossa (Rediscovering Spain, Cantar de Amor…) which have received important acknowledgments worldwide, even outside of the historical music genre such as winning a Giraldillo in the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla in 2012 for Best Music for his fourth CD, Las idas y las vueltas, together with the flamenco singer Arcángel, and a Giraldillo in 2016 for Innovation for Diálogos, together with Rocío Márquez.
In 2014, Alqhai presented his first solo CD, A piacere, the renewed understanding of the viola de gamba which it presented was very well received in all of Europe. In the British magazine, Gramophone it was called an “extraordinary” CD which “brings the viola de gamba into a new realm of joyful potential” and a “a merry tribute to all it could have been, and can still be.” He is touring Japan and the United States with the album after having led la Accademia del Piacere in some of the world’s biggest concert halls such as Berlin’s and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, The Kölner Philharmonie, Lisbon’s Fundación Gulbenkian, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional and many more stages in Holland, Mexico, Colombia, Switzerland, France, Italy… In 2016 he presented his most personal solo work, The Bach Album, on the Glossa label which won a GEMA for The Public’s Best Album in 2016, one of Scherzo’s Exceptional Albums and a Melómano de Oro. In 2018 he received the Medal of the City of Seville.
Since 2009 he has been the artistic director of FeMÀS, Festival de Música Antigua de Sevilla.
She studied singing and piano in her home of Catalonia and subsequently continued her studies in the Basel Music Academy with under the teaching of Kurt Widmer. In 2003 she received the Preis der Helvetia Patria Jeunesse Stiftung de la Pro Europe from the European Foundation for Culture for her exceptional achievements as a singer. She has performed in the main European festivals and collaborated with directors like Ivan Fischer, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul Goodwin, Trevor Pinnock, Howard Griffiths, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Thomas Hengelbrock, Laurence Cummings, Neville Marriner and Teodor Currentzis, and with groups such as Concerto Köln, The English Concert, Kammerorchester Basel, Collegium 1704, Il Giardino Armonico, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elbipolis Barockorchester, Le Cetra Basel, L’Arpeggiata and Festival Lucerne Strings.
In opera, she has participated as a soloist in big productions of many of the famous European theatres such as Cavalli’s Eliogabalo (in the role of Eritea) in Brussel’s Théâtre de la Monnaie directed by René Jacobs; Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo (Euridice) in Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden with René Jacobs; in the Grand Théâtre de Genève with Giovanni Antonini; and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Pamina) in Geneva’s Theatre Carlo Felice.
Nuria Rial has often performed historical baroque music as well as taking an interest in other styles such as in 2012 playing the role of Nuria in the contemporary opera Ainadamar by Golijov in the Teatro Real Madrid directed by Peter Sellars. In 2015 and 2016 she sang as Pamina once more with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, directed by Ivan Fischer.
She also performs chamber music, Rial often appears alongside groups such as Il Pomo d'Oro, Café Zimmermann and the Nash Ensemble. In her recitals she sings French and Spanish repertoires and also German songs.
Amongst Nuria Rial’s vast discography there are labels such as Harmonia Mundi France (with the award winning recording of Las bodas de Fígaro directed by René Jacobs, or, recently, Traces to Anna Magdalena Bach). Since 2009 she has been an exclusive artist for Sony Classical/BMG Masterworks. Her record Nueve Arias Alemanas by Händel with Michael Oman and the Austrian Baroque Company were awarded the prestigious Orphée d'Or 2010. In 2009, her CD Arie per un'amante (Haydn) with Michi Gaigg and the Orfeo Barockorchester won an Echo Classical Music Award, and received a second Echo Award for her contribution to the CD Teatro d’Amore. In 2010 she received the Echo Klassik for the CD Via Crucis with Christina Pluhar and L’Arpeggiata, and in 2012 she won awards for her CD Telemann with the Basel Chamber Orchestra in the category of Best Opera Arias CD.