"THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN"
Pere Estelrich i Massutí
Sant Felip Neri in Palma (30-12-2019)
Ensemble Tramuntana, conducted by Barry Sargent, has that capacity to make us listen to very well known baroque pieces as if they were new; they achieve a sound between purism and modern times thanks to original instruments of the time.
Once more, with seven string players, seven magnificents of interpretation, the Ensemble offered a lesson of good musical knowledge, of intelligence and of enviable technique. And they achieved it through works from the italian baroque repertoire, with plenty of names which are listed among the first of the time period: Scarlatti, Corelli and, specially, Vivaldi, with whom the group managed to rise to the very top using two big pieces: the Concerto for two violins and cello and the Variations on the Follia, perhaps the most sublime moment of the entire concert.
Corelli with his Concerto Grosso Fatto per la Notte di Natale also remains in the recollection; it can be performed with more instruments, with an added harpsichord, but not with more musicality.
So we can say that bar remained very high during the whole hour of music, with a numerous and committed public which thanked the proposal with multiple applause, which compelled them to repiet the las movement of the vivaldian variations.
We can't finish this chronicle without citing the instrumentalists of the group: Cati Reus, Mayumi Sargent and Marta Atcher at the violins; Eura Fortuny at the viola; Marc Alomar at the cello and Pablo Moreno at the base. All of them conducted by Barry Sargent from the first stand, as a violinist and conert master.
Emili Gené Vila
Sant Felip Neri de Palma (30-12-2019)
In barely two months: Festival internacional de Bunyola (with an important presence of baroque music programs and interpreters), Festival de Música Antigua organized by the Ayuntamiento de Palma, concerts of Orquestra Barroca Ars Musicae based in Bunyola and of this Ensemble Tramuntana, led by Barry Sargent. Who gives more? They presented themselves with two consecutive concerts and to close the year the formation created five years ago with the intention to unite two references such as baroque music and ecologist consciousness which demands a sustainable life model, and which receives its iconic inspiration from the Serra de Tramuntana. Only seven string musicians (the orchestra adapts to diferents formations depending on the repertoire) to address works with different labels (concerto grosso, trio sonata, sonata a cuatro, sinfonía...) in accordance with a nomenclature not yet standardized by neoclassicism. Seven musicians of the highest level, seven soloists. And an exceptional violinist such as Barry Sargent conducting the group. Sensitivity, elegance and a lot of style in phrasing. Impecable technique as to obtain dangerous speeds (chapeau to the cellist, often doubled by the bassist in impossible passages) and exquisit melodic lines. Such subtle endings.
The concert gained interest and intensity as the pieces grew in quality and profoundness. The two best, closing the program, the two most famous ones: the known concerto fatto per la notte di Natale, appropriate for the occasion, and a version of La Follia signed by Vivaldi, which without arriving to impacting virtuosity, such as Corelli does, resulted equally dazzling.
"STRENGTH OF 6 TRAMUNTANA"
Pere Estelrich i Massutí
Sant Francesc in Palma (10-08-2019)
The Ensemble Tramuntana, created and conducted by the American violinist Barry Sargent, is a very versatile formation. They can offer repertoire with works from the Mallorquin composer Baltasar Samper, or with baroque pieces performed in a purist style or, as in this case, bringing Romanticism to the highest level. And always with such refinement and delicacy which makes them have unconditional followers, who follow their steps with passion, such as a seat neighbor who expressed during the concert we are currently commenting: "I don't want to miss a single concert of this orchestra".
In the program the six string instrumentalists offered at the Cloister of Sant Francesc in Palma last Saturday, two transcendent works from the chamber music of the nineteenth century, pure Romanticism: the Sextet number 2 by Brahms and Souvenirs de Florence by Tchaikovsky, master works, the both of them, full of contrasts and strength. Yes, strength. If the interpreters don't poses the gift of interpretive strength, the two compositions sound wrong, empty of emotional content. The power, both of Brahms and Tchaikovsky, resides within the emotional strength imprinted upon those works.
And the members of the ensemble, led by Barry, knew how to understand that message, adding to every intervention a solid character. How the forth movement of Brahms sounded! With what strength they displayed it to the public. Unsurpassable the Scherzo, playful, magical, excellent.
And the same is true for Tchaikovsky, the beauty of the first movement, the cantabile of the second, the spirit of the forth, all with no hesitation, no cracks. Shown with passion, with strength.
We can't finish this comentary without quoting the components of the group: besides Barry Sargent, his daughter Mayumi at the violins, Eura Fortuny and Albert Romero at the violas and Pau Cardona and Grégoire Carpentier at the cellos. To all of them, congratulations.