Jan. 26, 2006
Baroque Violin-Harpsichord Duo Will Perform At Trinity Feb. 10
Duo Geminiani, comprising two of the most experienced and respected period-instrument performers, will present a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, in Trinity Episcopal Church, 320 E. College Street in downtown Iowa City.
Their concert is the fourth and final performance of the 2006-07 Baroque Concert Series on Period Instruments, presented by the University of Iowa School of Music.
Baroque violinist Stanley Ritchie and harpsichordist Elisabeth Wright have been giving historically informed performances of the violin-harpsichord repertoire as Duo Geminiani since 1974. They have made numerous recordings, both as members of the duo and separately, and both are associated with the Early Music Institute at the Indiana University School of Music.
During their visit to Iowa City, Ritchie will teach a master class in Baroque violin performance, at 10 a.m. Feb. 10 in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building. The master class will be open for public observation.
Their varied program will feature nine works for harpsichord alone, for violin alone and for the duo. Though some of the composers are unfamiliar to the general public, all are recognized by fans of Baroque music as important figures of that era, which ran roughly from 1600 to 1750.
Works on the program are:
-- Sonata II for violin and continuo by Giovanni Fontana (died in 1630);
-- "Partite sopra 'Ancor che col partire'" for harpsichord by Ercole Pasquini (died 1615);
-- Sonata VI from "Unarum Fidium" for violin & continuo by Heinrich Schmelzer (1623-1680);
-- Toccata in D minor for harpsichord by Matthias Weckmann (1621-1674);
-- Passacaglia for unaccompanied violin by Heinrich von Biber (1644-1707)
-- Suite in C: "Lamento sopra la perdita dolorosa di Ferdinando IV" (Lament of the sad loss of Ferdinand IV) by Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667);
-- Sonata in G Major for violin and continuo by J.S. Bach (1685-1750);
-- Sonata in A Minor, op. 5 no. 5, for violin and continuo by Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764); and
-- Sonata in B minor (BWV 1014) for violin and harpsichord obbligato by J.S. Bach.
The Baroque Concert Series on Period Instruments was organized by Lisa Merrill and is presented in memory of Leopold La Fosse. A long-time member of the School of Music faculty, La Fosse often performed on Baroque violin and led an ensemble of UI students concerned with Baroque performance practices, the La Fosse Ensemble.
The concert series is part of the performance practice program at the UI School of Music, made possible by the donation of an ensemble of period instruments -- nine Baroque violins, three Baroque violas, two Baroque cellos and 15 Baroque and transitional bows -- to the UI School of Music. The instruments from La Fosse's collection were given by his widow, Maria La Fosse.
Ritchie has directed and appeared as a violin soloist with many period instrument ensembles, including the Academy of Ancient Music, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik and the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra. He teaches master classes and workshops throughout the world.
Ritchie has held various positions as a modern violinist, including concertmaster of the New York City Opera Orchestra, associate concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and first violinist of the Philadelphia String Quartet. He is a member of the Mozartean Players and Three Parts Upon a Ground.
His recordings can be found on Harmonia Mundi (USA and France), Decca, EMI, Nonesuch and Dorian.
Wright has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and continuo improviser at festivals and concert series around the world, including the Boston and Berkeley Early Music festivals, Tage alter Musik, Tanglewood, the Mostly Mozart Festival, Aston Magna, Lufthansa of London, Santa Fe, Sydney, Early Music Vancouver, Festival de Musica Antigua de Bogotà, Bolzano and Festival Cervantino in Mexico.
She frequently collaborates with artists of international renown, including performances with Les Sonatistes and as a guest artist with Ye Olde Friends and Musica Ficta.
Wright has recorded for the Focus, Centaur, Musical Heritage, Milan-Jade, Classic Masters and Pro Musica Antiqua labels.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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