Concerto Cristofori

Formed in 2001, the group is named after Bartolomeo Cristofori, the inventor of the fortepiano. Cristofori symbolizes the transformation of the keyboard from an integrated ensemble instrument into a dominant solo voice. The ensemble varies in size and make-up according to the repertoire performed, and its members are all well-established artists dedicated to period performance.

Concerto Cristofori has appeared several times on BBC Radio 3, performed all over the UK, appeared regularly each season at the South Bank Centre, and played at the Wigmore Hall. Future performances include appearances at festivals and music clubs around the country.

Reviews

“An impressive debut for a welcome new group! [The violinist] retained a well-mannered sense of blend with his partner musicians, never dominating the show…Sharona Joshua combined a delicacy of touch and eloquence of expression with an impressive technique”

Early Music Review

“Rarely have I enjoyed such excellent artists, each with an individual voice and rich instrumental sonority expressing musical ideas and emotions in such an unaffected manner. In ensemble every nuance and shading remained clear, almost conversation like, as one instrument interacted with the other, yet managing to preserve its own identity. Bravo!”

Maestro di Canto – Oleg Lapa

“The Saffron Walden and District Music Club was privileged to welcome Concerto Cristofori (keyboards, cello and violin) for the opening concert of the 2006-2007 season. Specialising in period performance, this group gave a lively and uplifting recital of eighteenth century classics, including a Haydn trio, sonatas by Bach and Boccherini, and a suite for solo harpsichord by Handel, the E major which includes the well-known `Harmonious Blacksmith’ Air and variations, played with masterly style by keyboard player Sharona Joshua. It was intriguing to observe the difference between the harpsichord, which can only be played at one volume, and the fortepiano, which is capable of changes of volume and tone colour. Both instruments were superbly played, in particular in the final piece of the evening, the C major trio by Mozart. The difficulties inherent in playing authentic period string instruments were overcome with great finesse by cellist Nia Harries in the Boccherini cello sonata, and in violinist Peter Hanson’s spirited rendition of the Bach Sonata in A.”


Val Norton

“It was good to catch up with Sharona Joshua again, this time to hear her accompanying Thomas Guthrie on her Pleyel fortepiano, of 1853, in Die Schöne Müllerin at the Bishopsgate Institute Great Hall.

Schuberts gift for translating lyric poetry into song remains unmatched, but modern performance does him few favours. When written, song cycles like Die Schöne Müllerin, were intimately sung, accompanied by a wooden framed fortepiano, which was well suited to chamber recitals. Performance in large halls may suit modern fortepianos, but not lieder recitals; their use is probably best confined to recording studios with voice and instrument carefully balanced the voice unforced, and the piano commentary picturesque. What of period performance then? When given in a public auditorium, volume of sound is so important, that without amplification, the nuances by which Schubert magically re-creates poetry in music are usually unheard. Stepping up the volume by using a later, iron framed, fortepiano was highly imaginative, although still representing a considerable compromise in this auditorium.

Sharona Joshua, a master of early piano, and Thomas Guthrie, no less so in lieder, gave a spellbinding and natural performance of this glorious music. We hope and pray for a CD recording in which her fortepiano and his voice are timelessly matched.”

David Erdman

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