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Diversidad dieciochesca

El Día de Córdoba | 9 de febrero de 2024

Aarón Zapico (1978), clavecinista y director asturiano de merecido y reconocido prestigio, fue el encargado de dirigir a la Orquesta de Córdoba en el sexto concierto de abono de la temporada en curso.

Lo hizo con un interesante programa en torno a músicas que animaron la España de la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII. Junto a autores que más o menos pueden sonar al aficionado medio, como Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (1806-1826) o José de Nebra (1702-1768), Zapico nos deleitó con músicas bastante menos conocidas de Charles Avison (1709-1770), Vicente Basset (1719-1764), Niccolò Conforto (1718-1793), José Castel (1737-1807) y Cayetano Brunetti (1744-1798).

La dirección del asturiano, si bien menos punzante y rítmica que la que le he escuchado en otros trabajos, me pareció muy solvente y acertada con momentos especialmente logrados en los aires de danza.

Más brillante esta vez en su sección de viento (momento estupendo, entre muchos otros, el del característico Quintetto de Brunetti) que en la de cuerda, la Orquesta de Córdoba supo remontar algunos tropiezos leves de encaje (Nebra) y afinación (Avison) y logró hacernos disfrutar (Basset, Conforto, Brunetti…) de un repertorio que sin duda merece la pena conocer.

Hizo además un evidente y meritorio esfuerzo por adoptar de manera convincente articulaciones y golpes de arco característicos de los estilos interpretados. Excelente labor la del joven clavecinista sevillano Guido García Sánchez.

Farándula castiza

Facebook | 1 de febrero de 2024



RUTH VERONA, violoncello
PABLO ZAPICO, Baroque guitar
AARÓN ZAPICO, harpsichord and director

Let it be said from the start how very enjoyable these concerts were. The very zestful energy which was in the air, with abundant colour and rhythm were simply infectious.
Originally, Forma Antiqva was only scheduled to present one concert, on the evening of 24 January. Unfortunately days before, the French ensemble Les contres-sujets scheduled to perform on 25 January could not make it to Malta. Whatever the reason, the very worried Festival Artistic Director, Kenneth Zammit Tabona was extremely relieved and grateful to Forma Antiqua for stepping in with a second, completely different programme, which had a slightly different line-up.

Forma Antiqva is a Madrid-based ensemble with a very notably distinguished presence in Spain and abroad. It is also known for the research carried out and which has resulted bringing to life old Spanish music which was at the core of the first concert.
As the first line-up above shows, there is an uncommon fact which is having three brothers in the same ensemble. The director is the elder brother of twins Pablo and Daniel. Both twins are theorbists and Pablo comes to Malta whenever he is needed to perform with the Valletta Baroque Ensemble. In both concerts he performed on his other speciality: the Baroque guitar.

There are different meanings to "farándula" and "castiza". The nearest one could get to in Spanish music-related terms is that "farándula" refers to strolling musicians/street entertainers, precursors of the Mexican Mariáchis. "Castiza" is close to caste, not in a rigid social sense but referring to a particular ensemble.

The first concert had to have a beginning, ergo it opened with a very energetic Overture marked Allegro, to the opera Iphigenia en Tracia, by José de Nebra (1702-68). This was followed by an even livelier Fandango by Bernardo Álvarez Acero (1766-1821). It was great fun with most of the performers stamping hard on the platform. One could also observe the solid rapport between them and which never waned throughout both concerts.

Glancing at each other across the space, with "conspitatorial" smiles flying all over the place, it was so clear that they thoroughly enjoyed performing. They really projected this feeling to the audience, which relished every moment.

The concert continued with three section marked as "Jornadas" (days) and Finale.
The First Day began with another Allegro from Sinfonia n.3 by José Castel (1737-1807). By comparison there followed the very relaxing Andante alla francese (Sinfonia de La Nitteti) by Nicolás Conforto (1718-93). The latter in turn was in great contrast to the agitated Allegro assai which followed as the first of three movements from the Sinfonia a più stromenti (sic!) Bas-3, by Vicente Baset (1718-64). Calmer waters returned with the remaining Adagio and Minuete.

