April 10, 2019

The Sebastians’ illustrious 2018-19 concert series has cast a spotlight on the violin, with surveys of the complete Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord and complete works for violin and continuo by their namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble continues the theme with its season closer, The Art of the Violin, a varied and virtuosic display of solos, duos and concertos by a pan-European roll call of preëminent composers from the Baroque era. The concert, on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, takes place at Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The force of four violins opens the program, with the Sebastians’ founding director Daniel S. Lee, Nicholas DiEugenio, Edson Scheid and Beth Wenstrom reveling in the G major Concerto for 4 violins by the ever-inventive Georg Philipp Telemann, the first of four he composed in the genre.

The German-born Telemann travelled far and wide throughout Europe. A Paris performance of his Nouveaux Quatuors is known to have featured the Franco-Italian composer-violinist Jean-Pierre Guignon. A long-time director of music for the French court, Guignon’s virtuosity earned him the nickname Roy des violonistes. Daniel Lee and Edson Scheid perform “Les Folies d'Espagne” from one of his numerous violin duos, Nouvelles variations de divers airs et les Folies d'Espagne which combines French elegance, Italian virtuosity and Spanish flair.

Pietro Antonio Locatelli was another far-flung traveler, departing his native Italy for several German metropoli before settling in Amsterdam where he published numerous works including his Op. 6 Violin Sonatas. The Caprice from Sonata No. 12, which likely influenced Paganini’s famous canon of Capricci, is played by Nicholas DiEugenio.

Amsterdam was an 18th-century hotbed of performing, printing and publishing, which benefitted Arcangelo Corelli’s most prominent set of pieces, his Concerti Grossi, Op. 6. The complete complement of the Sebastians perform the Concerto in D, Op. 6, No. 4.

Across the water in London, George Frideric Handel was dazzling audiences with his operas and oratorios, but he managed to fit in some chamber music including his late Sonata in D major, HWV 371 for violin and continuo, performed on this occasion by violinist Daniel Lee, cellist Ezra Seltzer and harpsichordist Jeffrey Grossman.

Frenchman François Couperin, who acknowledged an influence from Corelli, portrayed pan-Europa with his expansive suite of trio sonatas Les Nations. For this concert, the Sebastians take the Italian route, performing “La Piémontoise.”

All members of the Sebastians come together for the concert’s closer, J. S. Bach’s enduring “Double Concerto” in D minor, for two violins, strings, and continuo.

The Sebastians’ 2018-19 season has been their most ambitious to date, with six performances spanning works for single instruments in intimate settings to collaborations in large-scale choral masterworks. Most recently the ensemble partnered with TENET Vocal Artists in J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The un-conducted performance, directed from the chamber organ by the Sebastians’ music director Jeffrey Grossman, had a “shattering effect,” according to The New York Times, who singled out the Sebastians’ “performance of uncommon naturalness and transparency.”

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For further information about the Sebastians please visit https://www.sebastians.org

For further information, image or interview requests please contact Melanne Mueller, MusicCo International,
+1 917 907 2785, melanne@musiccointernational.com

The Art of the Violin
Tuesday, May 7, 2019 – 7:30 pm
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767) Concerto for 4 violins in G major, TWV 40:201
Jean-Pierre Guignon (1702 – 1774) Les Folies d'Espagne from Nouvelles variations de divers airs et les Folies
d'Espagne, Op. 9
Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695 – 1764) Caprice, Op. 6, No. 12
George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759) Sonata in D major, HWV 371 for violin and continuo
Arcangelo Corelli (1653 – 1713) Concerto in D, Op. 6, No. 4
François Couperin (1668 – 1733) La Piémontoise from Les Nations
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) Concerto in D minor for two violins, strings, and continuo, BWV 1043

Daniel S. Lee, Nicholas DiEugenio, Edson Scheid, Beth Wenstrom violins
Jessica Troy viola
Ezra Seltzer cello
Nathaniel Chase contrabass
Jeffrey Grossman harpsichord

Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church
152 West 66th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue)
New York, NY 10023

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