Mediterraneo With Daniel Pinteño

Rebecca Varidel
7th Sep 2018

Just to set the timeline in perspective, the program for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra recital in Sydney at City Hall gives us significant dates during the period from which this music comes. 1770. Avison dies. Captain Cook drops anchor in Botany Bay. 1676. Facco born near Padua, Italy. Bacteria discovered. 1741. Vivaldi dies in poverty in Vienna. Handel composes Messiah and Sampson.

And so, these are the contemporary events of the performance, Mediterraneo. 
The instruments in each Australian Brandenburg performance are period, Ben Dollman on Baroque violin, James Hey Baroque Cello, Monique O'Dea on Viola, as examples. While the music is studied to be played in the style of the era, the caressing of earlier instruments embraces us with a different patina of sound.
No different is the study and instrument of visiting soloist Spanish virtuoso Daniel Pinteño on Baroque violin. And on this occasion for the season of Mediterraneo, he is also the guest director. 
On opening night, Pinteño explains on stage that he has been working with musicologists in Spain finding hidden musical history. When he was invited for this collaboration, he has brought some of this music to us. So much of this program has not previously been heard in Sydney. Mediterraneo also includes the works of Italian composers who were well regarded in Spain at that time.
After twists and turns, soothings and surprises, perhaps the highest point of my delight came at the end of the program. An Italilan, Brunetti was one of the leading composers in Spain in the second half of the eighteenth century, and he wrote Sinfonia in C Mino Il Maniatico, L. 322 in 1780.  
"After a slow introduction, the 'mania' (Brunetti) wrote the word over the first entry of the solo cello) is represented by fast repetitive minor seconds." Playful call and response sees the base line become the diva. "The orchestra has the rational melody, whereas the cellist's part consists of the fixed inflexible repetition of detail."
The City Recital Hall audience most enthusiastically responded to Concerto for Violin in D Major from L'estro Amonico, Op. 3 No. 9 which gave best opportunity to see the art of Pinteño challenged to his heavenly highest, directly after interval.
Extraordinary and ethereal, the other highlight of the program was the Concerto for Flute La Notte in G Minor, Op. 10, No. 2.
Mediterraneo also includes works by composers Vincent Basset, Giacomo (Jaime) Facco, Felix Maximo Lopex, and Charles Avison and is performing in Sydney until Friday September 14th.