Eurovision star Lucie Horsch!

UPDATE / Due to popular demand, Lucie Horsch will now perform twice on April 27th: an hour-long matinee at 1:00 pm, and an evening concert at 7:30 pm. The matinee will feature selected pieces from the evening concert repertoire listed below.

The MCO has always had a knack for discovering the freshest talent on any continent! This time, we went to Europe for Eurovision Young Musicians recorder sensation Lucie Horsch, who represented the Netherlands in the biennial competition for under-18-year-olds. Lucie was a finalist in the event, which was held in Cologne in 2014.

Anne Manson calls Lucie, “an extraordinary prodigy, with a great deal of sophistication and taste in her playing.” For us, Lucie will perform the piece she played at the Eurovision final, the Flautino Concerto in G Major, as well as the Tempesta di Mare, both composed by Vivaldi in 1728-29.

Two Mozart symphonies appear on the programme, as well. Why the 15th and 17th? The connection is that Mozart was about the same age as our soloist when he composed them!

Lucie at Eurovision

The Eurovision Young Musicians, often shortened to EYM, or Young Musicians, is a biennial music competition for European musicians who are 18 years old or younger. It is organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and broadcast on television throughout Europe, with some countries holding national heats. The first edition of the EYM took place in Manchester UK in May 1982, and six countries took part.

Evening concert at 7:30 pm, hour-long matinee concert at 1:00 pm. Both concerts April 27th at Westminster United Church, 745 Westminster at Maryland. Tickets for both shows are $32 adults, $30 seniors and $10 students (including GST). Buy your tickets to both concerts right here or on MCO’s Ticketline (204) 783-7377. Tickets for evening concert also available at McNally Robinson, the West End Cultural Centre (586 Ellice at Sherbrook), Organic Planet (877 Westminster Ave).

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Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
Anne Manson, Music Director
Karl Stobbe, Concertmaster
Westminster United Church
27 April 2016

Lucie Horsch, recorder

Antonio Vivaldi
Sinfonia in G minor, RV 157

Antonio Vivaldi
Recorder Concerto in C Minor (RV 441)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 15, in G Major (K 124)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 17, in G Major (K 129)

Antonio Vivaldi
Flautino Concerto in G-major (RV 443)

Concert sponsor / LBL Holdings
Guest artist sponsor / Paul Henteleff — in memory of Nel Henteleff
Print media sponsor / Winnipeg Free Press
Radio media sponsors / ICI musique 89.9, Classic 107 and Golden West Radio.

Lucie Horsch

Lucie Horsch (16) started recorder lessons with Rob Beek at the age of five at the Muziekschool van Amsterdam. Since 2011 she has been a student of Walter van Hauwe at the Sweelinck Academie of the Conservatorium of Amsterdam where she is also enrolled as a piano student with Marjes Benoist. Lucie is a pupil at the Barlaeus Grammar School in Amsterdam.

Having won several competitions, including the first Talentenjacht of the Concertgebouw and the first online Prinses Christina contest in 2009, she was invited to perform as a soloist on television with the JeugdOrkest Nederland under Jurjen Hempel during the AVRO Prinsengrachtconcert.

In 2007 and in 2011 Lucie won first prize at the national competition Stichting Jong Muziek Talent and in 2012 first prize and the audience award during the Prinses Christina competition in Haarlem and The Hague. She subsequently appeared on Dutch Radio 4 in a recital from the Concertgebouw and toured as a soloist with the Rubens Quartet through Holland.

In April 2013 she won the Avond van de Jonge Musicus with a televised performance of the Sammartini concerto with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra under Matthew Rowe. As a result, she represented her country at the Eurovision Young Musician Competition in Cologne in May 2014, where she performed with the WDR orchestra the flautino concerto by Vivaldi, which was broadcast live in many countries.

Lucie has been a member of the National Children’s Choir for 7 years, performing with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with Simon Rattle, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons, and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of Hilversum with Jaap van Zweden.

Despite her young age, Lucie Horsch is a regular guest at various festivals such as the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, the International Chamber Music Festival of Schiermonnikoog, the Festwochen für Alte Musik in Innsbruck, the Next Generation Festival in Bad Ragaz, the NorsjØ Chamber Music Festival and the International Chamber Music Festival of Janine Jansen in Utrecht.

Lucie forms a regular duo with the internationally acclaimed harpsichordist Alexandra Nepomnashchaya.

Recent appearances have included a televised farewell concert for the former Queen Beatrix where she played as a soloist with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, and concertos with members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw, with Ensemble Ludwig in Tivoli Vredenburgh Utrecht during a live broadcast for Radio 4, with the Zagreb Soloists in Bad Ragaz during the Next Generation Festival and the Combattimento Consort with a first performance of the Bach Double Concerto on recorder.

Lucie plays on recorders built by Fred Morgan, Doris Kulossa, Stephan Blezinger and Hige Shirao, which she acquired with the generous support of the Prins Bernhard Foundation. She gratefully uses a specially designed tenor flute of Yamaha.

Sinfonia in G Minor, RV 157
Antonio Vivaldi

Vivaldi’s busy and productive career as composer, violinist and teacher drew its share of acclaim. One measure of his success is the fact that Johann Sebastian Bach honoured him by transcribing several of his concertos. He played a major role in several significant musical developments, the rise of the concerto above all. His 500-plus concertos — he holds the record for the highest number by a large margin — feature a wide variety of soloists. As you would expect, the lion’s share, more than 200, focus on the violin.

His reputation suffered a severe lapse after his death. His music’s return to widespread currency dates only from the years following the Second World War. It returned to favour after two centuries of neglect thanks to the recording industry and the rise in popularity of the chamber orchestra.

