Original sound: Julia Lezhneva, Luca Pianca and La Voce Strumentale

(photo: Emil Matveev)

Chamber Music

This concert is all about the intense emotions of love, sorrow and passion. The Early Music ensemble La Voce Strumentale and the soprano Julia Lezhneva take us into the emotional realm of Baroque opera heroines, virtuosically and poignantly set to music by composers such as Handel, Vivaldi, Porpora and Graun. The arias offer soprano Julia Lezhneva the opportunity to show the full range of 18th century vocal artistry. No less dazzling are the concertos and instrumental works by Telemann, Vivaldi and Hasse presented by violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky and lutenist Luca Pianca.

La Voce Strumentale

Dmitry Sinkovsky violin and direction

Julia Lezhneva soprano

Luca Pianca lute

Georg Philipp Telemann

Concerto grosso for Violin, Strings and Continuo in B flat major, TWV 51:B1

Nicola Porpora

Siface: “Come nave in mezzo all’ondeˮ, Aria of Siface

Julia Lezhneva soprano

Carl Heinrich Graun

Coriolano: “Senza di te, mio bene”, Aria of Volumnia

Julia Lezhneva soprano

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto for Lute, 2 Violins and Continuo in D major, RV 93

Luca Pianca lute

Antonio Vivaldi

Bajazet, RV 703: Aria “Sposa, son disprezzata”

Julia Lezhneva soprano

Antonio Vivaldi

Griselda, RV 718: “Agitata da due venti”, Aria of Costanza

Julia Lezhneva soprano

Johann Adolf Hasse

Adagio and Fugue in G minor for Strings and Continuo

Antonio Vivaldi

“Zeffiretti, che sussurrate”, Aria of Ippolita from Ercole sul Termodonte, RV 710

Julia Lezhneva soprano

George Frideric Handel

Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disiganno, HWV 46a: Aria “Un pensiero nemico di pace”

Julia Lezhneva soprano

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto for Violin, Strings and Continuo in D minor, RV 242

Carl Heinrich Graun

Silla: “No, no, di Libia fra l’arene”, Aria of Silla

Julia Lezhneva soprano

George Frideric Handel

Alessandro, HWV 21: “Brilla nell’alma”, Aria of Rossane

Julia Lezhneva soprano

Dates and Tickets

Biographies

Julia Lezhneva

“You’ve brought an opera singer into the world,” prophesied the doctor of Julia Lezhneva’s mother, because her newborn’s screaming was so loud. Julia’s musical talent was a rare phenomenon in her family of geophysicists on the Russian island of Sakhalin. Nevertheless, her parents supported their daughter’s gift from the very outset. She studied singing at the Moscow Conservatory, the Cardiff International Academy of Voice and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Two individuals above all others were of decisive importance in her development: the mezzo-soprano Elena Obratzsova, who became her mentor and encouraged her to sing Baroque music, and Marc Minkowski, who discovered the young soprano on YouTube and engaged her in 2008 for his recording of Bach’s B minor Mass. “That was my first professional job in Europe,” she recalls. In the meantime, the Russian singer has established an international career, her bright, clear and highly flexible voice making her an ideal interpreter of virtuosic Baroque and Viennese Classical vocal roles. A stroke of fortune that has made Julia Lezhneva – whose great model is Cecilia Bartoli – a fan of this music since childhood. “The music has made me a better person,” asserts Lezhneva, who made her Berliner Philharmoniker debut in 2019. “It has helped me discover a greater love for nature and humanity.”

Luca Pianca

Luca Pianca is among the outstanding Swiss performers of Early Music. Trained by Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Salzburg Mozarteum and a longtime comrade-in-arms of Giovanni Antonini, the lutenist-conductor was a co-founder of the renowned Baroque orchestra Il Giardino Armonico. He has performed Bach’s complete cantatas as well as the Christmas Oratorio and St. John Passion at the Vienna Konzerthaus and had a three-decade-long collaboration with Vienna Concentus Musicus. As a soloist, Pianca is devoted to the lute works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi, among others, and has made highly acclaimed recordings of both composers’ complete music for the instrument. He demonstrates his versatility as the duo partner of gambist Vittorio Ghielmi, as a sensitive accompanist of Christoph Prégardien, Cecilia Bartoli and other vocal artists, as well as in his forays into contemporary music. Pianca has appeared at internationally renowned venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein. He has been engaged by such institutions as the Zurich Opera, the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals and the Theater an der Wien to perform with orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle as well as with the rock-pop star Sting. In 2018, Luca Pianca was awarded the Swiss Music Prize, the highest honour of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture.

Dmitry Sinkovsky

“Virtuosity, finesse, expression, fantasy: Dmitri Sinkovsky has everything!”, raved the French paper Le Monde. And indeed, the Moscow-born universal musician combines Russian virtuosity and Italian cantabilità in his electrifying appearances – as conductor, violinist and countertenor. Prize-winner at numerous European competitions, he began his meteoric career as a violinist in leading historically-informed-performance ensembles such as Il Giardino Armonico and il Pomo d’oro. Simultaneously he developed his talent as a countertenor with Michael Chance, Jana Ivanilova and Marie Daveluy and began making regular appearances as a vocal soloist. In 2011, Sinkovsky founded his own HIP ensemble, La Voce Strumentale, which has been acclaimed at European festivals and major concert halls for its consummate homogeneity and unique sound. Apart from his accomplishments in Baroque music, Sinkovsky remains active as a “classical” violinist – with a diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Berg and Bartók. Moreover, his successes as an opera conductor at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, Vienna’s Theater an der Wien and the Zurich Opera have led to his appointment in February 2022 as principal conductor of the Nizhni Novgorod Opera and Ballet Theatre.

La Voce Strumentale

“Pure Baroque pleasure” awaits the audience when the musicians of La Voce Strumentale take the stage to show off their “buoyant original sounds” (Tagesspiegel). The colourful, clear and charismatic playing of this extraordinary string ensemble truly is breathtaking and opens new horizons for the technical and timbral possibilities of gut strings. Every member of the formation created by Dmitry Sinkovsky in 2001 has won prestigious international competitions and is a successful, active chamber player, and all have invested much time in historically-informed-performance research and practice. La Voce Strumentale brings its Baroque and Classical repertoire regularly to the leading concert venues of Moscow and St. Petersburg and has already appeared in many major European halls, among them the Vienna Konzerthaus, Leipzig Gewandhaus and Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. La Voce Strumentale plays at the Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein festivals and has also made acclaimed appearances in France, Portugal, The Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland.