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Friday Series: Ode to Italy

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

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Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Cellos
Igor Stravinsky: Suite Italienne
Andrea Tarrodi: Liguria

Elim Chan

Steiney Sigurðardóttir, cello
Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir, cello
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir, violin
Anna Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, piano

The magic of Italy has long been an inspiration to artists, and composers are no exception. This hour-long Iceland Symphony concert, held in Norðurljós hall, presents three works that all relate to Italy in some way.

Antonio Vivaldi was one of Italy’s most famous composers in the first half of the 18th century. He wrote over 500 concerti, many of which are still performed to this day. Among the best-known among them is his Concerto for Two Cellos, his only concerto for this combination. He probably wrote it in Venice, where he taught music at an orphanage for girls. The soloists are two Iceland Symphony Orchestra members, Steiney Sigurðardóttir and Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir. Eighteenth-century Italian music piqued Igor Stravinsky’s interest much later, when he wrote the ballet Pulcinella
in the style of the Italian commedia dell’arte. Stravinsky was a master at taking old music and reorchestrating it in his own style, spicing it up with
dissonant chords and irregular metre. Just over a decade later, he arranged the most popular movements from Pulcinella to create the duo Suite
, performed here by violinist Una Sveinbjarnardóttir and Anna Guðný Guðmundsdóttir.

The programme concludes with Andrea Tarrodi’s Liguria, which has been nominated for the 2020 Nordic Council Music Prize. Tarrodi wrote the work, which has met with outstanding reviews, after hiking through the vibrant and colourful villages in Italy’s Cinque Terre region on the shores of the Ligurian Sea.

Concerts in the Friday Series are about an hour long and provide the perfect warm-up to a relaxing weekend.

Further information on the concert can be found on the Iceland Symphony Orchestra website.