MED Classic

  • As in previous years, the 13th MED Festival will also have an area devoted to classical music. In this edition there will be four groupings which will take classical music to the Mother Church. The shows start at 7:30pm and last 45 minutes.

    02/07/  SATURDAY

    Horns and Strings

    O. Nicolai (1810-1849)
    Three Duets

    I. Allegro
    II. Andante
    III. Rondo: Allegro

    A. Dvorák (1841-1904)
    Ciprestes (Seleção nº 2, 9, 11, 12)
    Cypresses (Selection N.º 2, 9, 11, 12)

    L.V. Beethoven (1770-1827)
    Sexteto em Mi bemol Maior, Op. 81b
    Sextet in E-flat major, Op.81b
    I. Allegro con brio
    II. Adagio
    III. Rondo. Allegro

    QC - Quarteto Concordis
    (Strings quartet and horns)

    Chamber Group

    Todd Sheldrick, Trompa Horn
    Thomas Gomes, Trompa Horn
    Rodrigo Gomes, Violino Violin
    Emil Chitakov, Violino Violin
    Ângela Silva, Viola
    Mikhail Shumov, Violoncelo Cello

    Programme Notes
    The six sonatas for two horns by Otto Nicolai are substantial works in three movements. The original manuscripts lay in the Stettin City Library until they were destroyed during the Second World War. Two separate horn players made copies: Kurt Janetzky, who was a member of the Stettin Opera Orchestra from 1935 until the opera house's destruction, and Handel Knott Sr, an amateur of music who was born in the 1870s and is thought to have made his copy in the first decade of the twentieth century. Both sources give the sonatas' year of composition as 1848, that troubled year of revolution in Europe. Nicolai, recently arrived in Berlin from Vienna, where he had been kapellmeister of the Court Opera since 1841, made many journeys to see friends that year - partly because the Berlin theatres had been closed down by Royal decree and partly to avoid the unpleasantness in the streets. The Royal Family had asked him to give some thought to the establishment of a Conservatoire and this brought him back into contact with Carl Nicholaus Türrschmidt, grandson of the horn-player Johann and son of the great Carl, whose fame as a horn duettist with Johann Palsa was legendary. Carl Nicholaus, whom Nicolai had known since his days in Rome (1833-37), was a respected teacher of theory in Berlin. Perhaps it was he who suggested some music for his own purposes, either as player or pedagogue.

    The twelve “Cypresses” for string quartet, B. 152, originate from eighteen love songs for voice and piano dashed off by Dvorak in a period of 17 days. The songs were written when Dvorak was 24. Dvorak chose never to publish the songs in their original form, but material from several of the songs cropped up in his first two symphonies and in his operas and other vocal works. In 1887, he took twelve of the songs and revised them for string quartet in a grouping entitled Echo of Songs. They were not published until after his death, and the title “Cypresses” was conferred upon them at the time of their publication in 1921. In most of the movements the first violin takes the part originally written for voice, and there is a masterly transcription of the piano accompaniments. The melodic themes of the songs remain intact, as do the harmonic and rhythmic aspects. The movements are songforms based on single thematic ideas resulting in a constant flow of melody -- lyrical, undemanding, and beautiful.

    Beethoven wrote a good deal for wind instruments in his youth. Beethoven’s sole essay in the serenade/divertimento idiom is his early Sextet in E flat major, Op 81b. The work has a deceptively late opus number because it was not published until 1810, but it seems to have been written around 1795, in the period when Beethoven was beginning to make his way in Viennese society as a composer and keyboard virtuoso after a period of study with Haydn – who left for his second trip to England in January 1794. It is not known whether the work was written for a particular occasion, but it was issued by the Bonn publisher Nicolaus Simrock, who played second horn in the orchestra at Bonn, and had been a friend of Beethoven’s since 1789 when the composer joined the orchestra as a viola player. Simrock published a number of Beethoven’s works, including the ‘Kreutzer’ sonata, Op 47, and the variations for flute and piano, Op 107, and it may be that the sextet was written for performance by the Bonn horn player and some of his colleagues. The work has the light-hearted, easy-going tone of the serenade/divertimento tradition, though it is in only three movements and the horn parts occasionally have the sort of brilliant passage-work we associate with horn concertos or soloistic chamber pieces with horn, such as Haydn’s divertimento in E flat for horn, violin and cello, or Mozart’s quintet in E flat, K407, for horn, violin, two violas and cello. Indeed, K407 is particularly close in style and mood to Op 81b, and was probably the main model.

