George Frideric Handel - Teseo : Moscow State Philharmonic Society

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    George Frideric Handel - Teseo

    April 25, 2017

    Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

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    Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo-soprano, the Netherlands)
    Ann Hallenberg (mezzo-soprano)
    Kateryna Kasper (soprano, Ukraine-Germany)
    Owen Willetts (countertenor)
    Konstantin Derri (countertenor, Ukraine-Spain)
    Katharina Ruckgaber (soprano, Germany)
    Igor Podoplelov (baritone)
    Moscow Chamber Orchestra
    Conductor – Federico Maria Sardelli
    Teseo – the opera in concert performance


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    Opera Masterpieces

    Moscow Chamber Orchestra

    Moscow Chamber Orchestra 

    The orchestra was founded by Rudolf Barshai, a world-class violist, violinist and founding member of Borodin Quartet. Barshai engaged young music talents from Moscow and formed the first chamber orchestra in the USSR that fashioned the European tradition (specifically, Wilhelm Stross Chamber Orchestra from West Germany that had performed in Moscow in September 1955).

    Moscow Chamber Orchestra made its orchestral debut on 5 March, 1956 at Small Hall of Moscow Conservatory. The orchestra immediately won recognition from the public in Russia and abroad. Soon after this the Orchestra becomes integrated as part of Moscow Philharmonic Society.

    'The chamber orchestra presents an amazing perfection of music and performance. Unity of history and contemporaneity is distinctive for musicians of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra: without distorting the text and spirit of early music, musicians make it modern and full of youth for our patrons,' – wrote Dmitri Shostakovich, who called the orchestra 'the best chamber orchestra in the world.'

    The orchestra was described as one of the outstanding chamber orchestras by Leo Ginzburg, MCO conductor and Professor at Moscow Conservatory: 'While listening to Moscow Chamber Orchestra one will definitely appreciate genuine craftsmanship of superb musicians bonded within a single artistic current…'

    In 1950–1960 the Orchestra featured such famous violin players as Boris Shulgin (MCO first violinist ), Lev Markiz, Vladimir Rabei, Andrei Abramenkov, Heinrich Talalyan (viola), Alla Vasilieva and Boris Dobrohotov (cello), Leopold Andreyev (bass), Alexandr Korneyev and Naum Zaidel (flute), Albert Zajonc (oboe), Boris Afanasiev (French horn), Sergei Dijur (organ and harpsichord) who performed in the orchestra under the baton of Rudolph Barshai.

    Aside from performing and recording numerous pieces of European Baroque music, Russian and Western classical music, works by international composers of the 20th century (some of compositions were first performed in the USSR), the Orchestra actively promoted music of contemporary Soviet composers: Nikolai Rakov, Yuri Levitin, Georgi Sviridov, Kara Karaev, Mieczysław Weinberg, Alexandr Lokshin, German Galynin, Revol Bunin, Boris Tchaikovsky, Edison Denisov, Vytautas Barkauskas, Jaan Rääts, Alfred Schnittke and others. Many of them composed music specifically for Moscow Chamber Orchestra. For example, Dmitri Shostakovich dedicated his 14th Symphony to MCO, its kickoff performed by the Orchestra lead by Rudolph Barshai on 29 September, 1969 in Leningrad.

    Following Barshai's emigration in 1976 the Orchestra was successively lead and conducted by Igor Bezrodny (1977–1981), Eugeny Nepalo (1981–1983), Viktor Tretyakov (1983–1990), Andrey Korsakov (1990–1991) and Konstantin Orbelyan (1991–2009).

    In 1983 MCO was rebranded as State Chamber Orchestra of the USSR; and since 1994 the ensemble has boasted the title of an "academic orchestra".

    Today MCO is one of the top chamber orchestras in Russia. Its extensive repertoire features pieces from all music periods and styles. The orchestra has performed in Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Japan, Republic of South Africa, Scandinavia and Southeast Asia. MCO performed on prestigious stages such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Carnegie Hall in NYC, Davis Hall in San Francisco, and Suntori Hall in Tokyo. Musicians represented Russia at the landmark United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert in 1995 and at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998.

