June 27 - July 4, 2018
Summer Tour – 4 Seasons, 4 Viols
Wednesday 27 June – 7:30 PM
Thursday 28 June – 7:30 PM
Friday 29 June – 7:30 PM
Saturday 30 June – 6:00 PM
Monday 2 July – 7:00 PM
Tuesday 3 July – 8:00 PM
Wednesday 4 July – 12:00 PM
Admission by donation
Antonio Vivaldi’s Quattro Stagioni revisited. Original arrangements for 4 violas da gamba of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons by Susie Napper & Margaret Little, mixed in with a tasty recipe of seasonal songs.
The Four Seasons (Le Quattro Stagioni) is Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678-1741) most popular set of concertos. What a bizarre phenomenon that these pieces are heard nowadays as elevator and supermarket Muzak, as street music on anything from accordion to Jews harp as well as annoying, “on hold” telephone entertainment!
However the popularity of The Four Seasons is nothing new. They were amongst the Top Ten tunes during the 18th century! Spring was performed regularly from 1725 to 1790 at the Concerts Spirituels, the Parisian concert series. There are also many period arrangements of the concertos for diverse instruments from one recorder to full orchestra with choir. Stealing music was common practice in the baroque period. Like clay, it was a medium to be modelled to fit different instruments and new performance situations. Les Voix humaines has, therefore, followed a well-trodden, baroque tradition by arranging these pieces for the fun of it! And this June they bring these arrangements to Nova Scotians across the province on their 2018 summer tour!
Each of Vivaldi’s seasons is filled with word painting: hear the birds singing, dogs barking and the hurdy-gurdy in Spring, the thunder storms and mosquitos in Summer, the drunken farmers and hunting horns in Autumn and the wind, ice and rain in Winter. Vivaldi includes short poetic descriptions of the seasons throughout the music which may be heard during this performance. Les Voix humaines will also bring other well-known jazz standards, pop tunes and traditional songs (by Henry Purcell, George Gershwin or Joseph Kosma) that are slipped into the concertos for added pleasure. Luckily we’ll never know if Vivaldi is turning in his grave!
Les Voix humaines, a viola da gamba duo, has thrilled audiences worldwide with dashing performances of early and contemporary music for over three decades. Susie Napper and Margaret Little‘s musical complicity has been compared to the skill of two trapeze artists or the telepathic communion of a pair of jazz saxophonists! A decade ago the duo was joined by Mélisande Corriveau and Felix Deak to form Les Voix humaines Consort of Viols to take a refreshing look at the huge repertoire for multiple viols. The consort has toured in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic States and recorded Bach’s Art of Fugue, Purcell’s Fantasias, Dowland’s Lachrimae. Now they bring Nova Scotia audiences a fresh look at Vivaldi’s Quattro Stagioni for equal viols - 4 Seasons, 4 viols: wherever in Nova Scotia is called home, let Les Voix humaines bring the Four Seasons to you!