Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Aisslinn Nosky, violin

Live performances:
February 23–25, 2024 at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre


Program

JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH
1688–1758

Ouverture in D Minor

PIETRO ANTONIO LOCATELLI
1695–1764

Concerto grosso in C Minor, op. 1, no. 11
Largo – Allemande: Allegro – Sarabanda: Largo – Allegro

ANTONIO VIVALDI
1678–1741

Concerto for bassoon in B-flat Major, RV 501
“La Notte” (Night)
Largo/Fantasmi (Ghosts)
Il Sonno (Sleep)
Sorge l’Aurora (The dawn rises)
Dominic Teresi, bassoon soloist

MARIN MARAIS
1686-1725

Chaconne, from Alcyone

INTERMISSION

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN
1681–1767

Orchestral suite in B-flat Major
Ouverture – Bourrée – Plainte – Rondeau –
Sarabande – Gigue

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
1685–1750

Concerto for 2 violins in D Minor, BWV 1043
Vivace – Largo ma non tanto – Allegro
Aisslinn Nosky & Johanna Novom, violin soloists

JEAN-JOSEPH CASSANÉA DE MONDONVILLE
1711–1772

Sonata à quattro, no. 1
Overtura – Aria: Gratioso – Gigha: Allegro


Aisslinn Nosky

Guest Director and violinist

The dynamic Canadian violinist Aisslinn Nosky has captivated audiences around the world. Her fierce passion for early music and skill as a soloist and director have generated robust appreciation. Hailed as “superb” by The New York Times and “a fearsomely powerful musician” by The Toronto Star, widespread demand for Aisslinn continues to grow. 

Aisslinn was appointed Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston in 2011. She has also appeared as guest director and soloist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Holland Baroque, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Juilliard 415. She was a member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra from 2005 to 2016. She served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Niagara Symphony from 2016 to 2019, and was Guest Artist-in-Residence of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. 

Aisslinn has recorded the complete Haydn and Mozart violin concertos with the Handel and Haydn Society. 


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

Violin I

Aisslinn Nosky, Patricia Ahern, Christopher Verrette, Cristina Zacharias

Violin II

Johanna Novom, Geneviève Gilardeau, Julia Wedman

Viola

Brandon Chui, Patrick G. Jordan

Violoncello

Keiran Campbell*, Michael Unterman

Double Bass

Pippa Macmillan

Oboe

John Abberger, Kathryn Montoya

Bassoon

Dominic Teresi

Harpsichord

Charlotte Nediger

Access full bios for core orchestra members at tafelmusik.org/orchestra

*Cello chair generously endowed by the Horst Dantz and Don Quick Fund


Program Notes

by Charlotte Nediger

Fasch Ouverture

The organist and violinist Johann Friedrich Fasch was descended from a long line of Lutheran cantors and theologians. He studied at the Thomasschule in Leipzig and with Christoph Graupner in Darmstadt before taking up the position of court Kapellmeister in Zerbst. He remained in Zerbst until his death in 1758, but his reputation as a composer was widespread: his works were performed by Telemann in Hamburg, J.S. Bach in Leipzig, Pisendel in Dresden, and C.P.E. Bach in Berlin. He continued to send copies of his compositions to his former teacher Graupner in Darmstadt, and the library there includes a wealth of his instrumental works, including the Ouverture that opens this week’s program.

Locatelli Concerto grosso

The virtuoso violinist Pietro Antonio Locatelli’s playing was said to run the gamut from “such fury as to wear out dozens of violins in a year,” to a sweetness and delicacy which would “make a canary fall off of his perch in a swoon of pleasure!” His three sets of orchestral concerti grossi reveal his compositional skills. They are beautifully crafted, harmonically rich, rhythmically inventive, and texturally varied works modelled after Arcangelo Corelli’s celebrated Opus 6 concerti. One contemporary praised Locatelli for the novelty of his ideas, the sublimity of the themes, and the naturalness of his melodies, qualities that are well demonstrated in the C-minor concerto from his Opus 1 collection of twelve concertos, published in 1721.

Vivaldi Concerto “La Notte”

Antonio Vivaldi’s descriptive concerto “La Notte” (The Night) exists in three versions: one scored for flute, bassoon and strings; a similar version for flute without bassoon; and a quite different piece for solo bassoon and strings. Vivaldi’s ability to “paint” vivid pictures with a relatively small musical palette, made famous in “The Four Seasons,” is plainly evident in all three versions. Vivaldi’s Night has a sinister beginning, interrupted by a flurry of ghostly spirits (Fantasmi). Sleep (Il Sonno) finally descends, and we follow the bassoonist through a mesmerizing dreamscape. In the final movement, daybreak finds the soloist rousing the strings from drowsy sleep, though not without a few resets of the “snooze” button on the orchestra’s part.

Marais Chaconne from Alcyone

Marin Marais was one of Louis XIV’s most renowned instrumentalists, a virtuoso of the viola da gamba. In addition to his positions as a chamber musician, Marais was also a member of the opera orchestra of the Académie Royale de Musique, and studied opera composition with Lully. This led to the composition of five operas for production at court. Alcyone, first performed in 1706, was the most popular, and was staged as late as 1771. Its glorious Chaconne has been a favourite of Tafelmusik since we first performed it over 40 years ago.

Telemann Orchestral Suite

Included in the vast catalogue of Telemann’s output are some 135 orchestral suites for various combinations of instruments, from strings only to full orchestra with trumpets and timpani. One of his favourite choices matches the scoring of the Tafelmusik core orchestra: two oboes, bassoon, strings, and continuo. Aisslinn Nosky has assembled an engaging selection of movements from three of Telemann’s suites for this orchestration. The dynamic opening Ouverture is followed by a sequence of lively dance movements. As is so often the case with Telemann, the winds are featured prominently throughout. The poignant Plainte, featuring solo oboe and violin, is an exquisite centrepiece.

Bach Concerto for 2 violins in D Minor

The violin was one of Bach’s favoured solo instruments: he turned to the violin as a counterpart to the solo voice in countless arias in his sacred works, and composed the remarkable sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin, works that remain at the very core of the violin repertoire three centuries later. Although primarily a keyboard player, Bach was also a capable violinist and violist, and he fully understood that the violin could be played on the one hand with great energy and virtuosity, and on the other with the most sublime and tender expression. This is evident in the contrasting movements of his concertos for solo violin, and especially in the Concerto for 2 violins in D Minor, which has long been a favourite of violinists and audiences alike.

Mondonville Sonata

The French violinist Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville was born in Narbonne, settling in Paris as a young man and quickly rising to prominence as one of the city’s leading performers and composers. His 1734 publication of six Pièces de clavecin en sonates (Harpsichord pieces as sonatas) was particularly well received. The title refers to their scoring for harpsichord and violin, both parts equally elaborate, and as such an unusual melding of a solo harpsichord piece and a violin sonata. He later transcribed all six for a full ensemble, to be performed at the Concert Spirituel, a popular concert series in Paris. We end the program with the orchestral version of the colourful and vivacious first sonata, and are grateful to Patrick Jordan for adding the missing viola part to complete the score.

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