Day 2 consisted of four works, the first of which was by the only internationally known composer. This was Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805), famous cellist and composer who lived in Spain for 44 years before he died there in poverty. Not surprisingly, some of his music has a Spanish flavour. His Tempo di menuetto Op. VI was performed by the violins, cello and harpsichord. Cello and theorbo performed the Sinfonia de Angelica e Medoro
(Andante). Then it was back to Conforto and more stamping of feet in his Fandango. Vicente Baset reappeared to close the day with his Apertura a più stromenti, Bas-7 with Andante assai, Andante moderato and very fast Presto.

Day 3 also featured four works the first of which was Cumbees, by Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739). After this type of song, Conforto returned with Sinfonia de Siroe, Con ira, in an Andante alla francese and brilliant Allegro.

Another new name was Francisco Corselli (1705-78). He was the only other Italian composer on the list. He lived in Madrid from 1734 until his death. Obertura de la Cautela de La Amistad was a beautiful andante performed by the Zapico brothers.

The day concluded with José de Nebra's Minué y Allegro from Iphigenia en Tracia.

Finale. This opened with Castel's graceful Minuetto from Sinfonia n.3. The definite end was with all the Ensemble performing Vicente Baset's Apertura a più stromenti Bas-5. There was verve and energy in this final piece.

Final? (In)famous last word because the very insistent audience wanted more, and was rewarded with an encore.

Albert George Storace

Cafe Telemann

Facebook | 1 de febrero de 2024


RUTH VERONA, violoncello
PABLO ZAPICO, Baroque guitar
AARÒN ZAPICO, harpsichord and director

This was a delightful offering of music by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767). He is one of the giants of German Baroque and VERY prolific composer. After his death he was reduced to near oblivion. It seemed that his huge opus was held against him. Fortunately for most of us, his music has made a come-back.

Among his many works there are dozens of sonatas and trio sonatas which Forma Antiqua providentially had up their sleeve, enabling them to step it the gap left by the cancellation of the scheduled concert by Les contres-sujets.

As in concert n.1, there was the same brilliance of delivery, mutual rapport and positive audience reaction.

This selection of a number of Trio sonatas and Sonatas were from works composed between c.1725-35. Telemann more than 3,000 works makes it difficult to track them down via chronology because rather than that, they are listed according genre. Whether officially meant to be called Tafelmusik (Table music or even Café music like Bach's) it is known that his music was performed in coffee houses. This is more evident when one reads the names given of some sets of Sonatas and Trio Sonatas.

The works performed sometimes involved all five musicians, sometimes less. The first was the Trio sonata TWV 42: a1 beginning with a jolly Allegro, then Largo, Vivace, Affettuoso and Allegro. The second and third works were likewise untitled. The former was from Trio sonata TWV 42: a4 and the latter from Trio Sonata TWV 41: C5.

The rest of the selection had titles to whet the appetite of the sweet toothed and provoking weight watchers. From Macarón, the cafè served the Trio sonata TWV 42: a4 with a Grave, Vivace and Minuet for flute and violin.

Next dessert, Petit-beurres came served with the Affettuoso and Presto from the Sonata TWV 41:04. The former lived up to its name judging by the tenderly soft glances flying in the air. In the latter one I do not know who was chasing whom!

The next to tempt the taste buds was the Brioche which could be plain and humble or with a lavish filling. This time the Larghetto from Sonata TWV 41: C5 was without flute and harpsichord. The brioches disappeared after the Allegro from Trio Sonata TWV 42:10.

The tantalising desserts came to an end with Mille feuilles. It was a selection of five movements. First with a long guitar intro, tempo Grave from Sonata TWV 41:a4. An Adagio was lifted from Trio Sonata TWV 42:10. For an Allegro the choice fell upon the same work which provided the initial Grave while a second Allegro was from the same work as the Adagio as was the final rousing Presto ending the concert to much warm acclaim. This of course HAD to produce an encore.

