Gwendolyn Toth

Gwendolyn Toth is the director of the New York City-based early music ensemble, ARTEK, and a soloist on early keyboards (organ, harpsichord, fortepiano). She is married to harpsichordist Dongsok Shin, and they have three children.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Trebantiqua festival in Trevi nel Lazio, Italy

On Tuesday, August, 13, Dongsok and I traveled by air to Rome, Italy from Krakow, Poland. I would be playing a concert with ARTEK violinist Cynthia Freivogel at the Trebantiqua Festival in Trevi nel Lazio, Italy. We had to change planes in Frankfurt, so our trip took most of the entire day, including the 2 hour drive to Trevi nel Lzaio from Rome. Our good friends Marco and Giuseppe met us, and after settling into the hotel we made a quick trip uphill to the town proper to show Dongsok the town since he had never been there before, then we all ate dinner and caught up on news with each other. Cynthia arrived the following day, and we rehearsed in the church with the magnificent 17th-century organ. We also attended the concert by Dan Laurin and his wife Anna Paradiso - Dongsok becoming man of the hour as he stepped up and tuned the harpsichord for them before the concert. Perfectly, of course.

We played an interesting program for a 17th century organ in meantone with short octave:
Lucchesi (Mozart-era Italian classical keyboard concerto arranged for one violin and organ by yours truly); a solo violin piece by Vilsmayr, Austrian baroque composer; Reincken's Fugue in G minor for solo organ; Sonata for violin and continuo by Muffat, La Folia for solo organ by Storace (of course this was perfect for the organ) and Corelli's La Folia. The Muffat is a very strange piece! Extremely chromatic with many accidentals, so some judicious "leaving out" of notes was, many notes needing to be taken an octave higher because of the short octave keyboard. Yikes! The Mozart era piece, in contrast, was perfectly easy to perform on this organ.

In the concert, the highlight was definitely Cynthia's performance of the Vilsmayr. She played with musical intensity, perfect intonation, and a beautiful sweet tone. The audience was rapt. Everything else went well too, but that piece was very special. All in all, the concert was a lovely end to our 2013 summer travels abroad.

Trevi nel Lazio:

The Bonifaci organ in Trevi nel Lazio

Our friend Giuseppe Schinaia:

Photos from the performance: