Haydn and Jommelli; with Christine Brandes, soprano, Stephanie Houtzeel, mezzo-soprano.
The Fall 2008 concert series at Columbia University's Italian Academy will present three concerts by the period-instrument ensemble The Grand Tour Orchestra led by flutist Charles Brink. The Grand Tour Orchestra was founded in 2006 in New York. The New York Times wrote of the Orchestra's first season at the Italian Academy that year that the musicians were “willing and energetic, playing with an involved enthusiasm.” The Orchestra specializes in music of the late 18th century.
The players who form the nucleus of The Grand Tour Orchestra are highly regarded in both the modern and period-instrument scenes and can be heard around the US: concertmaster Claire Jolivet, Andrea Schultz, Theresa Salomon, Amelia Roosevelt, Marika Holmqvist and Owen Dalby, violin; Jessica Troy and Alissa Smith, viola; Loretta O'Sullivan and Lindy Clarke, 'cello; John Feeney, bass; Gonzalo Ruiz and Sarah Davol, oboe; RJ Kelly and Alexandra Cook, horn.
Music Director Charles Brink has specialized in18th-century music since 1997. He has played, toured and recorded with many ensembles in Europe and the United States - The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, his own Bouts Ensemble, The Four Nations Ensemble, Ensemble Rebel, the New York Collegium and the Hannoverische Hofkapelle to name but a few. His flute playing has been critically acclaimed in The New York Times, the Mainzer Zeitung, and the Hessischer Zeitung among others. Mr. Brink has recorded for the EMI, Raumklang, ASV labels as well as German and Dutch Radio and Television. Mr. Brink also served as co-music director in the 2004 Opera da camera Linz production of Handel's Ariodante. His research into and love for the music of the pre-classical and classical periods led him to found the Grand Tour Orchestra.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 8 p.m. Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): Symphony in F minor, H1/49 (La Passione) Niccolo Jommelli (1714-1774): Miserere (PietÃ , pietÃ signore) for 2 sopranos and strings (North American premiere) with Christine Brandes, soprano, Stephanie Houtzeel, mezzo-soprano
The Grand Tour's opening concert features the North American premiere of Niccolo Jommelli's Miserere. This imposing work for two sopranos and strings was written months before the composer's death in 1774 for the incomparable singers Anna de Amicis and Giuseppe Aprile. The work posthumously achieved as much fame as any of his beloved operas and was performed well into the 19th century. Also on the program is Haydn'searly masterpiece; the dark, emotionally charged Symphony in F-minor(Hob 1/49, La Passione). Soprano Christine Brandes has made a stellar career in Europe and the United States appearing on both the opera and concert stage. She has received the highest praise for her interpretations of Bach, Handel, Rameau, Haydn, and Mozart. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Houtzeel specializes in the trouser-roles of Strauss, Mozart and baroque composers. She has been heard in the opera houses of Zurich, Lisbon, Graz, Antwerp, the Bastille and Lyon (December 2008) and in the major concert halls and festivals of Europe.