The main course in this program “Canto di Rosetta” is the musical legacy of father and daughter García/Viardot. The program contains a great number of songs written by the French composer of Spanish decent Pauline Viardot-Garcia and her farther Manuel Garcia. Along with works of contemporaries like Mercadante and instrumental work of Paganini.
Manuel García (1775-1832), born in Seville would become one of the most successful ‘bel canto’ singers of his era. As a distinguished composer he was deeply rooted in the classical era of the 18th century. Already famous, he travelled to Madrid and Paris were he staged operas of Mozart, Rossini and work of his own. That drew attention and Rossini brought him to Napels were he became Rossini’s favourite singer and would star in many of his premières (e.g. The role of Almaviva in the ‘Barber of Seville’ was dedicated personally to Garcia). After his many triumphs in Napels he, his family and entourage went on tour and took off to the Americas. There he staged the first ever Italian Operas, including those of Mozart’s, in New York (in the presence of Mozart’s librettist Da Ponte). He retired and settled in Paris to dedicate himself to teaching and composing. As a composer he wrote many Operas and Tonadillas in the style of the Spanish and Italian school. Much of his legacy has been performed and adapted by his children who happened to have inherited his musical gift.
Pauline Viardot Garcia was the youngest of three children, all of them gifted singers who were taught the art of ‘bel canto’ by their father. Her elderly sister became in fact the famous (mezzo) soprano Maria Malibran. Pauline turned out to be a talented pianist and got lessons from Franz List. However, in 1836 tragedy stroke upon her elderly sister who had a fatal horse riding accident, making Pauline to take her sister’s place in becoming a singer. Since then her career took off tremendously. Married to the Paris opera director Louis Viardot she was engaged to several opera houses in Europe and was always on the move. She also composed and arranged a great number of songs and a few opera’s until her death in Paris in 1910. Her songs depict in a highly romantic fashion and often rich in virtuoso ornaments coloraturas.
- “Canciones Españolas” by Manuel del Pópulo García for soprano, violin and guitar.
- Songs by Pauline Viardot García among others: “Songs from the XVth century”, “Album Russe”, “Twelve Songs” for soprano, violin and guitar.
- Caprices for violin and duets for violin and guitar by Niccolò Paganini.
- “Danza Española nº 1” of “La Vida Breve” for Violin and Guitar by Manuel de Falla.
- Songs by Jules Massenet and Saverio Mercadante for soprano, violin and guitar.
- Instrumental pieces for Violin and Guitar by Pablo de Sarasate.