THE VIVALDI PROJECT
DISCOVERING THE CLASSICAL STRING TRIOVolume 3
John Antes, Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Leopold Hofmann, Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen, Paul Wranitzky, Francesco Zannetti
THE VIVALDI PROJECT
Elizabeth Field, violin
Allison Edberg Nyquist, violin and viola
Stephanie Vial, cello
[The Vivaldi Project] play exceptionally well, full of spirit and expression... Congratulations, then, to the Vivaldi Project for tackling seven pieces you’ve almost certainly never heard!... discover what the music world would have been like had there been no Haydn or Mozart!"
Althouse, American Record Guide [January/February 2022]
"The music again is finely crafted and there is plenty of gusto and brio on the performances by the Vivaldi Project... beautiful performances and the works are very enjoyable... All told this is a fine volume that anyone who loves Classical form and engaged performances will gravitate towards. High recommendations."
Grego Applegate [October 2021]
"[The Vivaldi Project's] emphasis on the lesser-known composers, despite their name, is to be applauded, as is MSR Classics for supporting them in this series... They play on period instruments without much/any vibrato, which may deter some, but I can assure you that the sound is not harsh, aggressive or tiring... [The musicians] are first-rate... The vitality imparted in the performance of the Sirmen demonstrates that. The booklet notes, written by cellist Stephanie Vial, are an excellent mix of history and musical analysis, and the sound quality is very natural."
David Barker, MusicWeb International [November 2021]
"The musicians of the Vivaldi Project are now on the third installment in their enlightening series Discovering the Classical String Trio. The series has made us aware of a large repertoire of trios for strings in the late Baroque, Rococo, and Classical eras... The strong musical values of the previous volumes of the series are still in place: exuberance, tightly knit ensemble, good intonation, and a warm and expressive singing line. All period string playing should sound like this. In fact, I would urge anyone who thinks he “doesn’t like period instruments” to give any of these discs a listen; they might change minds... The Vivaldi Project should record more works of Maddalena Sirmen and John Antes as soon as possible."
Michael DeSapio, Fanfare [January/February 2022]
"Subtlety and unaffected beauty are the watchwords for all the small-scale pieces being explored by the members of the Vivaldi Project in their first-rate series of recordings of classical string trios... these trios are largely unchallenging pieces both to play and to hear..., but that does not in any way diminish the appeal of the works or the skill with which the mostly little-known composers of the time created them... Field, Nyquist and Vial are so well-versed in the style of the period they are exploring here that their performances flow with natural ease that fits these works perfectly... there is enjoyment aplenty to be had here simply by sitting back and letting these small gems sparkle in the presentation by the members of the Vivaldi Project."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [October 2021]
"As a listening experience, 'Discovering the Classical String Trio' welcomes us back to 18th century sound and feeling while educating us on this genre of chamber music. The recording includes seven string trios expertly played... Even though the works were created by very different composers, the trios all flow beautifully together, transporting us back about 250 years into a time when harmony, not dissonance, prevailed. In addition to being treated to outstanding performances of this chamber music, a listener may also enjoy reading about its history in an informative booklet accompanying the recording’s CD version, and a first rate recording."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [October 2021]
PROGRAM NOTESThe string trio is often viewed, according to the hindsight of chamber music history, as a kind of minor sub-genre, a “quartet minus one.” We at The Vivaldi Project, however, propose that the 18th-century string quartet might more aptly be described as a “trio plus one.” The Classical string trio, as the successor to the immensely popular Baroque trio sonata (exemplified by Antonio Vivaldi and his contemporaries), would out-publish the string quartet in the 1760s by a ratio of more than 5 to 1. The resulting body of works includes more than 2000 trios from many of the century’s most revered and eminent composers. Volume 3 of our series, Discovering The Classical String Trio, continues to explore this vast and essentially unknown repertoire with seven newly recorded works—from the string trio’s early origins in Italy to its expression at the height of the Classical period in Vienna.
