Vivaldi “per l’orchestra di Dresda”

Posted in Dresden on June 17th, 2011

1716. August the Strong had sent some of his best musicians to Italy, to perfect their knowledge and their style. It resulted in a fruitful and precious encounter of two outstanding violinists: Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Georg Pisendel. Lessons, shared concerts, musical exchanges set the foundations of an unbreakable friendship that distance and time did not mitigate. After Pisendel became the concertmaster of the Dresden Hofkapelle, considered the “finest orchestra in the world” in its time, he continued to collect, copy, and play the most ambitious of his Venetian friend’s concertos. Some of them deploy an ostentatious instrumentarium, and push the violin to compete in brightness with the horns, in sensuality with the oboe, while leading the orchestra with a dazzling brilliance. These are the famous Concerti per l’orchestra di Dresda.
Les Ambassadeurs wish not only to make the audience rediscover Vivaldi’s greatest concertos, but also those which he directly inspired to other remarkable composers like Pisendel, Zelenka and Quantz.


Concerto in F major RV 571 for solo violin, 2 oboes, 2 horns & orchestra

Concerto in G major ZWV 186 for violin, oboe, bassoon & orchestra

Concerto in E flat major for 2 oboes, bassoon & orchestra
Concerto in D major for solo violin, 2 oboes, 2 horns, bassoon & orchestra
Sonata in c minor for strings, 2 oboes & bassoon

Concerto in F major QV 5:139 for flute & orchestra

Concerto in D major RV 562 „Per la solennità di S.Lorenzo“ for violin, 2 oboes, 2 horns & orchestra


Les Ambassadeurs

dir. Alexis Kossenko

(24 musicians: 2 horns, flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 8 violins, 3 violas, 3 celli, double-bass, theorbo, harpischord)

Senesino, from Dresden to London

Posted in Dresden on June 16th, 2011

Giove in Argo (excerpts)

Diana sull’Elba & Flavio Crispo (excerpts)

Italian arias

Cleofilde (excerpts)

I Lamenti d’Orfeo (excerpts)

, Giulio Cesare, Amadigi di Gaula, Radamisto & Water Music (excerpts)

What was the part of Handel in the scandal?

The previous year he was in Dresden one of the spectators of the lavish royal wedding, with its magnificient musical events featuring the castrato Senesino and the soprano Margherita Durastanti. Italian opera in Dresden was at its zenith. But when in 1720, Senesino insulted the Kapellmeister Heinichen and threw the score at his feet, the scandal that followed led to the closing of the opera. The singers were dismissed and left Dresden for London… where roles sur mesure in the new Handel opera were just waiting for them! Coincidence? Or should we see a plot, in agreement with the singers, in order to break their contract in Dresden and attract them to the Royal Academy of Music? From Dresden to London, we follow the famous Senesino in some of his greatest roles: behind the ego, the whims, money and intrigue, is the story of one of the greatest talents of the history of singing.

Christophe Dumaux, counter-tenor

dir. Alexis Kossenko

Les Ambassadeurs

(31 musicians: 3 horns, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 10 violins, 4 violas, 4 celli, 2 double-basses, theorbo, harpsichord)