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Review: LA Phil brings Accademia Bizantina

Accademia Bizantina is a marvelous orchestra group from Ravena. Their intention of “making music like a large quartet” was an unquestionable success. They graced the audience with a beautiful Vivaldi concert. A standing ovation by an inveterate audience of music lovers was well deserved. The evening of three encores and a smiling Alessandro Tampieri, the Italian concertmaster, was as sweet as the viola d’amore.

Tampieri led a very pleasant evening of Vivaldi. Tampieri played both the violin and viola d’amore. The viola d’amore has a softer and sweeter tone than the violin.

“It is an enigmatic and elusive instrument that no longer exits” says Tampieri. Other beautiful and delightful sounds that evening came from the lute and harpsichord. It was a well performed concert of ten works incorporating the fast-slow-fast structure of the 18th century. The concert opened and closed with a sinfonia (Italian for symphony) used as an interlude to an opera – originating in the 17th-18th century. Tampieri opens a bit tensely with the sinfonia Tito Manlio, an opera in three acts composed by Vivaldi for the wedding of Price Phillip of Hessen-Darmstadt.

As the evening progressed, Tampieri flourished and his perfectionism was prima facie. Tampieri (violin) and Ana Liz Ojeda (violin) shined in the Concerto for Two Violins and Strings in A major, from “L ’Estro Armonico,” Op. 3, No.5., especially in the final Allegro movement.

Tampieri had a beautiful solo in the fifth work, Concerto for Viola d’Amore and Strings in D minor, RV394.

Coming back from intermission, is when the magic happened. All the musicians were energized and a well-suited match with Vivaldi’s flamboyant music.

Tampieri led confidently with Sinfonia from Giustino, RV 717. The first Allegro was particularly robust. Michele Pasotti, on lute was fantastic in the Andante movement. Another great solo by Tampieri was Concerto for Violin and Strings in D major, RV230 from “L ’Estro Armonico,” Op. 3, No.9.

Led by Artistic Director, Ottavio Dantone, the group has merged philological research and an aesthetic approach to the interpretation of music from the Baroque period. The ensemble performs in concerts halls worldwide.

Other orchestra members are Mauro Massa, Ayako Matsunaga, Carlo Lazzaroni (violin I), Yayoi Masuda, Sara Meloni (violin II), Giovanni de Rosa, Alice Bisanti (violas), Alessandro Palmeri, Paolo Ballanti (cellos), Nicola Dal Maso (bass), Michelle Pasotti, lute and Francesco Baroni, (harpsichord).


VIVALDI : Sinfonia (Concerto for Strings in G major RV146) from Tito Manlio, RV 738)

VIVALDI : Concerto for Strings in B-flat major, RV 167

VIVALDI : Concerto for Two Violins and Strings, in A major, RV 519 (from Op. 3, “L’estro Armonico”)

VIVALDI : Concerto for Strings in A minor, RV 161

VIVALDI : Concerto for Viola d’Amore and Strings in D minor, RV 393


VIVALDI : Sinfonia from Giustino, RV 717

VIVALDI : Concerto for Violin and Strings, in D major, RV 230 (from Op. 3, “L’estro Armonico”)

VIVALDI : Concerto for Strings in G minor, RV 152

VIVALDI : Concerto for Viola d’Amore and Strings in A minor, RV 397

VIVALDI : Concerto for Strings in F major, RV 138

This concert was on February 10, 2019 at Disney Hall, part of LA Phil’s Baroque Series.

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