Albert George Storace

La Caramba, disco Recomendado Revista Ritmo

Ritmo | 30 de enero de 2024

La Caramba (Motril, 1751 - Madrid, 1787), mujer independiente y revolucionaria, fue una de las figuras artísticas más relevantes del siglo XVIII dentro de la música escénica. Como actriz, bailarina y cantante brilló con gracia y sicalipsis teatral a la par que el género estrella de este recopilatorio: la tonadilla.

“Que la Caramba cuando va andando canela en rama va derramando”, cantaba Concha Piquer en la copla que le dedicaba a María Antonia Vallejo Fernández, La Caramba. De igual modo, Forma Antiqva, María Hinojosa y Aarón Zapico derrochan vitalidad, frescura y precisión en un repertorio tan rico como delicado.

A pesar de su dinamismo interno, la tonadilla, género dieciochesco, estrófico y de carácter popular, puede incurrir en una pesadez reiterativa propia de usar la misma música con diferente texto. Hándicap que requiere una interpretación cuidada, caleidoscópica, vivaz y expresiva. En este sentido, Forma Antiqva, Zapico e Hinojosa permiten al oyente adentrarse en un marco musical lleno de belleza interpretativa; aunque, en ocasiones, la dicción y la velocidad del ritmo silábico dificultan la inteligibilidad del relato.

Si al trabajo tímbrico e instrumental, donde el jaleo previo al fandango y la percusión resultan refrescantes, y al parlato de Hinojosa que se imbrica delicadamente con la parte cantada, le sumamos las piezas instrumentales entreveradas con las tonadillas, obtenemos un trabajo sonoro in crescendo que lejos de resultar repetitivo, atrapa. “Usted quiere caramba” (anónimo).

María Alonso

Malta, XII° Valletta Baroque Festival: “Farándula Castiza“

gbopera | 28 de enero de 2024

L’offerta strumentale del Valletta Baroque Festival si articola principalmente in due direzioni: ripresa dei classici e riscoperta di autori e tradizioni musicali più rare. Proprio a questo secondo filone pertengono i due spettacoli strumentali cui assistiamo, a cominciare dalla “Farándula Castiza“ di Forma Antiqva, formazione barocca spagnola affacciatasi ormai da circa un ventennio sulla scena internazionale. Il concerto si apre con pezzi che il gruppo ha già affrontato in studio nell’ultimo album “La caramba” (su etichetta Winter & Winter): si tratta di quelle composizioni che non prevedono l’intervento vocale del soprano Maria Hinojosa – che nell’album punta a far rivivere proprio “La Caramba” Maria Antonia Vallejo, la più celebre delle dive del melodramma alla corte spagnola; a questi si aggiungono anche alcune composizioni di Vicente Baset presenti nell’album eponimo pubblicato nel 2020 per la stessa etichetta; tuttavia, sono i brani che affrontano per la prima volta quelli più interessanti, tratti dal repertorio di Francisco Corselli Nicolás Conforto, al secolo “Francesco” e “Nicola”, italianissimi che si avvicendarono quali maestri di cappella della corte madrilena del secondo XVIII secolo, e lasciarono un ampio e variegato repertorio operistico e da camera. Per spezzare la naturale continuità stilistica che intercorre da José de Nebra, predecessore di Corselli, fino a Conforto, si inseriscono pezzi da ballo di natura anche smaccatamente popolare, giacché la nuova corte borbonica dell’epoca godeva proprio della commistione dei generi, dell’alto del basso, quasi volendo procrastinare l’inevitabile virata al classicismo che quegli anni stavano imponendo: ecco allora il Fandangodi Bernardo Álvarez Acero, imperfetto e spumeggiante come ci aspetteremmo fosse eseguito all’epoca, il Tempo di MinuettoOp. VI di Luigi Boccherini, distantissimo dal modello originale (che proprio Boccherini piegò e rinverdì molte volte) e godibilmente destrutturato, le Cumbéesdi Santiago de Murcia, dall’andamento più decisamente folke intrise di sapore bambocciante secentesco. Il grande equilibrio della struttura del concerto restituisce anche l’intesa pressoché perfetta che corre tra i membri della formazione: i tre fratelli Zapico, Pablo (chitarra barocca), Daniel (tiorba) e Aarón (clavicembalista e direttore dell’ensemble), assieme ai due violini di Jorge Jimenez e Daniel Pinteño e al violoncello di Ruth Verona, suonano con grande brio e trasporto, caratteri che forse non ci si aspetterebbe dall’esecuzione barocca, ma che questo repertorio invece richiede; guardarli significa penetrare silenziosamente anche un’armonia di sguardi, sorrisi, piccoli ammiccamenti, che comunicano sì la familiarità, ma anche il reciproco profondo rispetto e senso dell’ascolto – specie durante i frequenti assoli della chitarra. Questo il merito maggiore di questa “Farándula castiza”: non solo il coraggio di riproporre un repertorio quasi caduto nell’oblio; non solo l’intelligenza di scegliere un repertorio barocco “spiazzante”, ossia lontano sia dalle geometrie bachiano-vivaldiane sia dagli abbandoni larmoyantdi scuola napoletana, espressione del Settecento più giocondo e pittoresco; ma, soprattutto, un’interpretazione che segue questa linea franca e gioiosa, probabilmente non prossima alla perfezione esecutiva (ogni tanto qualche quarto di tono “scappa”, qualche variazione o abbellimento salta) ma del tutto aderente allo zeitgeistche ha visto fiorire e furoreggiare questo genere nella Spagna post-asburgica. Un’esperienza difficilmente ripetibile.

