2021/22 SEASON: EASTSIDE CHAMBER SERIES

BAROQUE CHAMBER MUSIC

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4

Curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, this Baroque chamber presentation spotlights members of the Orchestra as they take center stage in this concerto-heavy program featuring the violin, oboe, flute, and harpsichord. You will also hear Joseph Haydn’s delightful first string quartet, Op. 1, No. 1.

This program is dedicated in memory of Warner W. Henry, Board Director emeritus, and lover of chamber and Baroque music.

The appearance of Tereza Stanislav in Baroque Chamber Music is made possible, in part, with support from Hilda Herrera Adler.

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Audience members, musicians, guest artists, staff, and venue personnel are required to be fully vaccinated. For our extended COVID-19 policy, click here.

Program

CARLOS SEIXAS

Harpsichord Concerto in A Major

7 minutes

ANTONIO VIVALDI

Oboe Concerto in F Major RV 455

8 minutes

GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI

Violin Concerto in B-flat Major

14 minutes

JOSEPH HAYDN

String Quartet Op. 1 No. 1​

16 minutes

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN

Concerto in A minor for Violin, Flute, Oboe and Continuo

11 minutes

Location

The Huntington

1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108, USA

The Huntington

1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108, USA

December 4, 2021 8:00pmTickets

LACO’S 2021/22 SEASON

November 13, 2021 – May 15, 2022

Music Director Jaime Martín will leap to the podium in November as he unites the Orchestra to welcome us all back to the concert hall. This year, Jaime expands on what makes LACO truly remarkable: an orchestra of soloists.

LACO will perform as usual on both the east and west sides, sticking to the regulars like Royce Hall, Alex Theatre, Zipper Hall and Rothenberg Hall. Some will already be familiar with our newer additions like Ambassador Auditorium and The Broad Stage. However, please note that we will not be following our usual Eastside + Westside double night concerts schedule this season. Most chamber and orchestral concerts have distinct programming and will be performed on only one night unless otherwise noted.

PROGRAM NOTES

The history of Western art music is full of composers looking for opportunities to spotlight the unique characteristics of a solo instrument or showcase the talent of an individual—to celebrate another’s gifts or their own. A Concerto is the perfect genre for featuring a soloist (or small group of soloists) while still having the harmonic and textural support of an ensemble. Sometimes described as conversational or even adversarial, a concerto allows for a soloist to display technical virtuosity or melodic expressiveness, all while interacting with a larger instrumental group. Our program, curated by concertmaster Margaret Batjer, features one string quartet from the early Classical and four concertos from the late Baroque period. This collection of works encourages the listener to compare various approaches to the genre of the concerto, including different national and personal styles.

Most of the composers on this program may be familiar, but one of the lesser-known names belongs to Carlos Seixas (1704-1742). A keyboard virtuoso and composer, Seixas spent his career in his native Portugal. At the age of sixteen, he moved to Lisbon, where he would serve as organist in the royal chapel of John V. He crossed paths with Domenico Scarlatti and gave harpsichord lessons to members of nobility. The delightful three-movement of Concerto in A Major is one of just a handful of ensemble compositions by Seixas that survived a 1755 earthquake in Portugal.

A collection of Baroque concertos would not be complete without the inclusion of at least one by Antonio Vivaldi, the prolific “red” priest from Venice. This Concerto for Oboe in F major is just one of hundreds of concertos penned by Vivaldi, and one of more than two dozen that feature the oboe as the main soloist or as one of a group of soloists. The oboe also appears as one of the soloists in Georg Philipp Telemann’s Concerto in A minor for Violin, Flute, Oboe and Continuo. In the Baroque period, a concerto that featured multiple soloists was known as a concerto grosso. The small group—called the ripieno—might play together as a single entity or have spotlight moments for each member.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s life and career were cut extremely short by illness. He is best remembered for the two-act opera buffa, La serva padrona, but he composed some lovely sacred vocal works as well as numerous Sinfonias and concertos. The Violin Concerto you will hear this evening is one a few works of his that feature the violin as a soloist. The slow central movement of this concerto suggests an expressive aria, reminding the listener of Pergolesi’s operatic experience.

Finally, it is worth noting that the only work on the program that is not a concerto is Joseph Haydn’s very first String Quartet. Haydn, you may know, has been called “The Father of the String Quartet,” and through his nearly seventy examples of the genre, we see the development not only of string quartets, but the evolution of Haydn’s style as well. This five-movement work provides a snapshot of the hallmarks of Classicism as it stood in the 1750s and 60s. There are five movements in this piece, nodding to the influence of the Divertimento, and Haydn arranged them in a symmetrical way; the first and last movements are both marked Presto, and the second and fourth are both Menuetto. The central Adagio is the emotional heart of the work. When Haydn composed this string quartet, the intended players were not professional musicians, but instead amateurs who wanted something to play together. The result was a piece with a refreshing clarity of form and melody. Although the string quartet grew to be a genre capable of incredible complexity and even experimentation, its origin lies in home musicmaking with friends.

–Christine Lee Gengaro, Ph.D.