Paul Dyer, the Artistic Director of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra exchanges the keyboard of his harpsichord for the keyboard of a Mac laptop when the ensemble performs the world premiere of Max Richter’s Recomposed – Vivaldi: The Four Seasons on period instruments in their upcoming tour Vivaldi Unwired. Joining him will be ABO concertmaster and soloist Brendan Joyce on Baroque violin and 25 musicians on stage for an exciting fusion of classical music and modern technology, mixing a digital element with period instruments and reinventing the past by presenting it within a 21st century paradigm.
Born in 1966, in Germany, the now British neo-classical composer Max Richter studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London after which he also studied in Florence, Italy, with Luciano Berio. His modern taken on Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is an audacious and imaginative work recomposed for orchestra and synthesiser.
Inspired by Bach, punk rock and ambient electronica, Richter is known for his solo albums, as well as collaborating on operas, ballets, art installations and theatre, television and film scores, including blockbusters Shutter Island and Prometheus.
His interpretation of The Four Seasons, which phases and loops the original material, has met critical acclaim and topped the iTunes classical chart in the UK, Germany and the USA.
Paul Dyer observed that Recomposed – Vivaldi: The Four Seasons was an extraordinary creation that showed respect for the original, staying faithful to the structure of the canon. Richter’s recomposed Four Seasons is in turns beautiful, peaceful and serene, yet also wild, passionate and intensely emotional, proving that great music is constantly revealing itself to us anew.
“Max Richter has perfectly illustrated how great music is constantly revealing itself and can flourish under radically different interpretations, whilst retaining its indestructible genius” says Paul Dyer.
“He took a leap of faith when he decided to recompose such a treasured work but actually Vivaldi’s original Four Seasons would have sounded very different on the instruments of the day to the classic we think we know” he added.
For its Australian tour, Vivaldi Unwired’s ultra modern take on the Baroque classic will share the program with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.3 BWV 1048, a double violin concerto by Vivaldi and a flute concerto by CPE Bach that has been reimagined for the soprano saxophone by Christina Leonard whose name has become synonymous with this lyrical instrument.
Paul Dyer is one of the nation’s leading specialists in period performance styles. From Carnegie Hall to Sydney Opera House, he has devoted his performing life to the harpsichord, fortepiano and chamber organ as well as conducting the ABO and Brandenburg Choir.
Brendan Joyce is a long-standing member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and one of its Guest Concertmasters. He hails from Brisbane where he is Leader of Camerata of St John’s. He was concertmaster for the Orchestra of the Antipodes in Pinchgut Opera’s highly lauded production of Griselda (2011) and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and America’s Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra.
Saxophonist Christina Leonard is deeply committed to the arrangement, commissioning and concert promotion of music in new and exciting frameworks. She has performed with the Sonic Art Ensemble, the Alpha Ensemble, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, as well as recorded for ABC Classic FM and Fine Music FM. She has appeared with the Brandenburg during its popular Noël! Noël! Christmas concerts and its 25th anniverary gala season, premiering Prelude and Cube, a new work by Elena Kats-Chernin.
JS BACH Brandenburg Concerto No.3 BWV 1048/ A.VIVALDI Concerto for Two Violins Op.3, No.8 RV522 from L’estro armonico/ CPE BACH Concerto for Flute in A minor, Wq 166 (arranged for soprano saxophone by Christina Leonard)/ M.RICHTER Recomposed – Vivaldi: The Four Seasons.
The performers: Brendan Joyce (Australia) baroque violin/Ben Dollman (Australia) baroque violin/Christina Leonard (Australia) soprano saxophone/Australian Brandenburg Orchestra/Paul Dyer AO artistic director/synthesiser
Read our review of the recording of Vivaldi: The Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter, released by Deutsches Grammophon.