William Giuseppe Costabile Cisco
Foto Elisa Von Brockdorff

La Caramba, Melómano de Oro

Melómano | 19 de enero de 2024

Este álbum está dedicado a la famosa tonadillera María Antonia Vallejo Fernández (Motril, 1751-Madrid, 1787), apodada ‘La Caramba’, palabra que aparece con frecuencia en sus tonadillas y también el nombre de un tocado que solía llevar, marcando moda entre las mujeres de clase más aristocrática. Desarrolló una fulgurante y corta carrera entre 1776 y 1785. Sus actuaciones en los escenarios madrileños marcaron época por su calidad como cantante y su actitud siempre provocadora, desafiando las estrictas normas de la censura. Esta mujer debió tenor un arrebato místico, abandonando su carrera con apenas 34 años para dedicarse a la oración y la penitencia hasta su temprana muerte en 1787. Cultivó con singular fortuna la tonadilla, una canción estrófica de temática popular en la que conviven ritmos melódicos derivados del folclore, y cuya estructura es la siguiente: una breve sección instrumental, seguida de una intermedia dedicada a las coplas y una parte final dedicada a las seguidillas. La realización de esta grabación se debe al gran interés mostrado por el director y clavecinista Aarón Zapico al frente de su magnífico conjunto barroco Forma Antiqva, en perfecta conjunción con la soprano catalana María Hinojosa, cantante de muy atractiva vocalidad, con gran dominio de la agilidades cuando canta a ritmo vertiginoso, junto a su capacidad para adornar las notas. La cantante derrocha gracejo, musicalidad y un alto grado de expresividad en cada una de sus interpretaciones, incluso en las breves frases declamadas. La grabación contiene cuatro tonadillas: La Caramba, de autor anónimo, Los duendecillos de Pablo Esteve, El arrendador del sebo de José Castel y Los mormuradores de Pablo Esteve, complementadas por páginas orquestales excelentemente interpretadas, como el Allegro de la Sinfonía núm. 3 de José Castel; el Allegro de la Obertura Iphigenia en Tracia de José de Nebra; y, sobre todo, la magnífica interpretación de Fandango de Bernardo Álvarez Acero, donde predominan el atractivo sonido de las castañuelas y de la guitarra barroca.

Diego Manuel García