Arcadia Players - New England's Period Instrument Ensemble
Arcadia Players embraces
practice to illuminate
and invigorate the
great Western heritage
of vocal and
Violinist Susanna Ogata
Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble
Vivaldi's The Four Seasons
with violinist Susanna Ogata
Gloria, RV 489
with the Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble
Sunday, October 22, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.
Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst Town Common, Amherst, MA
Advance tickets: $37.50 General admission, $10 Student with ID
At the door: $40.00
About this event.
Arcadia Players, conducted by Artistic Director Ian Watson, open their 2017-18 season with a concert featuring two of Vivaldi’s best-loved works, The Four Seasons and the Gloria, Sunday, October 22, at 4:00 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church on the Amherst Town Common. The brilliant violinist Susanna Ogata will be soloist in the four concertos that so vividly evoke the seasons. The choir joining Arcadia Players for Vivaldi’s setting of the Gloria, RV489, is the celebrated Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble.
Susanna Ogata joins Arcadia Players in The Four Seasons (I Quattro Stagioni) from Vivaldi’s collection of concertos published as Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Invenzione, Op. 8. A violinist who plays with a lively energy and a sense of spontaneity, Ogata has performed extensively on historical instruments in appearances with the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, Sarasa, Boston Baroque and other distinguished ensembles. She is Assistant Concertmaster of the Handel & Haydn Society, of which Ian Watson is Associate Conductor. As a duo Ogata and Watson are near completion of the project to record all Beethoven’s sonatas for piano and violin, with three volumes now released.
Vivaldi’s I Quattro Stagioni, Op. 8 #1-4, form a cycle of three-movement concertos that follow the year from spring through winter. They recall the natural and social world vividly, and precisely, following the year’s course as the pleasant warmth of spring turns to the heat of summer, then to the brisk days and harvest celebrations of fall, and to the icy winter, best experienced by the hearth. Published with these concertos were four sonnets, possibly written by Vivaldi. They closely chart the course of the music, which springs to life anew in the hands of Ogata, Watson and Arcadia Players.
The other work on the program, Vivaldi’s Gloria, RV489, sets the liturgical “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” a text of praise and veneration from the Roman Catholic mass. Singing the work will be the Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble, who joined Arcadia Players in 2016 in a memorable performance of the Mozart Requiem. The ensemble was founded four years ago by conductor Tony Thornton and has been celebrated by concertgoers and critics for its vocal beauty, nuance, clarity and commitment to the spirit of each work in their diverse repertory.
The Gloria was written for the choir at the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for Venetian girls without families where Vivaldi spent much of his adult life teaching, playing violin, composing concertos and sacred music for the admirable choir and orchestra, and conducting. This work, on the order of a large-scale cantata, draws on styles current in Vivaldi’s time as well as musical practices from the late Renaissance, such as the double fugue that ends the work. The long-lost score was unearthed in a sheaf of manuscripts in the 1920s. A heavily embellished version first performed in 1939 was followed by the publication of the original score, which has been widely performed since its modern premiere in 1957.
Arcadia Players’ current season continues with their signature performance of Handel’s Messiah on Friday, December 22, at Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College. Arcadia Viols, with guest singers and keyboard player, explore 17th-century German music for voices and viols January 21 at Wesley United Methodist Church, Hadley. For the season finale Arcadia Players and the Henry Purcell Society of Boston, who joined forces for last year’s splendid performance of King Arthur, celebrate Purcell in a concert including the ode Come Ye Sons of Art on April 15 at Grace Church, Amherst. Season tickets are available until October 22 by phone or through arcadiaplayers.org.
Arcadia Players’ 2017-18 concert season is made possible through the support of our patrons and donors, our hosts Mount Holyoke College, Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst, and Wesley United Methodist Church, Hadley, our media sponsor New England Public Radio, and in 2017 by the Cultural Councils of Amherst, South Hadley and Hadley, and the Northampton Arts Council, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Arcadia Players is Ensemble-in-Residence at the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies.