Istanbul International Music Festival–Accademia Bizantina

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Program: #08-21   Air Date: May 12, 2008

A more recent baroque ensemble will give the listeners in Istanbul a thrilling all-Handel program--we'll look at their artistry as well.

This series is made possible in part by a grant from the American-TurkishCouncil, Raymond James International Holding (independent investment and financial planning advice and investment banking services in the United States and Turkey since 1962), and the American Friends of Turkey.

This year's festival (June 6 through June 30, 2008) looks at the myriad forms of chamber ensembles from major European capitals with a stunning array of soloists. We will preview two great baroque ensembles and two extraordinary soloists.

NOTE: (from the Accademia web site): The name of Accademia Bizantina has been firmly established in the narrow circle of ensembles performing on authentic instruments who are rightly recognised as bringing fresh energy and creativity to the interpretation of Baroque music. The path which has led Accademia to its current international success resembles an apologue of over twenty years of instructive formation within the Italian musical world of the highest professional skill and competence.

The story began in 1983 in the slumberous but celebrated town of Ravenna, when a group of musicians came together and were carried along by a series of decisive encounters: from Jörg Demus, who suggested the name for the orchestra, to Ottavio Dantone, who, in 1996, took over the musical direction and paved the way for the present phase of the ensembles’ history, which is characterised by expertise in historically informed performance of Baroque music, the outcome of progressive steps of development.

Over the last ten years, with Stefano Montanari as first violin, Accademia is an orchestra with incredible vitality and energy, whose concerts and recordings, research work and promotion of musical culture are proof of an amazing unity and balance. The choice to enhance their repertoire of seventeenth and eighteenth century music has given the ensemble a deep insight into the styles of Baroque performances without, however, limiting the extraordinary variety of their output which ranges from Monteverdi to Spontini.


I. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Arie ritrovate (Accademia Bizantina/Sonia Prina, contralto/Ottavio Dantone, dir.).

--VIVALDI: Aria: Sarai qual padre mio ("You will be like a father to me").
Scanderbeg, RV 732: Recitativo & Aria: Con palme ed allori ("With palms and laurels glory invites me").
Teuzzone, RV 736: Aria: Abbia respiro il cor ("Allow your heart a moment's respite")
Aria: Perche lacero il foglio ("Since the contemptible traitor")


II. I Duello amoroso: George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) (Accademia Bizantina/Andreas Scholl, countertenor/Helene Guilmette, soprano/Ottavio Dantone, dir.). Harmonia Mundi CD HMC 90197.

--HANDEL: Amarilli vezzosa (Il duello amoroso) HWV 82 ("Charming Amaryllis, in this lonely forest").

III. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Arie ritrovate (Accademia Bizantina/Sonia Prina, contralto/Ottavio Dantone, dir.).

--VIVALDI: Scanderbeg, RV 732: Recitativo & Aria: S'a voi penso, o luci belle ("When I think of you, beautiful eyes").
Teuzzone, RV 736: Aria: Vedi le mie catene ("You see my chains")
Orlando furioso, RV Anh 84: Aria: Porto il sol ("The sunlight of your countenance").
Teuzzone, RV 736: Aria: Alma mia fra tanti affanni ("My soul, amid so many troubles").

Composer Info

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), George Frederick Handel (1685-1759),

CD Info

Harmonia Mundi CD HMC 90197,

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