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Notes on the performers
Ida Pelliccioli was born in Bergamo, Italy. She studied at the Nice Conservatoire de Région and at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris – Alfred Cortot in the class of Serguei Markarov, Unesco Artist for Peace. During her studies, she was awarded several scholarships, amongst them, one from the Zygmunt Zaleski Foundation and one from Foundation Albert Roussel. Ida participated in number of masterclasses, among others with Jean-Claude Pennetier, Gerard Wyss and received a double diploma in interpretation and pedagogy, at the École Normale in Paris. She received artistic guidance from Norma Fisher who teaches at the Royal College of Music in London, Stephen Gutman, and is one of the rare pianists to have received guidance from the cuban concert pianist Jorge Luis Prats. Ida chose to avoid the international competition circuit and, before becoming a full-time pianist, received a double master diploma at the Sorbonne University – in Italian Literature and in Ancient Greek History, specializing for the latter in the practice of music during the Hellenistic period. Ida has been performing throughout Europe and Canada. During the 2021/22 Season, she made her debut in Serbia, Luxembourg, Ireland and Romania. In 2023, she has debuted in Switzerland and will perform for the first time also in South Africa. In 2024 she will debut in Lithuania. Ida shows a great interest in contemporary music and will premiere works from the following composers in 2023 – Raffaele Bellafronte and Jean-Luc Gillet. In September 2022, she started performing chamber music with a quintet programme. In 2021 Ida also took up a teaching position at Paris Conservatoire du 8ème arrondissement.
The inspiration behind this programme is the forgotten music of Spanish composer from Sevilla, Blasco de Nebra. The heir to Scarlatti in many respects, he was a composer aware of what was happening elsewhere in Europe in the 1770s. When he died his sisters sold an impressive collection of 1833 pieces for harpsichord/organ/pianoforte – 172 works of his and others by German, Italian and French composers. His expressive world is far more searching than Scarlatti, a quality that reminds us of Mozart and Haydn and pre announces Schubert and even Chopin.
Sonata in D major K.492
Sonata in B minor K. 197
Sonata in F minor K. 386
Scarlatti’s 555 keyboard sonatas are single movements, mostly in binary form, some in early sonata form, and mostly written for harpsichord or the earliest pianofortes. Some display harmonic audacity in their use of discords, and unconventional modulations to remote keys. Born in Naples, Scarlatti spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. Both of these cultures, Neapolitan and Iberian can be found in his works that didn‘t refer to the folk and dance elements directly, but rather in an assimilated way, in which Scarlatti had developed his own style. Sonata K.492 is one of the exceptions, where a pure flamenco quote appears (the sonata is almost a pure bulería). In another register, his introverted Sonata in B minor K 197 displays the recurring streaks of pathos that Neapolitan music revels in. The melodic line whimpers with plaintive little appoggiaturas as harmonic tension accumulates from the use of stubbornly immovable pedal points in the bass. In Sonata K. 386 we can find again some Hispanic elements in the form of a toccata.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Fantasia and Fugue in C Major K. 394
Fantasia in C minor K. 396
Both Fantasias were written in 1782, even if K.396 was first published in 1802 when Maximilian Stadler completed the 28 bars fragment manuscript that Mozart hadn‘t finished. The title ―Fantasia‖ comes from him and seems appropriate. Both works, from the same period, were written at a time when Mozart was having a Baroque moment, discovering the music of J.S. Bach and Haendel. In a letter to his father he mentioned that he was collecting Bach‘s fugues. He even transcribed some of them for string quartet. Mozart took to the style immediately and earned a reputation for his virtuosic keyboard improvisations. These two pieces, written in a free form, as “fantasias” offer, or so we imagine, a sense of Mozart the improviser, and the Fantasia and Fugue K.394 was one of the results from his interest in counterpoint.
Manuel Blasco de Nebra
Sonata n°10 in C Major
Sonata n° 1 in C minor
Sometimes called the “Spanish Scarlatti”, Blasco de Nebra has been forgotten for two centuries, before the first manuscripts and editions of his remaining 30 keyboard pieces were brought to light. Not much is known about his short life. His father was the organist of Seville Cathedral before he took over the position in 1778. Renowned for his excellent sight-reading and playing of the organ, harpsichord and fortepiano as well as his improvising skills, his works evoke Scarlatti‘s concise forms – he also uses the binary form, usually an adagio followed by a fast finale – and extraordinary power of invention. What comes through the two chosen Sonatas for this programme, is that the texture of Blasco de Nebra‘s writing has one foot in the ornamented and expressive Baroque style while anticipating the Classical era of Haydn and Mozart in their clarity of phrase structure and harmonic simplicity. In some Sonatas however, he goes even further developing a harmonic world that can be a richly mysterious one, which has led some commentators to say his music at moments sounds like Chopin‘s, Schubert‘s or Schumann‘s.
Drei Klavierstücke D946
- No. 1 in E♭ minor
- No. 2 in E♭ major
- No. 3 in C major
F.Schubert, as Blasco de Nebra, lived in a period of musical evolution. Like the Impromptus, the Drei Klavierstücke express in microcosm so much of Schubert‘s unique sound world and musical personality – daring and unusual harmonies, beautiful songful melodies, and episodes of profound poignancy or intimacy. Throughout these pieces, we hear the extraordinarily broad scope of his creativity and emotional landscape. These pieces are impromptus in all but name, showing a maturity and mastery of the structure that hadn‘t been achieved before. All three pieces share a similar rondo pattern, even though each forms a closed and independent poetical and dramatic universe on their own. Qualified as “music more eloquent than words” they are the perfect example of how Schubert took music out of the salons, into nature or into another kind of domestic intimacy where in his own words “When I wished to sing of love, it turned to sorrow. And when I wished to sing of sorrow, it was transformed for me into love.”