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Siete qui: Home Festival Festival 2013 Il profondo sentire dell’anima - notes
Il profondo sentire dell’anima - notes PDF Print E-mail

In the 5th century B.C. the Athenian statesman Pericles maintained that “deep sounds” were best to express “the deep feelings of the soul”. This seems a good introduction to this unusual group of deep-voiced stringed instruments. Though the baroque period has been amply explored by modern musicians who base their interpretations on historical information, the 18th century repertory still has wide gaps. The idea would involve applying the same criteria of research, study of performance methods, and use of authentic instruments, pairing work by well-known composers, like Rossini and Haydn, with others who are still less famous.
One example might be
Georg Christoph Wagenseil, a prolific and appreciated composer, who taught at the Viennese court. He concentrated largely on instrumental music and played an important part in the development of the symphony. His Six Sonatas for three cellos and double bass were probably composed around 1764, at the same time as Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 2; Haydn and the young Mozart were both great admirers of Wagenseil. The Sonatas all have four movements, in the measured gallant style that sometimes seems to hark back to the baroque period, for instance in its use of dissonances. The slow movements, generally in a minor key, have an expressive melancholy about them, enhanced by the play of timbre of the low-voiced instruments.
Gioacchino Rossini’s Duetto per violoncello e contrabbasso was composed during a trip to London in 1842, for David Salomons, an amateur cellist who once played together with the famous virtuoso Domenico Dragonetti at a London soirée. The duet, in three movements, has a fresh tone, but demands considerable technical ability.
One of the staples of the cello repertory is Haydn’s Concerto No. 1 in C major for cello and orchestra. We shall hear a modern transcription for four cellos – or three cellos and a double bass.
Justus Johann Friedrich Dotzauer
is a familiar name virtually only among cellists on account of his vast amount of teaching material. The three pieces in this evening’s program come from his Six pieces pour trois violoncelles op. 104, published in 1828. They give a good idea of the level of technical difficulty and intensity of expression this instrument had achieved in only a few generations.


Sara Bennici