    Throughout its history, the Orchestra frequently has toured across the Soviet Union and Russia promoting classical music.

    For over 60 years the Orchestra has performed with spectacular guest artists such as: Sviatoslav Richter (piano), Emil Gilels (piano), Lev Oborin (piano), Maria Grinberg (piano), Nikolai Petrov (piano), Vladimir Krainev (piano), Vladimir Viardo (piano), Eliso Virsaladze (piano), Mikhail Pletnev (piano), Boris Berezovsky (piano), Frederick Kempf (piano), John Lill (piano), Stefan Vladar (piano), Christian Zacharias (piano), Igor Chetuev (piano), Lucas Debargue (piano), David Fray (piano); David Oistrakh (violin), Igor Oistrakh (violin), Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Leonid Kogan (violin), Oleg Kagan (violin), Vladimir Spivakov (violin), Viktor Tretyakov (violin), Igor Gringoltz (violin), Boris Garlitsky (violin), Andres Mustonen (violin) and Jean-Christophe Spinosi (violin); Yuri Bashmet (viola); Mstislav Rostropovitch (cello), Natalia Gutman (cello), Boris Pergamenschikow (cello), Gaspar Cassado (cello), Antonio Meneses (cello) and Alexandr Kniazev (cello); Georg Hörtnagel (bass); Olga Erdeli (harp); Nina Dorliak (vocals), Zara Dolukhanova (vocals), Irina Arkhipova (vocals), Eugeny Nesterenko (vocals), Galina Pisarenko (vocals), Alexandr Vedernikov (vocals), Makvala Kasrashvili (vocals), Nikolai Gedda (vocals), Renee Fleming (vocals), Inga Kalna (vocals), Sandrin Piau (vocals), Vivica Genaux (vocals), Roberto Alagna (vocals) (vocals) and Dmitri Hvorostovski (vocals); flautists Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Patrick Gallois (flute) and Sir James Holloway (flute); Federico Mondelci (saxophone); Timofei Dokschitzer (trumpet) and numerous other top-notch soloists; Kopelman Quartet; jazz and folk music performers; Munich Bach Choir, Federico Maria Sardelli (conductor), Stefano Montanari (conductor) and Frieder Bernius (conductor).

    The Orchestra has released an impressive collection of radio and CD recordings covering a wide repertoire ranging from early music arias and Baroque music to works by Russian and international composers of the 20th century. The recordings were released under Melodia, Chandos, Philips, Delos and other leading world music labels.

    In January 2010 Alexey Utkin, a world's renowned oboist and conductor, was appointed as MCO Art Director and Chief Conductor. Under his guidance and leadership the Orchestra has been significantly revamped and revitalized. Its style and genre range got drastically expanded. MCO poster billboards show a marriage of Bach's St Matthew Passion, masses by Haydn and Vivaldi, symphonies and concertos by Mozart and Boccherini, Led Zeppelin covers, world music hits and movie soundtracks. Orchestra and its leader's insights and creative exploits have metamorphosed into series of music projects in the recent years, which boldly mingle diverse music art periods, styles and trends. Including From Baroque to Jazz Rock program that premiered in Moscow and Crimea last season.

    In 2011 and 2015 MCO lead by Mr. Utkin backed up the participants of the 2nd round of the 14 and 15 International Tchaikovsky Competitions (piano category).

    In 2016 Alexey Utkin was honored with Moscow Excellence in Literature and Arts Award (Musical Arts category) for his contribution to development of Russian music and promotion of classical music at concert venues in Moscow.

