Invite SPRING into your home this week with lively music from l’OCM
The Orchestre Classique de Montreal ( OCM) is proud to present THE FOUR SEASONS: A stirring online broadcast that features the beautiful voice of Quebec mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne and the dynamic violin playing of OCM’s concertmaster Marc Djokic:
On the Program are two pieces by First Nations composers, Barbara Croall and Tomson Highway, as well as beloved Spring themed classics from Piazzolla and Vivaldi.
THE FOUR SEASONS Program
Concerto Grosso in D minor Op.3 nº11 – A. Vivaldi
Zasakwaa – song by Barbara Croall, with flutist Naama Neuman and mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne
Some Say a Rose from The (Post) Mistress – song by Tomson Highway, arrangement by François Vallières, with mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne
La Primavera “Spring” Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, from The Four Seasons – A. Vivaldi
The Four Seasons – A. Piazzolla, with violinist Marc Djokic
Artists: Julie Boulianne, Mezzo-Soprano Marc Djokic, Violin Boris Brott & Xavier Brossard- Ménard, Conductors Orchestre classique de Montréal
Marc Djokic is the winner of the 2020 ECMA Classical Recording of the Year, the Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer, a Prix Opus from the Conseil québécois de la musique, and a former Instrument Bank recipient from Canada Council.
As one of Canada’s most prolific violinists , Djokic is also OCM’s current concertmaster.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions for Gen’s Delights Marc ,
1 . Numerous musicians have enjoyed their own take on the Four Seasons over the years; From Moe Koffman’s Jazz album, the French Swingle Singers to the fiery rhythms of Piazzolla… What are some of your favorite derivative works ?
The first two works that come to mind are the Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter and the “American” four seasons by Philip Glass which I performed years back with Melanie Leonard and the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra. While the Richter version quotes rhythms and melodies from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the Glass version is a completely unique and original work with out any quotes from Vivaldi. Both of these works are definitely worth a listen if you haven’t heard them already.
The Four Seasons are program music: instrumental music with a narrative, intended to evoke strong imagery in a musical manner. Vivaldi published accompanying sonnets with poetic lines that delve directly into the music on the page such as in the middle section of Spring where we “hear a barking dog” in the viola section.
What characteristics or imagery of Spring come to the forefront of your mind while performing? Do you visualize certain passages in a unique way ? Any funny or quirky images?
It is true that musicians will visualize a variety of images and acts in order to give the music for life. Think of an actor getting into character before hitting the stage or the set. The exception is the thunderous violin solo with blazingly fast triplets in the 1st movement of spring. Although it represents thunder and rain, I have to channel my inner Eddie Van Halen as he would have been inspired by this section for the conclusion of his famous solo, “Eruption” which also features ascending / descending triplets. There’s not much else you can do in that solo but throw your violin up high and shred it like you wrote it. Oh, and thunder and rain!
Piazzola’s Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, also known as the Estaciones Porteñas or The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires has been ordered as follows : Otoño (Autumn), Invierno (Winter), Primavera (Spring), Verano (Summer). It is different from Vivaldi ‘s order and the four movements were originally conceived and treated as different tango compositions rather than one suite. Vivaldi’s piece has been improved upon, stretched and almost turned upside down.
Vivaldi as a composer was also an improviser. Do you feel Piazzola’s order inversion affects the overall heart and soul of Vivaldi’s piece ? What do you like about the arrangement ?
I can’t really talk about Piazzolla without first mentioning Leonid Desyatnikov who was the composer who made this fantastic arrangement for violin and Orchestra. Although Piazzolla did eventually put the seasons in this alternate order, Desyatnikov took the mixup one step further by taking direct quotes from Vivaldi’s four seasons and inserting them into different seasons. I don’t think the order of the seasons is too important since each of Vivaldi’s seasons, although short in length, are separate concertos. Take last Thursday for example, we had a hot summer day right after winter, although that was kind of strange. Interestingly, Piazzolla’s original version that he played with his band didn’t quote Vivaldi although it really did stand out as a great Four Seasons. I like that band members solos were included in Desyatnikov’s version including a great solo played by pianist Pablo Zeigler in Invierno Porteno. Piazzolla got his start in the bands, so it’s great that we hear some inspiration from some of the other members of his group.
Thanks to Marc for taking the time to answer my questions and looking forward to your performance !
THE FOUR SEASONS – ONLINE BROADCAST (MAR 30 – APR 13, 2021) Filmed at Montreal’s SALLE PIERRE-MERCURE.
Diffused from the 30th of MARCH at 7:30 pm to the 13th of APRIL at 10 pm .