    Founded in 2002 under the designation of Orquestra do Algarve, the orchestra changed its name to Orquestra Clássica do Sul (OCS) in September 2013 in order to enhance its mission of offering a high artistic quality programme to the regions of Algarve, Alentejo and the Setubal peninsula, as well as to the Spanish region of Andalusia.
    Besides the Turismo do Algarve and the University of Algarve, the original founders of OCS include the regional municipalities of Albufeira, Faro, Lagos, Loulé, Portimão and Tavira. Subsequently, the municipalities of Alcoutim, Castro Marim, Olhão, Lagoa, Redondo, S. Brás de Alportel, Vila Real de S. António, Silves, Vila do Bispo and the University of Évora also joined as associates of OCS. In addition, the orchestra is pleased to count on ‘Caixa Geral de Depósitos’ as its sponsor.
    The Orquestra Clássica do Sul is composed by musicians selected in international public competitions, gathering 12 different nationalities. The OCS programme includes chamber music concerts, opera productions, Promenade concerts (for families), concerts in association with different musical genres (e.g., jazz, fado) and other artistic expressions (e.g., dance, literature), workshops and master classes. Along with its musical activity, the orchestra dedicates a special effort to pedagogical actions in schools, promoting the musical taste of younger audiences.

    With a musical repertoire embracing pieces that range from baroque to contemporary, the OCS presents thematic concert cycles with national and international soloist and conductors, besides traditional concerts in festive occasions.
    The artistic debut of OCS took place in October 2013 under the direction of Cesário Costa, its Principal Conductor and Artistic Director. Since then, the orchestra has made presentations in auditoriums throughout the territory of Algarve, in Setúbal and in Mértola, Ourique, Évora, Castro Verde, Alvito, Marvão, Torrão (Alcácer do Sal), Almodôvar, Redondo, among other places in Alentejo, and has also performed regular cycles of concerts in Ayamonte (Spain).

    During 2014, the OCS has played two concerts in ‘Dias da Música’ in CCB, Lisbon, one of them having Jan Lisiecki, a young pianist highly praised by the critics, as soloist. It has also embraced the project ‘Música em Comunidade’ (Music in the Community), a set of unprecedented cultural actions developed in collaboration with several entities, which offered music to hospitalized children and adults, as well as to their healthcare takers, at the Hospitals of Beja, Faro, Huelva and Setúbal, and to the ‘Estabelecimento Prisional de Faro’ (the prison of Faro).
    At the 2014 “Festival Caixa a Sul” (previous “Festival Caixa Geral de depósitos”), the OCS presented a jazz programme with Joana Machado, and fado with Gisela João. At the 2015’s festival the orchestra joined Vitorino and Janita Salomé in the project “Clássico EnCante”, in which traditional music and Cante from Alentejo were mixed with classic sonorities, and presented the programme “Uma Viagem Mediterrânica” with the tenor Carlos Guilherme. In October, 2014, the OCS performed at the Sala do Senado da Assembleia da República (Senate Room of the Portuguese Parliamentary Assembly) and, after invitation of the Mexico Embassy, shared the stage of the Tivoli BBVA theatre with Kátia Guerreiro in an unparalleled concert. The orchestra joined Kátia Guerreiro once more in a concert at the 2015 Festival Internacional de Música de Marvão, and also staged performances such as the opera “Rita” by Donizetti in co-production with all'opera - Itinerant Opera Company, the “Matrioska” ballet in co-production with Companhia de Dança do Algarve, and “The Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky by invitation of the Companhia Nacional de Bailado.

    The OCS has recently been directed by invited conductors such as António Saiote, Christopher Bochmann, Eduardo Álvarez, Jean-Marc Burfin, Jan Wierzba, John Avery, José Eduardo Gomes, Maxime Tortelier, Melani Mestre, Patrycja Pieczara, Pedro Neves, Piotr Sulkowski, Rui Pinheiro, Samuel Draper and Vasco Pearce de Azevedo. In 2015, the orchestra also counted with the collaboration of the soloists Bruno Borralhinho, Gonçalo Pescada, António Rosado, Cristina Nóbrega, Rui Baeta, Carlos Monteiro, Carolina Figueiredo, Job Tomé, Sara Afonso, Daniel Hart, Bárbara Barradas, Marina Pacheco, Cátia Moreso, João Terleira, Joana Vieira, João Bettencourt da Câmara, Vasco Dantas, and the Câmara Lisboa Cantat Choir and Coral Ossónoba Group.
    The 2016 artistic season includes a set of new proposals in its programme that intends to increase its range of artistic and cultural offers, in addition to the development of projects that OCS embraces for many years and that are a landmark of its activity. The artistic team has Rui Pinheiro as Principal Conductor, with John Avery as Associate Conductor and Luís Soldado as Associate Composer.

    QC - Quarteto Concordis 
    Concordis Guitar Quartet was formed in 2005 and is made up of guitarists, Eudoro Grade, João Venda, Rui Martins e Rui Mourinho, all of them living currently in the Algarve, south of Portugal.
    From musicians with multiple personalities, influences and complicities emerges as the highlight, the beauty of the sound and tone that those four guitars together can produce.  They have performed in several music festivals in Europe.