ˋPer la notte di Nataleˊ, directed by the Italian Carmen Leoni, welcomes the festive season with the pastoral as its leitmotif.


The Auditorio de Tenerife is a cultural venue linked to the Department of Culture of Tenerife Island Council that is managed by the island's Minister of Culture Enrique Arriaga. The Chamber Hall hosts the concert Per la notte di Natale (For Christmas Eve) on Thursday [22-Dec] at 7:30 p.m. The Italian conductor Carmen Leoni leads this welcome to the Christmas time of the Baroque Orchestra of Tenerife, with the pastoral as a Leitmotiv.

The Baroque Orchestra offers us a repertoire in memory of the adoration of the shepherds, through a selection of musical fables from the baroque Italian composers Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764), Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Francesco Manfredini (1684-1762), Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709) and Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713).

Spiritual dialogues are breathed in the first opus by Locatelli which, in its number eight, is dedicated to the Santo Natale as a Concerto in F minor. According to the group's artistic director, Conrado Álvarez, it is “an intricate canonical - and classical in its structure -  a labyrinth that we could view as a hypertext of movements, with episodes both prior and subsequent to the origin of the Mystery, from the Incarnation to the Birth, narrated with music in the purest Italian style of the 18th century”.

Without knowing for certain what winter in Bethlehem would be like, the Concerto nº 4 in F minor, Op. 8 by Vivaldi helps to create an atmosphere for the cold Christmas Eve with its allegro-largo-allegro, through its inspiring eclogue: “This is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights”.

It is followed by the pastoral dance by Manfredini, Symphony XII, in D Major. “We can imagine it, in its largo, as a cautious approach of the shepherds to the place of Mystery with the surprise, upon recognising the Child, in the puntato that concludes the first movement”, explains Álvarez, and adds that “it progresses in the adagio with the beautiful lullaby of joy, concluding with the joy of recognising the Saviour in the last movement, quasi a country prayer”.

The Concerto nº 6, in G minor, Op. 8 by Torelli, a pastoral vision, confronts i tempi as a prelude - very baroque - of the Child of Passion, in its winding grave-vivace-largo, which muta towards the conviction of redemption to give us a dance full of hope.

For the artistic director, “this central block of the evening could not materialize without the Vivaldi-style riposo, in E major, the song of heavenly cherubs that drops off in the first allegro, silenced -by the Mother of mothers- in the adagio, followed by the dawn chorus of birds in the last allegro -as a comment on nature- in recognition of the son of God on Earth”. 

To finish, the resounding country festa by Corelli -the father of the concerto grosso alla italiana- who with his Concerto nº 8, Fatto per la Notte di Natale, in G minor, Op. 6 floods with effect and twists in the dizziness of its movements and in the mastery of the performers.

In addition to Carmen Leoni on the harpsichord and as a guest conductor, the orchestra will be formed by Adrián Linares, concertmaster and baroque violin; Laura Díaz y Raquel Sobrino, baroque violins I; Lorena Padrón, Alexandra López and Giovanni Déniz, baroque violins II; Víctor Gil, Alaia Ferran, and Melchor García, baroque violas; Candela Gómez and Diego Pérez, baroque violoncellos; Tomás López-Perea and Juan Carlos Baeza, violones; Carlos Oramas, archlute, and Raquel García, organ.

Carmen Leoni was born in Verona in 1965. She began to play the harpsichord at the age of 11, as a student of S. Vartolo at the F. E. Dall'Abaco Conservatory of Music in Verona, where she stayed until she obtained her organ and organ composition degree with U. Forni in 1989. She moved to the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague with Jacques Ogg and Ton Koopman, obtaining the title of soloist in 1993. Her curiosity led her to further specialise in fortepiano with Stanley Hoogland.

Leoni is a member of the Baroque Orchestra Il Tempio Armonico and of the Vocal Ensemble Delitiae Musicae. Her professional activity includes numerous collaborations. She has accompanied renowned soloists including Leonidas Kavakos, Maurice Steger, Giuliano Carmignola, Mario Brunello, Jacques Ogg, Lorenzo Coppola and Roberta Invernizzi.  Her recording career includes works for Naxos, Emergo, Hungaroton, Tactus, Stradivarius and Radio Nacional de España.

As a professor of chamber music, she has organised several international music workshops on the classical repertoire at the Verona Conservatory of Music in collaboration with Lorenzo Coppola. She is currently a full professor of harpsichord and basso continuo at the Ghedini Conservatory of Music in Cuneo. This will be her first performance with the Tenerife Baroque Orquestra.

The Baroque Orchestra of Tenerife was founded by ANDMÚSICA, the Association for the Normalisation of Early Music in the Canary Islands, to encourage young performers educated in Europe in the styles and instruments of the period, providing the appropriate platform to coordinate and promote historical musical heritage from different sound perspectives, bringing all the musical forms of the 17th and 18th centuries to new audiences to add value to the island's cultural offer and agenda.

Tickets can be purchased at a single price of €15 on the website www.auditoriodetenerife.com, at the auditorium's box office or by dialling the phone number 902 317 327 from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Check the special discounts for the audience under 30 years of age, students, unemployed and large families.