PACIFIC BAROQUE FESTIVAL
‘STYLE GALANTE - DUTCH MASTERS’
Friday, March 6, 2020, 8PM
The Victoria Conservatory of Music's Alix Goolden Performance Hall
Wilbert Hazelzet - traverso
Marc Destrubé - violin
Jaap ter Linden - cello
Jacques Ogg - harpsichord
Marc Destrubé is joined by three Dutch masters of the period instrument movement in a program of highly expressive chamber music from the mid -18th century. These four musicians have individually enjoyed illustrious careers as soloists, chamber musicians and musical leaders around the world and have performed and recorded frequently together.
Doors open 7:00pm
Pre-concert talk: 7:15pm
Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (1714 - 1788)
Sonata in d minor for flute, violin and basso continuo, Wq.145 (Berlin 1747)
Georg Philip Telemann (1681 - 1767)
Sonata in D Major for cello and basso continuo
(“Der getreue Musikmeister” TWV 41:D6, Hamburg 1728/29)
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683 - 1764)
Concert V in d minor for harpsichord, flute and violin
("Pieces de Clavecin en Concerts," Paris 1741)
- La Forqueray, Fugue
- La Cupis
- La Marais
Sonata in D Major for harpsichord and violin, WQ.71 (Potsdam 1747)
- Poco adagio
- Menuet I & II
Jean Marie Leclair (1697 - 1764)
Sonata in e minor for flute and basso continuo, Op.9 No. 2 (Paris, 1743)
- Dolce: Andante
- Allemanda: Allegro ma non tropo
- Sarabanda: Adagio
- Minuetto: Allegro non tropo
Concerto Primo in G major for flute, violin, violoncello and basso continuo TWV 43 G1
("Six Quatuors", Paris 1730)
- Largo - Presto - Largo
In the middle of the Eighteenth Century, European courtiers were expected to be galant. This term first appeared in writings of seventeenth-century authors such as le Chavalier de Méré, who wrote a series of Conversations describing the ideal way to conduct oneself in courts of the nobility. To be galant was to be “sparkling”, “cheerful”, and to know how to insinuate oneself into a conversation. A successful galant courtier would be knowledgeable but not overly learned—in a modern sense, a Renaissance Man rather than a scholar. Some opponents of this aesthetic decried a galant homme as overly effeminate, and yet by the early Eighteenth Century, such protests did not disappear but certainly diminished. In music, embracing the galant aesthetic resulted in certain changes from the more dramatic, contrast-riddled world of the Baroque. “Learned” techniques such as fugues and dense counterpoint gave way to lighter textures where a charming melody reigned supreme over the highly subordinated lower parts. Unexpected changes in harmony or rhythm became not elements to dramatically shock but rather to delightfully surprise. Whereas conversational imitation of musical ideas between parts could sometimes (but not always) be heard as argumentative in earlier styles, imitation almost always sounds flattering and agreeable in the context of the style galant. Not all composers, however, unilaterally adopted this change of ethos in their music as it became fashionable, and older techniques stood alongside the more modern, as evidenced in this program.
C.P.E. Bach’s Sonata in d minor, Wq. 145 presents us with some hallmarks of the style galant. Imitation between the flute and violin suggest an amorous dialogue, as one part does not counter the other with an immediate contrasting idea but rather frequent confirmations of what came before. Bach delivers surprises such as chromaticism and appoggiaturas (graceful dissonances) in a suave manner so as to delight rather than jar the listener. The bass, as typical in the style galant, seldom engages in the conversation but rather provides an unrelenting foundation, mostly of steady rhythm where the harmony changes relatively slowly and in even increments, giving a sense of nonchalance even at a quick tempo, such as in the third movement.
C.P.E. Bach, incidentally, took over his godfather Georg Philip Telemann’s job in Hamburg when the latter died. Hamburg, as a highly cosmopolitan city, exposed the older Telemann to recent developments in musical style as they became fashionable. Even though it was composed in 1728 at the emergence of galant music, Telemann already embraced that aesthetic in his Sonata in D major for cello and continuo TWV 41:D6. The work was published in his Getreue Musikmeister, a publication aimed at delineating all of the current styles in the major Western European nations for the edification of musicians and connoisseurs. One of the most salient galant features appears in the first movement—the surprise appearance of triplets in a work where the beat is primarily duple. Such a rhythmic device was novel, considering that movements generally maintained a highly consistent rhythmic character in the music of the preceding decades. The triplets have the effect of a flirtatious laugh, very in keeping with the galant aesthetic.
If Telemann’s 1728 piece looked forward, Rameau’s 1741 publication of his Pièces de Clavecin en Concerts maintained some rather conservative compositional techniques. The fifth Concert in d minor contains three character pieces named after famous musicians of the previous generation: the viola da gamba virtuosi Forqueray and Marais, and the violinist and dance master Cupis. Rameau himself commented on the contrapuntal complexity of the music—a learned, not so galant aspect—when he says in the preface “I thought it necessary to publish a score, because it is necessary that the instruments not get confused with each other.” In fact, it was more common (and cheaper) simply to print only partbooks for the individual players, but for practical reasons, we see Rameau acknowledging the possibility for players to get lost in the musical tapestry he weaves.
The remaining pieces also stand on the more conservative side. Bach’s Sonata for harpsichord and violin strongly resembles those in the vein of his father Johann Sebastian, which is unsurprising given that it was written in 1731 and later revised. At that early date, Bach, in more remote Leipzig than Telemann’s Hamburg, would have had less access to the newest music trends. Italian-trained Jean-Marie Leclair’s Sonata in e minor is equally conservative and completely in the vein of the Italian baroque chamber sonata form popularized by Arcangelo Corelli. Telemann’s so-called Paris Quartets, including the concerto on this program, use a very baroque equal treatment of voices, as they were written for some of Paris’s most gifted musicians of the day, who were all equally talented. Telemann had a great gift for writing in multiple styles appropriate to the situation at hand, as evidenced on this program.
-- Justin Henderlight
Single Tickets and Festival Passes for the Pacific Baroque Festival can be purchased:
By phone: 250.386.5311 from the Box Office (Victoria Conservatory of Music)
In person (tickets available from November 23):
At the Box Office: 900 Johnson Street, Victoria BC (Victoria Conservatory of Music)
At the Cathedral Office: 930 Burdett Avenue)
And at the following outlets:
Ivy’s Bookshop: 2188 Oak Bay Ave.
Tanner’s Books: 2436 Beacon ave, Sidney
Munro’s Books: 1108 Government St.
GETTING TO THE VICTORIA CONSERVATORY'S ALIX GOOLDEN PERFORMANCE HALL
The Victoria Conservatory of Music's Alix Goolden Hall is located at the corner of Quadra St. and Pandora Ave.
The VCM parking lot is reserved for staff and faculty at all times. Street parking and public lots are available within short walking distance.