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Beniamino Paganini & Nele Vertommen

German chamber music with a French twist

Piano music in a French style

Whilst today, George Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) is renowned for his operas and oratorios, during his own time, the cosmopolitan was also praised as a virtuoso improviser on the piano. In London 1720, he published the collection Suites de Pièces pour le Clavecin, Premier Volume, followed by a second volume in 1723. However, he did not issue many more of his works on piano. In his harpsichord suites, he follows the French pattern of stylised dance sequences. In the Suite nr. 3 in d (HWV 428), however, he breaks from the usual form. The Air et cinq doubles is an unusual series of variations on a melodious theme.

Solo works of Telemann

Not only are Händel’s harpsichord suits in the shadow of the instrumental works of his contemporary Johann Sebastian Bach, but Georg Philip Telemann (1681-1767) also has numerous solo works from his extensive oeuvre catalogues which deserve more attention. The Royal Library of Belgium has the only surviving edition of twelve Fantasie per il Violino, senza Basso. However, the attribution to violin is a mistake – these are indeed idiomatic works for flute, which were probably printed in the 1720s, and not as originally assumed around 1733. Telemann does indeed explore all avenues of the traverso flute. The keys are chosen so as best to display the qualities of the instrument. Telemann specifies different fingerings for certain notes, sometimes making the sound clear, and other times a more sombre tone. In addition, he creates a fictitious polyphony by playing with contrasts in pitch. As a result, the flautist is not only a soloist, but also an accompanist.

Between 1728 and 1729, Telemann published Der getrete music-meister, a series of vocal and instrumental works for educational purposes. Twenty five ‘Lectionen’ were sold at various times and contained works by Telemann himself, as well as by some other fellow musicians. Although they were intended for the emerging middle class who liked to play music at home, they were also performed at various German courts. The Suite TWV 41:g4 for oboe and basso continuo comprises six movements in total. Nele Vertommen plays the Overture, the light-hearted Sans Souci and the dancing Passepied.

The gallant style of Weiss

Nowadays, the brother of lutist Silvius Leopold, Johann Sigismund Weiss (1690-1737), is completely unknown. From 1708 until his death, Johann Sigismund worked as a lutist for the court of the Electoral Palatinate of the Rhine – initially in Düsseldorf, followed by Heidelberg and Mannheim. After the death of Johann Willem of the Palatinate in 1716, positions at the court were precarious and so Johann Sigismund took his chances for a while in London. He returned to the court and was promoted to director of instrumental music in 1732. In the archives of 1734, he appears as concertmaster and tenor player. The manuscript of his Sonate voor hobo is gallant in style and kept in the library of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

This project was created thanks to the donations of many music lovers to AMUZ’s ‘Support Fund for Young Belgian Artists’. Read more.

Programme

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767). Suite in TWV 41:G4, from Der getreue Music -Meister
Ouverture – Très vite – Sans souci – Passepied

Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759). Recorder sonata in g, HWV 360, opus 1 nr. 2
Presto

Georg Friedrich Händel. Suite in d, HWV 428
Air met Doubles

Georg Philipp Telemann. Fantasie nr. 12 for flute solo, TWV 40:13
Grave – Allegro – Grave – Allegro – Dolce – Allegro – Presto

Johann Sigismund Weiss (1690-1737). Oboe sonata in g
Adagio – Rondeau – Sarabande – Gigue presto

Performers

Beniamino Paganini, harpsichord & traverso | Nele Vertommen, oboe & recorder

 

Biography

Beniamino Paganini (˚1994) has been passionate about early music since childhood. He studied traverso flute and harpsichord at the conservatories of Brussels, Leuven and The Hague with Barthold Kuijken, Frank Theuns and Jan De Winne, renaissance flute with Kate Clark and Patrick Beuckels, harpsichord with Frédérick Haas, Fabio Bonizzoni and Kris Verhelst, and maestro al cembalo with Patrick Ayrton. Besides traverso flute and harpsichord, he also regularly performs with organ and recorder.

Beniamino has received several first prizes and reached the semi-finals of the renowned International Competition Musica Antiqua Brugge (as a 19-year-old in 2014) and of the International Telemann Competition (2015) with traverso flute. Beniamino Paganini is artistic director of the Musica Gloria ensemble as well as performing regularly with ensembles such as il Gardellino, Scherzi Musicali, B’Rock and La Petite Bande. As a harpsichord accompanist and teacher of harpsichord, traverso flute and ensembles; he is associated with the music academies of Aalter, Gentbrugge and Overijse.

Nele Vertommen’s (˚1999) interest in early music was sparked at the age of five by Bach’s St Matthew Passion. She attended oboe lessons at the Haasrode music school with Korneel Alsteens and master classes with Joris van Den Hauwe, Luk Nielandt, Karel Schoofs and Albrecht Mayer, to name a few. When she was 14, she taught herself to play the baroque oboe. A year later she was accepted into the Conservatoire of Brussels and studied with Marcel Ponseele. In June 2017, Nele received her bachelor’s degree in Baroque oboe with high distinction. She also taught herself the recorder and took lessons with Bart Coen and Daniël Brüggen.

Meanwhile, she is regularly high in demand for ensembles such as with il Gardellino, Collegium Vocale Gent, Les Bourgeois, La Chapelle Harmonique, Musica Gloria, The New Baroque Times and Currende. In 2017, she was artist in residence at the Austrian festival Trigonale. Nele also takes singing lessons.