Fantasticus

We are very pleased to have on offer 6 interesting and varied programmes

  • Fantastic Germany

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    Bound to Nothing
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    “The Stylus Fantasticus is bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject. It was instituted to display genius.”

    Stylus Fantasticus is the term for a genre of virtuoso instrumental chamber music that blossomed across Europe in the late 17th century. It was “a free and unrestrained method of composing”, in effect a liberation of instrumental music from the dominance of vocal music. Often driven along by ostinato bass patterns, the music is remarkable for its unending energy, florid solo lines and inherent freedom. Composers from this time pushed the boundaries of form, technique and convention. Fantasticus enchants its audiences with the unsurpassed wonder and energy from that time.

    Works by Buxtehude, Bertali, Schmelzer, Pandolfi Mealli, Jenkins. This programme features on Fantasticus’ critically-acclaimed debut album, Fantasticus - Baroque Chamber Works.

    “The sheer freshness and fiery joie de vivre of the playing recalls the young Andrew Manze and his collaborators.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013.
    Dieterich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707) Trio Sonata in A Major Op.2 No.5.
    Augustinus
    Kertzinger (d.1678) Sonatina in d minor for Viola da gamba and basso continuo
    Michelangelo
    Rossi (ca. 1601/1602 – 1656) Toccata Settima
    Johann Sebastian
    Bach Sonata E minor BWV 1023
    Dieterich
    Buxtehude (1637 – 1707) Sonata and Suite in B flat, BuxWV 273
    John
    Jenkins (1592-1678) Fantasia in d minor
    Johann Heinrich
    Schmelzer (c.1621–1680) Sonata a 2 in a minor
    Philipp Heinrich
    Erlebach (1657-1714) Sonata Terza in A major.
  • Fantastic Bach

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    All roads lead to The Master
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    Johann Sebastian Bach was undoubtedly a genius and a great innovator who left us a musical legacy to be enjoyed by endless generations of music lovers to come. “Fantastic Bach” ​presents the best chamber music of J.S. Bach together with outstanding interpretations by Fantasticus. The programme also puts his works in context. We hear Buxtehude who influenced the young J.S. Bach, and Bach family-friend Abel who in turn influenced the young Mozart.
    • Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 - 1709): Trio Sonata in A major Op.2 No5
    • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750): Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in E minor BWV 1023
    • Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord in D major BWV1028
    • Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata for Violin and obbligato harpsichord in B minor BWV1014
    • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 - 1788): Rondo in A major for solo keyboard
    • Johann Sebastian Bach: from The Art of Fugue BWV1080, Canon per Augmentationem in Contratio Motu
    • Carl Friedrich Abel (1723 - 1787): Sonata for Violin, Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord Op.9 No.3
  • Fantastic France

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    Sonnerie and other portraits
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    Unique to the French Baroque, eighteenth century composers populated their publications with musical portraits, commemorative pieces and pièces de hommage which flattered and celebrated their subjects, leaving deeper meanings to the imagination and discretion of the listener. Works by Marais, Rameau, Leclair, Duphly, Francoeur and Dornel.

    In this programme from their critically-acclaimed second album, Fantasticus present a palette of musical portraits from the French Baroque: the hypnotic bell-like fantasy, “Sonnerie” by Marais; intensely emotional musical tombstones; respect, humour and tenderness in the dedications from one composer to another.

    Prepare to be enchanted, moved and uplifted!
    Marin Marais (1656-1728), Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont-de- Paris.
    Jean-Philippe
    Rameau (1683-1764), Cinquième Pièce de Clavecin en Concert.
    Marin
    Marais, Tombeau pour Monsr. De Lully. Deuxième Livre.
    Fran
    ois Francoeur (1698-1787), Sonata VI, Deuxième Livre.
    Jean-Marie
    Leclair (1697-1764), Sonata 8 à Trois. Deuxième Livre.
    Jacques
    Duphly (1715-1789), La Forqueray. Troisième Livre.
    Louis-Antoine
    Dornel (c.1680–c.1756), Sonata IV ‘La Forcroy’, Op.2.
  • Fantastic Italy

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    Tartini, Veracini, Vivaldi… tutti insieme!
    Francesco Maria Veracini and Giuseppe Tartini were celebrated by their contemporaries as ‘the greatest masters of their instrument that had ever appeared; and their abilities were not merely confined to the excellence of their performance, but extended to composition, in which they both manifested great genius and science’. Historian Charles Burney made the important observation that it was ‘impossible for any two men to be more dissimilar in disposition: Tartini was so humble and timid, that he was never happy but in obscurity; while Veracini was so foolishly vainglorious as frequently to boast that there was but one God, and one Veracini’.