A concerto is generally understood to be a piece for featured solo instrument (or instruments), with accompaniment. Yet Vivaldi’s treasure chest of concertos includes about 60 pieces with no such star roles. How can this be? It’s likely they were meant to display the performing skills of an entire ensemble, not just a select band of players. Such soloist-free concertos for string orchestra were much in demand in his time.

This example opens with a compact, richly textured, and rather serious set of variations. The slow second movement does little more than take a pause for breath, but does so in artfully creative ways. Vivaldi concludes the piece not with a typically light, lively dance but with a brisk, rhythmical powerful movement, the most serious and substantial portion of the concerto.

Flautino Concerto in G Major, RV 443
Antonio Vivaldi

In the final decades of the seventeenth century, the modern, transverse flute (so called because the performer holds it sideways to the body) first began to dominate its predecessor, the recorder (which is held at right angles to the body), then essentially replaced it. Italian composers were somewhat reluctant to write concertos for flute, until a visit from the German virtuoso Johann Joachim Quantz in 1726 changed their minds. The next year, Vivaldi first made prominent use of the flute in his opera Orlando furioso, where it decorated an aria in spectacular fashion. The six flute concertos that make up his Op. 10 were published in 1728 by Michel-Charles Le Cène of Amsterdam. The title page indicated that they had been printed at the publisher’s expense, suggesting his belief that the market was ready for music showcasing the instrument. Hefty sales proved his instinct correct.

Vivaldi intended this concerto for the smallest member of the recorder family, the sopranino model, also known as the flautino, or ‘little flute.’ It also fits perfectly on the piccolo, the smallest member of the transverse flute family, and is frequently performed on that instrument. It’s one of just three concertos that Vivaldi composed for flautino, perhaps under the inspiration of a virtuoso soloist. The lively outer movements are filled with high, bird-like trills that suit the flautino admirably. In between comes a stately, almost melancholy, slow movement that displays the solo instrument’s lyrical side. Tonight, Lucie Horsch will perform the concerto on a soprano recorder.

Symphony No. 15 in G Major, K 124
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The fifteen-year-old Mozart composed this symphony in his native city of Salzburg, between the second and third of the three trips to Italy that he and his father, Leopold, made between 1769 and 1773. It was one of eight symphonies that he composed in an eight-month period beginning in December 1771. The most likely reason for this burst of productivity was his desire to impress his new employer, Prince-Archbishop Hieronymous Colleredo. In years to come, these two strong-willed people would share an increasingly fractious relationship.

The manuscript score of this symphony bears the following inscription in Italian: Sinfonia de Sigr. Cavaliere Wolfgang Amadeo Mozart Salisburgo 21 February 1772. He may have composed it with either of two specific concerts in mind: a celebration of Lent, and Colleredo’s installation as Prince-Archbishop on 29 April. Colleredo was a competent amateur violinist who liked to perform within his orchestra when they played symphonies. He would stand next to the Konzertmeister (that is, Mozart), firstly in order to improve his skills by observing Mozart’s playing at close range, and secondly to symbolize his authority over the orchestra.

This symphony has four compact movements. At that time, symphonies could have either three movements — following the layout of the Italian-style operatic overture that had been the primary source of the concert symphony — or four movements, reflecting the expansion of the form (through the addition of a minuet between the slow movement and finale) that the innovative school of composers centred in Mannheim, Germany, had established during the mid-eighteenth century. In their early symphonies Mozart and Joseph Haydn shuttled back and forth between these two ground plans.

The orchestration of Mozart 15 is for two oboes, two horns and strings. The lively first movement is sunny and optimistic in tone. The second flows along amiably, radiating warmth. A stately minuet is next. Mozart scored the central trio section for strings alone. He concluded the symphony with a merry, comic-opera style rondo. Mozart scholar Neal Zaslaw writes, “The joke — and surely it is one — comes in the coda, where the melody suddenly evaporates, leaving only some chords, syncopations, tremolos, an oom-pah bass, and a fanfare or two. The effect is rather like the music hall’s ‘vamp ‘til ready,’ but instead of serving as an introduction, here it serves as conclusion.”

Recorder Concerto in F Major, RV 433 ‘La tempeste di mare’
Antonio Vivaldi

This is the opening work in Vivaldi’s Op. 10 collection of six flute concertos. It bears the evocative sub-title The Storm at Sea. The same nickname is connected with three other works of his: two concertos for flute, oboe, violin and bassoon, both of which are in F Major (Ryom catalogue numbers RV 98 and RV 570), and the Violin Concerto in E-flat Major (RV 253). The reasons behind this nomenclature remain a mystery. Regarding the compact concerto you will hear tonight, the bold, bustling character of the outer movements certainly qualifies it for the subtitle. Lucie Horsch will perform it on an alto/treble recorder.

Symphony No. 17 in G Major, K 129
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sinfonia / del Sgr Cavaliere Amadeo Wolfgango / Mozart nel mese di Maggio 1772 / Salisburgo. The most common theory regarding the inscription on this piece’s autograph manuscript is that Mozart had begun it earlier, put it aside, and completed it ‘in the month of May, 1772.’ It was the second of three symphonies that he finished that month.

The instrumentation for this three-movement work is identical to Symphony No. 15. The first movement is notable for its effortless elegance and its playful use of crescendo, the gradual rise in volume that Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) would use to such charming effect in his operas. The second movement is a serene outpouring of sweet emotions. Neal Zaslaw comments that here “Mozart spins a magical web of common-coin melodic fragments.” The finale is a rapid, jig-like romp. Mozart wrote of a similar passage in his comic opera The Abduction from the Seraglio that it “must go very fast — and the ending must make a truly great racket … the more noise the better — so that the audience doesn’t grow cold before the time comes to applaud.”