Catalan viol player and conductor Jordi Savall leads Juilliard’s principal period-instrument ensemble in a program of Shakespearean suites by British composers. The evening features music by Robert Johnson, Matthew Locke, and Henry Purcell, with excerpts from William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream read by actors from the Juilliard School Drama Division. German-Argentine violinist Manfredo Kraemer performs as concertmaster.
Stage Music in the Plays of William Shakespeare
Robert JOHNSON Jacobean Masque and Stage Music (1600-12)
The Masque of Oberon, The Winter's Tale, and The Witch
Matthew LOCKE Music for The Tempest (1674)
Henry PURCELL The Fairy Queen (after A Midsummer Night's Dream) (1692)
"Jordi Savall and Juilliard415 Bring Magic to Music for Shakespeare"
"Jordi Savall and The Bard at the Baryshnikov Arts Center"
Jordi Savall is an exceptional figure in today’s music world. For more than thirty years he has been devoted to the rediscovery and performance of neglected musical treasures as a soloist and director of his three ensembles. He has restored an essential repertoire to all those with ears to hear it. Except for the “happy few” who already revere it, the viola da gamba, is an instrument so refined that it takes us to the very brink of silence.
Through three ensembles – Hespèrion XXI, La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations, all founded together with Montserrat Figueras – Jordi Savall has explored and fashioned a universe of emotions and beauty, presenting it to audiences everywhere and to millions of music lovers, and thus bringing recognition to the viola da gamba and to music from here and elsewhere that had fallen into oblivion, all of which has earned him a place as one of the foremost champions of early music.
Since its founding in 2009, Juilliard415, the School’s principal period-instrument ensemble, has received critical praise for its performances of both rare and canonical works of the 17th and 18th centuries. The ensemble, which takes its name from the pitch commonly accepted for the performance of Baroque music (A=415), performs a wide range of repertoire in a number of different guises.
Depending on the repertoire, the ensemble performs with as few as four or five players for intimate chamber music programs, to as many as 30 for major cornerstones of the repertoire, most often directed by distinguished resident and guest artists.
Juilliard415 has performed with distinguished musicians such as William Christie, Ton Koopman, Harry Bicket (in a fully-staged production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Nicholas McGegan, Christopher Hogwood, and Monica Huggett. In April 2011, the ensemble was engaged to accompany David Daniels and Dorothea Röschmann in a concert of Handel arias and duets at Carnegie Hall. Members of Juilliard415 have twice been featured as in-studio guests on WQXR-FM, New York Public Radio. Members of Juilliard415 have participated with musicians from Les Arts Florissants and the Jardin des voix, in, Dans les jardin de William Christie, his summer festival in Thiré, France.
Touring has become an important component of Juilliard415’s profile. In a collaborative concert with Juilliard Baroque, the ensemble traveled to Spain for a sold-out performance of the complete “Brandenburg” Concertos at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid. In 2011, Juilliard415 performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on tour in Italy in a joint concert project with Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music led by Masaaki Suzuki. This past season, the ensemble teamed up again with Yale and Maestro Suzuki for Bach’s B Minor Mass, with performances in New York, New Haven, the Virginia Arts Festival, and on tour in Tokyo, Kyoto, Sendai, and Singapore.
During the 2012-13 school year, Juilliard415 also performed Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno with William Christie (named as one of the 10 best of the season by The New York Times), an all-Mozart program with fortepiano specialist Christoph Hammer in his Juilliard debut, an all-Rameau concert with Robert Mealy, and a performance of early German orchestral works with Jordi Savall at the Metropolitan Museum and Lincoln Center, among many other engagements.
The 2013-14 season brings return visits from William Christie for Charpentier’s Actéon, Jordi Savall for a program of suites by Henry Purcell and Matthew Locke, Nicholas McGegan in a program of music from the courts of Dresden and Berlin, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 with Monica Huggett, and Richard Egarr in his Juilliard debut conducting Handel and Purcell. A centerpiece of Juilliard415’s programming in 2013-14 includes the rare opportunity to hear both Bach Passions in successive months, as well as a fully staged production of Handel’s Radamisto. Along with performances in New York, the ensemble will be presented by the Miami Bach Society and the Virginia Arts Festival.
Photos: Savall by Vico Chamla / Ensemble by Richard Termine