    Fantasticus takes this jarring contrast of personalities and twists it into a programme of ingenious Italian sonatas that moves effortlessly between rustic simplicity and virtuoso indulgence. The programme culminates in the most famous programmatic violin sonata of the eighteenth century - ‘ Il trillo del Diavolo’ - written after Tartini was visited by the devil himself in a tormented dream. The recording featuring this programme, ‘Tartini & Veracini’ was released in June 2015 on Resonus Classics.
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    Giuseppe Tartini (1692 – 1770) Pastorale, Op. 1
    Francesco Maria
    Veracini (1690 – 1768) Sonata Op.2 No.5 in g minor
    Antonio
    Vivaldi (1678 - 1741) Cello Sonata No.6 in Bb major, RV 46
    Giuseppe
    Tartini (1692 – 1770) Sonata Il Trillo del Diavolo in G Minor
    Domenico
    Scarlatti (1685 - 1757) Sonatas for solo harpsichord
    Francesco Maria
    Veracini (1690 – 1768) Sonata Op.2 No.12 in D minor
  • Fantastic England

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    The excellency of Hand
    Diminution, or the more English term Division, refers to the art of improvising and composing variations usually on a simple melody or above a ground bass. Perhaps one of the reasons division became so popular was its capacity for great virtuosity – or excellency of hand. The art flourished in mid-17th century England with the likes of John Jenkins and William Lawes writing florid lines to challenge even the most accomplished performers. Although the practice of division is traceable back to Italian diminuzione from the end of the 16th century its character is quintessentially English.
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    John Jenkins (1592 – 1678) ‘Fantasia Suite’ for violin, bass viol and organ No.12 in D minor
    Fantazia - Almaine - Ayre
    John
    Jenkins
    ‘Fantasia Suite’ in G minor for treble, bass and basso continuo
    Fantasia - Almaine - Corant
    William Lawes (1602 - 1645)
    Fantazia and Ayres for violin, bass viol and organ No.8 in D major
    Fantasia - Air (Alman) - Air (Galliard)
    Nicola
    Matteis (fl. c. 1670 – after 1714)
    Set of Ayres for the Violin
    John
    Jenkins
    ‘Fantasia Suite’ in A minor for treble, bass and basso continuo
    Fantasia - Ayre - Corant
    John Jenkins
    ‘Fantasia’ in D minor for treble, bass viol and organ
  • Fantastic Family Concert

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    Battles, Beasts and Bells - Baroque Tales of the Unexpected!
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    Composers didn’t always write music just for the sake of it. Sometimes they wanted to copy the things that they heard or saw around them. These things could be from nature, like plants and animals, or they could be man-made things like trains, telephones, or even battles!
    Fantasticus explore the alternative sound-world of the baroque time with original instruments: baroque violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord. Together with lots of light-hearted explanation and a video-screen to provide extra insight, this concert is perfect for newcomers to the concert hall.
    ‘Battles, Beasts and Bells: Baroque Tales of the Unexpected’ presents a unique opportunity for families (with small children) to experience the exciting music of a bygone age and meet the ancestors of instruments that eventually gave rise to our modern orchestra.
    Marin Marais (1656 – 1728), Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont-de- Paris
    Antonio
    Vivaldi (1678 - 1741), Spring and Summer from The Four Seasons (extract)
    Giuseppe
    Tartini (1692 – 1770), The Devil’s Trill
    Heinrich Ignaz Franz
    Biber (1644 - 1704), Sonata Representativa
    Marin
    Marais, Le Tableau de l’Opération de la Taille
    Jean-Philippe
    Rameau (1683 - 1764), Tambourin