EL AFECTO ILLUSTRADO & Soprano Jone Martinez

EL AFECTO ILLUSTRADO & Soprano, Jone Martinez

39th Canary Islands Music Festival

Illustrated Affection at El Salinero Teatro Arrecife

January 2022

concert review by Norman Warwick

Baroque music joins the FIMC’s En Paralelo festival thanks to the charismatic group El Afecto Ilustrado , directed by violinist Adrián Linares from the Canary Islands . The ensemble always presents programs of a high level of interpretive quality, historical accuracy and respect for the original sources, the result of a detailed process of musical and historical research. On this occasion it will be  ‘Selva d’amore’ , in which they propose a trip to the Neapolitan school of the XVII-XVIII. The soprano Jone Martínez participates in this concert.

Prior to the concert we had taken a brief master-class; well, we had reafd an on-line piece written by ´Master-class that told us,

The Baroque period of music occurred from roughly 1600 to 1750. It was preceded by the Renaissance era and followed by the Classical era. The Baroque style spread throughout Europe over the course of the seventeenth century, with notable Baroque composers emerging in Germany, Italy, France, and England.

The Baroque era was not limited to music. Baroque painting (by masters like Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens), Baroque sculpture (led by Gian Lorenzo Bernini), and Baroque architecture (particularly in the Catholic church) were other celebrated forms of Baroque art in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The term Baroque can refer to all of these art forms in addition to music.

After its inception in Italy, Baroque music expanded throughout Europe thanks to composers like Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel.

The early Baroque era of music centered in Italy. Italian composers based in Rome and its surroundings composed music that drew on the traditions of the Renaissance era but also expanded its harmonic and ornamental boundaries. Notable Italian Baroque composers include Alessandro Scarlatti (and his son Domenico Scarlatti), Antonio Corelli, and Claudio Monteverdi. Antonio Vivaldi was the last major Italian Baroque composer. He worked in the later Baroque era, overlapping with George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach.

As musicians travelled throughout Europe, the Baroque style caught on, and new composers added new elements. The English composer Henry Purcell and French composers like Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Phillippe Rameau made marks, but it was the German school of Baroque music that was most influential. Georg Philipp Telemann, Michael Praetorius, Johann Pachelbel, and most of all Johann Sebastian Bach helped define the high Baroque period. Another prominent German was George Frideric Handel, although he spent nearly his entire career in England.

The Baroque period’s end is tied to the death of Bach in 1750. The second half of the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century marked the Classical period, where composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Joseph Haydn built on the foundation laid by Baroque composers.

Baroque music made notable advances from the Renaissance period, many of which are still employed by contemporary musicians and composers. Baroque music often has characteristics that include, an emphasis on dynamics and an embrace of instrumental music with an ornate flair hung around the music. The era also saw the rising the popularity of a complete bass line, still evident in contemporary music, popular and classical, today.

The playing ensemble tonight was comprised of the first violin also serving as director, with a second violin and violoncello, a violone, a clave,  and cuerda pulsada and the Soprano Jone Martinez. (the full list of musicians is included on the programme photographed here).

Soprano Jone Martínez, from Sopela -Basque Country, began her vocal training with Olatz Saitua at the Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga Conservatory in Bilbao. She has a degree in Musical Language Pedagogy and Musical Education and a degree in Singing Interpretation with Maite Arruabarrena and Maciej Pikulski at Musikene, the Higher Conservatory of Music of the Basque Country, where she has received the “Kutxa End of Studies Award” for the best record in classical interpretation of Musikene. Likewise, she has continued her vocal and musical training with Carlos. She  collaborates with the main orchestras in Spain, in the most important festivals, theaters and auditoriums; she is also invited by groups and orchestras from Europe.

During the last season she has performed the stage work “Vivaldi, poem for strings and two voices” under the stage direction of Calixto Bieito ; Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” with La Cetra Barockorchester conducted by Andrea Marcon in Basel; Lieder by Grieg and “Stabat Mater” by Pergolesi in a seasonal concert by the Orquesta de Córdoba conducted by Carlos Mena; the “South and North” program with works by Pergolesi and Vivaldi under the direction of Enrico Onofri and the Seville Baroque Orchestra; the opera “Iphigenia” by Coccia premiered in modern times at the Royal Palace of Madrid together with the Baroque Orchestra of the University of Salamanca under the direction of Alfredo Bernardini; Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” in a concert version with the Galician Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carlos Mena; Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” with CORTVE conducted by Pablo González ; “Pasión según San Juan” by Bach together with CORTVE directed by Carlos Mena; She has made her debut with the Robert-Schumann-Philarmonie Orchestra at the Stadthalle-Sall in Chemnitz, Germany, interpreting Palomo’s “Sinfonía a Granada”, conducted by Guillermo García Calvo ; and has performed the work “Carmina Burana” by Orff in the main auditoriums and theaters of Euskal Herria with the Euskadiko Orkestra under the baton of Pablo González. 

Readers can learn more about this   amazing artist at her official web site at https://jonemartinez.com/index.php/prensa

Together tonight, Jone and El Afecto Illustrado (left) played works by Baroque pioneers like Alessandro Scarletti (1660-1725), Nicola Porpora (1686´1768) and Domenico Scarlatti (1685.1757).

They did so in eloquent and many splendoured fashion with the Soprana allowing, what in Leonard Cohen´s phrase is ´the gift of a golden voice´, to speak, or to sing, for itself rather than try to show off her incredible range and control. The orchestra, full of dynamics were always strongly supportive of her vocals but never invaded her space by becoming too loud. Jone´s vocal performance was crystal clear, beautifully modulated and controlled, as we enjoyed voice and instruments in perfect parallel.

She and they were quite superb, under the guidance of an obviously empathetic director.

The theatre tonight was slightly less than full, but is located in a row of a buildings amidst a sporting area that within the square half mile

around the theatre was hosting a football match, basketball, wrestling and a host of other sports.

Nevertheless, even at maybe 80% capacity, the audience rose to its feet for a standing ovation or three. Their standing ovations were truly deserved but I would also like to think the ovations were also showing gratitude to the Annual Canary Islands Festival Of International Classical Music, that this year, as in the 38 that preceded it, offered us musical excellence, entertainment, education and energy.

As we left the theatre and the green man on the traffic lights told me I could walk, I crossed the zebra crossing in single file with Dutton The Button, DCI Detours and Superintendent  Sidetracks, wondering if people might mistakes us for the Beatles at Abbey Road. It seemed strange to be leaving a Baroque music performance with contemporary sounds echoing in my head and my heart. However, the 17th century dynamics, complete bass lines and even the instrumental line up had put me in mind of modern ensembles like Bela Flec and The Flectones, that bass line from Cream and as I mix that on to later exponents I find myself singing dum, dum, dum, b´dum, dum,… I Feel Free.

I am indebted to the extrapolation  from Master-Class on line, a site that is a must read for anyone interested in music as a player, or anyone happy to follow sidetracks and detours to see where they might lead.

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