Cuerdas al pasado (SI / HR)

Thursday, 7. 3. 2024 at 17:30

Cuerdas al pasado (SI/HR)

Izidor Erazem Grafenauer (SI), baroque guitar, early romantic guitar
Ana Julija Mlejnik Železnik (SI), violin
Mojca Jerman (SI), violin
Hiwote Tadesse (HR), viol
Lea Sušanj Lujo (HR), cello

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Artists’ message to visitors: Baroque music is an inexhaustible source of music that never ceases to amaze. Bach and Handel, best known to a wider audience, are only the top of the mountain, to which countless paths lead, on which every well-read individual can discover something new. The performers of the Cuerdas al Pasado programme work not only in the field of early music, but we all look at music as something eternal, and baroque music inspires us with its beauty, artistry, effects and, finally, its eternity. We believe that this is not museum music that should be kept in a sterile, over-insured atmosphere, but that it needs to be given freshness, so we invite the audience to a journey that they have probably never been on, and we believe that they will be pleasantly surprised by what they see and hear.

The mission statement of the ensemble: The ensemble's mission is to explore baroque music from the areas of today's Italy and Spain. Even then, various influences of African, Latin, and Arabic music were strongly present in this music, which is still potentiated today, for example, in flamenco music. This is also why in our work we do not look strictly at the performance of the notes, but we want to enrich the music with improvisation and various modern approaches, which we believe that, if they had known, the musicians of the time would have accepted them with enthusiasm.

Direct broadcast: Radio Slovenija, Program Ars

Winemaker of Seviqc Brežice 2023 concerts: Family winery Jakončič, Kozana, Goriška Brda

Catering: Turistična kmetija pri Martinovih

Event programme

Cuerdas al pasado: Luigi Boccherini, Santiago de Murcia

Strings to the past is the project of guitarist and lutenist Izidor Erasmus Grafenauer. The repertoire consists of a selection of compositions by the composer Santiago de Murcia from Codex IV from the XVII century, which was rediscovered in 1943 in Mexico and two quintets for guitar and strings by the composer Luigi Boccherini. Both composers worked at the Spanish court, Santiago de Murcia under the patronage of Maria Luisa of Savoy, and Luigi Boccherini about 60 years later under Luiz Antonio of Spain, the younger brother of King Charles III. Spanish. The music of both is strongly influenced by Spanish folk music, which they raised to an artistic level. The compositions from the collection of Santiago de Murcia were originally written for solo guitar, but especially for this project Izidor Erazem Grafenauer arranged them for guitar and strings.

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)
Quintetto n. 9 A modo di concerto in Do maggiore
Allegro maestoso assai / Andantino / Allegretto

Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739)
Folias italianas despacio


Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739)
Folias españoles

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)
Quintet de corda de Luigi Boccherini (G. 448)
Pastorale / Allegro maestoso / Grave assai / Fandango

The programme Cuerdas al pasado consists of a selection of compositions by the composers Luigi Boccherini and Santiago de Murcia. The music of both composers is strongly influenced by Spanish national music, which got its sound by mixing Moorish, European, Jewish and Roma culture. The phenomenon of Spanish music has inspired many composers throughout history, among the most famous being the symphonic composition Spanish Capriccio by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Luigi Boccherini was born in 1743 in Lucca, Italy. Music was laid in his cradle, he was the third child of the cellist and bassist Leopoldo Boccherini, and his brother Giovanni Gastone Boccherini was a poet and dancer who wrote librettos for Antonio Salieri and Joseph Haydn, among others. He started learning the cello as a five-year-old, and four years later also conducting. At the age of thirteen, his father sent him to Rome, where he studied under Giovanni Battista Costanzo. In 1757, he and his father went to Vienna, where they got a job as musicians in the Burgtheater. Four years later, in 1761, Luigi went to Madrid, where in 1770 he was employed at the court of Luis Antonio of Spain, the younger brother of the Spanish king Charles III. In Madrid, Luigi flourished artistically until one day he received a request from King Charles to change a passage in a newly written trio. Luigi defiantly doubled the passage, followed by an immediate cancellation. He later moved to the small town of Avila in the Sierra de Gredos Mountain range in central Spain. There and in the nearby town of Candeleda, Boccherini wrote many of his most famous works.

Later patrons include the French ambassador to Spain, Lucien Bonaparte, and the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II, who was himself an amateur cellist, flutist, and supporter of the arts. Towards the end of his life, he felt a lot of pain, as he survived his last patron Friedrich, two wives and four daughters. He died in 1805 in Madrid, his tomb was in the Basilica of Saint Michael in Madrid until 1927, and later he was transferred to his hometown of Lucca, where he is buried in the church of Saint Francis.

