Concerto Köln: Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Concerto Köln

February 28, 2020 | 7:30PM
Mandel Hall

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Vivaldi: Concerto for Four Violins in B minor, Op. 3, No. 10 RV 580
           Concerto in E Major, Op. 8, No. 1 RV 269, "Spring"
           Concerto in F minor, Op. 8, No. 2 RV 315, "Summer"
Pietro Antonio Locatelli: Concerto for Four Violins in F Major, Op. 4, No. 12

Intermission

Giuseppe Valentini: Concerto for Four Violins in A minor, Op. 7, No. 11
Vivaldi: Concerto in F Major, Op. 8, No. 3 RV 293, "Autumn"

           Concerto in F minor, Op. 8, No. 4 RV 297, "Winter"

6:30 PM lecture with Barbara Dietlinger

With more than 200 recordings and countless re-imaginings and new works inspired by the opus, it is hard to believe that a 30-year-old ensemble performing in the 21st century could bring something new and exciting to Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, but that is exactly what Concerto Köln, a period chamber orchestra from Germany, accomplishes. In the hands of this ensemble, some of the most ubiquitous examples of baroque music on hard drives and CD shelves and piped into department stores, elevators, and telephones around the world take on an entirely new life, with a freshness and vigor that could only come from an ensemble like this one.

Without a doubt, the special energy that Concerto Köln brings to Vivaldi is due to its unique self-governing structure and an unbroken desire to find the unknown. The orchestra’s young concertmaster and soloist Shunske Sato remarks that he and the ensemble search for “something new in every moment.” “Imagination, personality and one’s own view of a piece of music were what was expected” in performance up until the 20th century, he says. Rather than endeavoring to recreate historical practice down to the most minute detail, Concerto Köln embraces the freedoms inherent in the score, and it is their “deviations from the norm [that] pack a substantial punch” (Charlotte Gardner, Gramophone).

Hear all four of Vivaldi’s concerti for the seasons like you’ve never heard them before when Concerto Köln, “those wonderful early-musickers from Cologne” (The New York Times), comes to Mandel Hall this winter. Before the performance, dive deeper into a program you thought familiar with a pre-concert lecture by doctoral candidate Barbara Dietlinger.

This concert is presented with the generous support of Elizabeth Sengupta.