Praised for its brilliant and expressive playing, The Vivaldi Project, directed by Elizabeth Field and Stephanie Vial, is dedicated to presenting innovative programs of Baroque and Classical string repertoire that combine scholarship and performance to both educate and delight audiences. The period instrument ensemble takes its name from the virtuoso violinist and innovative composer Antonio Vivaldi in recognition of his pivotal position between earlier Baroque and later Classical composers (those well known and beloved as well as those rarely heard). The Vivaldi Project’s educational arm, The Institute for Early Music on Modern Instruments (EMMI), offers professional string players and advanced students the opportunity to study historical performance practices using their own modern instruments. [ www.thevivaldiproject.org ]
Violinist Elizabeth Field, distinguished for her passionate and stylistic playing on both period and modern instruments, is the founder of The Vivaldi Project. Field is concertmaster of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem and also performs with a wide variety of ensembles throughout the United States, from Washington D.C.’s acclaimed Opera Lafayette to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom she recorded regularly for Deutsche Grammophon. On period instruments, she has recorded for the Dorian, Hungaroton, MSR and Naxos labels. She has held professorships at Sacramento State University and the University of California at Davis, and has given master classes at universities across the country, including regular visits to The Curtis Institute. Field holds a DMA from Cornell University in 18th-century performance practice and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University. Her DVD with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson, Performing the Score, explores 18th-century violin and piano repertoire and has been acclaimed by Emanuel Ax as “truly inspiring” and “authoritative.”
Allison Edberg Nyquist’s violin playing has been described as impeccable, being both technically and musically superior. Nyquist has performed throughout North America, collaborating with many of the top Baroque ensembles, including Chatham Baroque, The Washington Bach Consort, Haymarket Opera Company, Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Voltaire and Third Coast Baroque. She has also served as concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. Nyquist’s discography includes recordings for the Centaur, Delos, Eclectra and MSR labels. Artistic Director of Music City Baroque in Nashville and adjunct professor of Baroque violin at the Blair School of Music, she also taught violin at Lawrence University, Ohio State University and Interlochen Arts Camp. In addition, she served as professor of viola at Indiana State University and DePauw University. Nyquist earned her degrees from the University of Michigan with Camilla Wicks and the Peabody Institute with Daniel Heifetz, and studied baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie at Indiana University.
Stephanie Vial, a widely respected cellist, praised for technical flair and expressive phrasing, performs regularly in early music ensembles throughout the United States. She has also given solo and chamber music concerts, lectures and master classes at numerous universities and institutions, including The Shrine to Music Museum in South Dakota, University of Virginia, Boston Conservatory, McGill University and Curtis Institute of Music. She has recorded for the Centaur, Dorian, MSR, Naxos and Hungaroton labels. Vial is the author of The Art of Musical Phrasing in the Eighteenth Century: Punctuating the Classical “Period,” published by the University of Rochester Press, and the creator of DancingwithBach.com, a video project exploring performance practice and the J.S. Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. Vial is a lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds a DMA in 18th-century performance practice from Cornell University where she studied with John Hsu.
PROGRAMGIOVANNI BATTISTA SAMMARTINI (1700-1775)
SONATA IN A MAJOR, OP.5, NO.1 (1756)
for two violins with a thorough bass for harpsichord or violoncello
MADDALENA LOMBARDINI SIRMEN (1745-1818)
SONATA IN G MAJOR, OP.1, NO.5 (1770)
a deux violons et violoncello obligé
I. Allegro moderato
II. Rondo Allegro assai – Menuetto allegro
JOHN ANTES (1740-1811)
TRIO IN D MINOR, OP.3, NO.2 (c. 1770-81)
for two violini and violoncello obbligato
II. Andante un poco Adagio
FRANCESCO ZANNETTI (1737-1788)
TRIO IN D MAJOR, OP.2, NO.3 (1782)
for violino primo, viola and violoncello
II. Allegro con moto
FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812)
TRIO CONCERTANT IN G MAJOR, OP.11, NO.3 (c. 1790)
pour deux violons et violoncelle
LEOPOLD HOFMANN (1738-1793)
TRIO Ô DIVERTIMENTO IN C MAJOR (c. 1750s)
à violino primo ô flauto traverso, violino secondo e basso
I. Tempo giusto
PAUL WRANITZKY (1756-1808)
TRIO CONCERTANT IN G MAJOR, OP.3, NO.3 (c. 1793)
pour violin, alto et basse
I. Allegro moderato
III. Menuetto allegretto-Trio
IV. Finale allegro
Recorded 16-19 November 2020 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, New York. A Candlewood Digital high resolution Natural Presence recording: Produced, engineered, edited and mastered by Richard Price.