Boccherini wrote the first six quintets in the last years of the eighteenth century, as can be seen from a letter to his French publishers, where in 1798 he writes that he had completed writing three opuses, the third of which contains six quintets for strings and guitar. They are dedicated to Marquis Benavente, who was a wealthy amateur musician. There is a lot of Spanish folklore in the compositions, from various dance rhythms (fandango, seguidilla, tiranna) to melodies in the so-called Andalusian cadence, which is the basis for the later development of flamenco.

The fourth quintet in D major is the most popular and most performed today. The composition opens with a quiet Pastorale movement, typical of Boccherini's style, in which the composer rounds out a simple melody with an extremely clever orchestration and, as is typical of all guitar quintets, assigns a prominent role to each instrument at certain moments. In the second movement, Allegro maestoso, the cello part is the most exposed, which sounds almost like a cello concerto due to its complexity. Before the Fandango movement, which is probably the most familiar to the audience, we have the calm and serene Grave, which conjures up an atmosphere of peace, tranquillity, but still an electrified atmosphere, typical of the storm that is inevitably expressed in Fandango.

Quintet No. 9 in C major, together with Quintet No. 7 and the famous variations Variazioni sulla Ritirata di Madrid, were found in the residence of Louis Picquot from 1832 to 1853. The latter was in all probability the client and the first owner. After Picquot's death, the collection was sold in 1904 at the auction of the Berlin antiquarian Leo Liepmannssohn, in 1911 the Gitaristische Vereinigung from Munich bought a copy. In the twentieth century, when the institution collapsed, the chamber passed into the hands of anonymous private individuals, and in 2010 the compositions were rediscovered and studied by Andreas Stevens and Fulvia Morabito, and since 2011 the originals have been in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich.

Quintet No. 9 contains three movements (Allegro maestoso assai, Andantino, Allegretto), and today it is often performed together with the composition Variazioni sulla Ritirata di Madrid, but this is the idea of performers in the twentieth century, so today we will hear the rounded whole, which had Boccherini in mind.

Information about the music and life of the composer and guitarist Santiago de Murcia has only become known in recent decades. Today it is known that he was born in Madrid in 1673 in a musical family where the guitar was the central instrument. He was formally educated at the Real Chapel under his father, Juan de Murcia, and Francisco Guerra García.

Little is known about his personal life, but a little more about his music. In 1717, he published his (to this day known) first collection, Resumen de acompañar la parte con la guitarra, where he described himself as "maestro of the guitar of the Spanish queen Maria Luisa of Savoy". Today we know her as the wife of the first king from the Borbon family in Spain, Philip V, the grandson of Louis XIV.

Interestingly, two of the four collections of the composer's compositions were found in the last century in Mexico, but it is unlikely that the composer himself travelled to America, it is more likely that the composer sent them as some kind of gift to his patrons and patrons. The first book, Passacalles y obras, contains 128 compositions and the original is kept in the British Library in London.

The third collection of the four published by Santiago de Murcia was found in 1943 in the city of Leon, discovered by Gabriel Saldívar y Silva, after whom the book is named. Códice Saldivar no. 4 is a 94-page collection of compositions similar in content and compositions to the collection Passacalles y obras, so it is likely that it was created as an addition.

Santiago de Murcia's collections show the richness of Spanish guitar music in the 17th century and the influence of France and Italy, characterized by the combination of rhythmic, harmonic and melodic features. The collections contain, for example, French passacaglias and minuets, which are didactically divided according to different tonalities, which allows combining different compositions. His oeuvre of various variations is especially interesting, for example the diversity of the otherwise Spanish folia theme, which he wrote in Italian (Folías italianas despacio), French (Folías muy despacio al estilo de Francia), and Spanish style (Folías españolas). The Italian influence can be seen in compositions dedicated to the famous Corelli, such as Tocata de Corelli, and he also wrote several arrangements of Corelli's compositions and compositions with a strong touch of the famous composer (Canción o tocata, Allegro).

Of course, most of the compositions in his opus contain music from Spanish folklore. His oeuvre includes dances such as Fandango, Canarios, Españoletas, Marionas, Jacaras, Marizapalos.

Santiago de Murcia died in Madrid on April 25, 1739

(Izidor Erazem Grafenauer)



Banchetto musicale

Banchetto musicale is a broadcast in which we focus on concert recordings of music from an earlier date on the Ars program. In it, we listen to recordings of our central early music festivals - the Radovljica Festival and Seviqc Brežice, as well as foreign concerts performed by renowned artists, experts in the performance of early music.