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Masters of Baroque sets the seasons alight

Media Release - May 27, 2008
For immediate release

THE EDGE© International Arts Season and Askonas Holt present
EUROPA GALANTE

International masters of Baroque sets the seasons alight at the Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE®


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For first time ever in New Zealand and for one extraordinary night virtuosic conductor and violinist Fabio Biondi brings the foremost interpreters of Italian baroque and classical music Europa Galante to the Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE® with their acclaimed interpretation of Vivaldi’s classic The Four Seasons.

Gramophone writes “Europa Galante are acknowledged as the world’s best.”

Using traditional baroque instruments, the musicians play with verve and stylistic polish and have become synonymous with revolutionary and passionate performances. Performing in many of the world’s major concert halls in Japan, New York, Australia and across Europe including their native Italy, they have won numerous acknowledgements and much critical acclaim with their performances – including two prestigious Grammy award nominations.

All of the works sounded as if they were re-created afresh by musicians who loved performing, who understood that the discourse of notes and instruments is discourse between people and their ideas. Every one of these players was a virtuoso in his or her own right. Irish Times

In 1998, Europa Galante was signed exclusively for Virgin Classics who released both their recordings including one of the most beloved movements of classic music The Four Seasons and two volumes of Luigi Boccherini’s string quintets. Europa Galante’s The Four Seasons has since sold worldwide more than 500,000 copies.

Europa Galante offers a revisionist approacy to early Italian music that reveals it in stunningly vibrant new colours…Vivaldi was the focus of of attention here and the bustle of Venetian life seemed to spring from four of his concertos: One could almost sense the fierce glare of the Mediterranean sun in the bright colouring of the 12 strings, while their rhythms and articulation were as sharp as a mafioso blade… Evoking the high spirits of the chase, Europa Galante provided an incisively profiled backdrop for Biondi's virtuoso solo playing.” The Times

Director Fabio Biondi’s fascination with baroque and classical music stems from his inquisitive nature. At an early age he explored different cultures and was introduced to pioneering new approaches in baroque music. Since the age of 12 he has carved an international career with his youngest accolade being received when he was invited to play Bach’s violin concertos at Austria’s Musikverein (world famous for its acoustics) at the age of sixteen.

Performing with a number of baroque ensembles including La Capella Reial, Musica Antiqua Wien and La Chapelle Royale, Biondi founded Europa Galante in 1990 and has directed them ever since, having also dedicated time to become the artistic director of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra since 2005.

The New York Times wrote “For The Four Seasons, Fabio Biondi turned around for his solos to face the audience for the first time, and there was the sense of a dramatic unveiling of a musicians who, from the first birdsongs of ’Spring’ was at once puckish and virtuosic. The implicit but unspoken drama of that unveiling was characteristic of an event where the strengths lay in small touches, bright through and an easy vigor, all offered with an understatement born of complete confidence


PROGRAMME:
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi in 1723, The Four Seasons comprises of four violin concertos; “La primavera” (spring), “L’estate” (summer), “L’autunno” (autumn) and “L’inverno” (winter), with the textures of each concerto varied to resemble it’s respective season – winter peppered with silvery staccato notes and summer evoking a thunderstorm during it’s final movement.

A.Vivaldi - Sinfonia dalla Serenata "La Senna Festeggiante" in Do Maggiores (Allegro - Andante molto - Allegro molto), 7¹

H.Purcell - Suite da "Abdelazer, or che Moor's Revenge" in re minore (Ouverture-Rondeau-Aire-Aire-Minuet-Aire-Jigg-Hornpipe-Aire), 15¹

A. Vivaldi - Concerto RV357 in la minore per violino ed archi da "La Stravaganza" (Edizione Walsh and Hare - 1730 circa) (Allegro - Grave e sempre piano - Allegro), 8¹

INTERVAL

A. Vivaldi - 4 seasons, 40'

EUROPA GALANTE – The Four Seasons
Director – Fabio Biondi
Saturday 25th October, 7.30pm
Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE®
Duration: 1 hour 35 minutes including interval

Tickets: Premium: $105.00/ A Reserve: $85.00/ B Reserve: $70.00/ C Reserve: $55.00
Tickets available through TICKETEK – 0800 TICKETEK (booking fees will apply)

ENDS

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