Home | Program | The Sharp Band
09:30 pm
09:30 pm

Info and reservations

Single seat: 20 €
Reduced single seat Under 30 and Coop members: 15€
Students of Università di Pisa, Scuola Normale Superiore and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (only from one hour before the concert): 5 €

The concert starts at 9.30 p.m.

The four violins of the sharp band grappling with the conflicting passions and disparate moods of Telemann's repertoire


Concerto a 4 Violini Senza Basso del Sigr. Melante
in re maggiore TWV 40:202
Adagio – Allegro – Grave – Allegro

Zwanzigste Lection des Music-Meisters in sol maggiore
TWV 40:111 per due violini
Dolce – Scherzando – Largo e misurato – Vivace e staccato

Duetto I in sol maggiore da Second livre de duo
TWV 40:124 per due violini
Vivace – Allegretto – Spirituoso

Duetto III in si minore da Second livre de duo
TWV 40:126 per due violini
Vivace – Poco presto – Allegro

Sonata à IV. Violini del Sig:Telemann in do maggiore
TWV 40:203 per quattro violini senza basso
Grave – Allegro – Largo e staccato – Allegro


“Gulliver suite” TWV 40:108 da Der getreuer Music-meister
per due violini
Intrada – Lilliputsche Chaconne – Brobdingnagische Gique – Reverie
der Liliputaner, nebst ihren Aufweckern – Loure der gesitteten
Houyhnhnms & Furie der unartigen Yahoos

Duetto II in la minore da Second livre de duo
TWV 40:125 per due violini senza basso
Vivace – Moderato – Allegro

Sonata III in re maggiore da Canons mélodieux
TWV 40:120 per due violini senza basso
Spirituoso – Larghetto – Allegro assai

Sonata I in re maggiore da Sonates sans basse TWV 40:103
per due violini senza basso
Dolce – Allegro – Largo – Vivace

Concerto con 4 Violin del Sigr. Melante n.1 in sol maggiore
TWV 40:20
Largo – Allegro – Adagio – Vivace

Violin and conduction
Enrico Onofri

Alessandro Tampieri

Boris Begelman

Maria Cristina Vasi

Telemann, works for violins without bass: a “Sharp Band”

“Sharp violins proclaim / Their jealous pangs and desperation, / Fury, frantic indignation, / depths of pain, and heights of passion, / For the fair disdainful dame.”

This is how John Dryden in depicting the character of musical instruments described violin ensembles in his Song for St. Cecilia’s Day of 1687, later set to music by Handel. Years ago these verses inspired me with the idea of a program about the violin and its ability to express such contrasting passions and moods: it was the adjective sharp that suggested to me that the absence of the accompanying bass would highlight its characteristics. Imaginarium Ensemble thus temporarily got rid of its bass section, becoming a “sharp band” of solo violins.

Telemann’s vast production without basso continuo proved ideal for the realization of the project, especially the rare concertos for four violins – the heart of the program – but also for the variety of writing and expressive force of the duets. Imaginarium Ensemble’s Sharp Band thus ventures into a floating world, at once intense and fickle, made up of jokes, imitations, gallant love duels and pursuits suspended in a bassless void. Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) is one of the most prolific composers in history, and his output constitutes a rich and varied cross-section of German musical culture on the threshold of the Age of Enlightenment. This program includes a selection of works for a few instruments without basso continuo, composed for an audience of “amateurs”: do not mislead by the term “amateurs,” by which they meant musicians who could not practice professionally-mostly for reasons of social status, being nobles or wealthy bourgeois-who therefore devoted themselves solely to domestic performances. However, as evidenced by the writing of some of the pages included in the program, they were often performers on a par with professionals.

The formal choices made by Telemann to compose these works – canons, fugues, passages of French, Italian or “gallant” taste – to use the words of musicologist Stefano Aresi, manifest themselves ” not so much to demonstrate his own competence, but rather to put himself at the service of a divertissment in which the fervid fruits of the author’s imagination spoke a language that was comprehensible, not taken for granted and well educated in the uses of the most fashionable German, Italian, Polish and French music. […] To use a culinary parallel, in essence, Telemann presented himself to the public as a chef who was very familiar with the ingredients most beloved by his customers, deciding to bring to life gastronomic creations designed to make people appreciate the freshness and the typical and unique flavor of those individual ingredients, rather than the eventual complexity of the dish itself. A chromaticism, a reference to a “hunting” scripture, a quotation, thus become supporting elements of a game whose rules all participants know, can intuit mechanisms, and rejoice in some pleasant witticisms distilled here and there. Telemann offers a palette of musical colors in which the average German audience of the time could have recognized themselves, understanding well the linguistic elements chosen (even dialectal) and their use by the celebrated master, in an artistic discourse particularly inclined to a rhetorical concinnitas.”

A program about the violin and its ability to express conflicting passions and disparate moods: the sharp band suggests the absence of the accompanying bass so as to highlight the 4 dialoguing violins


Causa maltempo il concerto di stasera 30/06 di Modo Antiquo sarà spostato nella bellissima Chiesa di San Sisto

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