    In 2016/2017 season Moscow Chamber Orchestra, in addition to customary performances and subscription concerts at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Grand Conservatory Hall, Rachmaninoff Concert Hall (Philharmonia-2), Chamber Hall of Moscow Philharmonic Society and Gnesins Academy Concert Hall, will take part in World Opera Stars in Moscow subscription concerts and the Russian kick-off performance of Teseo by Georg Friedrich Händel. The Orchestra will again launch several brand new concert programs: From Bach to the Beatles (featuring pieces by George Gershwin, Krzysztof Penderecki and Valery Grohovsky) (Rachmaninoff Concert Hall / Philharmonia-2); and a joint performance with Andres Mustonen (Estonia) featuring works by Arvo Pärt, Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Mozart and Giya Kancheli (Tchaikovsky Concert Hall).

    The MCO 60th Anniversary Celebration Concert will take place at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall featuring Sinfonietta by Myaskovsky and Piano Concerto No. 24 by Mozart. MCO's Season performances will also feature Andres Mustonen (violin, conductor); Federico Maria Sardelli (conductor); Vyacheslav Kiselev (piano), Valeriy Grokhovski (piano), Eliso Virsaladze (piano), Frederic Kempf (piano), Dmitriy Masleyev (piano) and Mikhail Turpanov (piano); Elena Semenova (violin); Maria Chepurina (flute); Eugeny Petrov (clarinet); Stanislav Davydov (French horn); Ann Hallenberg (mezzo-soprano), Catharina Casper (soprano), Olivia Fermoilen (mezzo-soprano), Konstantin Derri (countertenor) and Iestyn Davies (countertenor).

    In February 2017 MCO is scheduled to perform at MustonenFest in Estonia featuring two concert programs in Tallinn and Jõhvi.

    Federico Maria Sardelli

    The Italian conductor, composer, musicologist and flautist, Federico Maria Sardelli, studied philosophy at the Università di Pisa. In 1984 Federico Maria Sardelli founded the Baroque orchestra Modo Antiquo, with which he appears at major festivals and concert halls throughout Europe as both soloist and conductor. He is regularly invited to the most prestigious European concert halls. Since 2006 he has been principal guest conductor of the Turin Philharmonic Orchestra. He appears as a guest conductor with many symphony orchestras, including the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Staatskapelle Halle, the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Real Filarmonia de Galicia, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Arena di Verona, the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, etc.

    Federico Maria Sardelli records for Naïve and Deutsche Grammophon. He has made more than forty recordings as soloist and conductor, some of them in co-production with the German broadcast company Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WRD 3). He has twice been nominated for the Grammy Awards, the most prestigious recording prize, and he is one of the top artists of the Vivaldi Edition by Naïve. Federico Maria Sardelli has been a notable protagonist in the Vivaldi renaissance of the past few years: he conducted the world premiere recording and performance of the operas Arsilda Regina di Ponto, Tito Manlio, Motezuma, and Atenaide. 

    During the season 2014/15 he conducted the world premiere of a recently discovered version of Orlando Furioso by Vivaldi, wrote to be performed in Rome in 1714, with the Accademia Barocca of Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, George Frideric Handel's Alcina with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Orfeo ed Euridice at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, the annual Gala concert of Deutschen Händel-Solisten at the Internationalen Händel-Festspiele in Karlsruhe, as well as many symphonic concerts on the podium of Russian National Orchestra and Orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence. He opened the 2015/16 season with his debut on the podium of Teatro Regio di Torino leading, for the first time in Italy, Cécile Roussat and Julien Lubek's production of Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, followed by his return on the podium of Orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence and of Accademia Barocca of Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. 

    Alongside his career in the concert hall, he is also extremely active as a musicologist. He is a member of the musicological committee of the Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi, and has published many musicological essays and critical editions (he is the author of the study Vivaldi's Music for Flute and Recorder, translated by Michael Talbot and published in the UK by Ashgate). He is general editor of the collection of facsimile editions Vivaldiana and of the Opere Incomplete (SPES, Florence). Peter Ryom has chosen him to be the person in charge of the continuing Vivaldi Catalogue (RV). For his artistic merits, on 28th November 2009, the Government of Tuscany decorated Federico Maria Sardelli with the Gonfalone d'Argento, the highest medal of honour. Federico Maria is also a painter, engraver and satirical writer.

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