Ivan Iliev, violin; Veronika Manová, violin; Jakub Verner, viola; Libor Mašek, cello
Cantatas by Johann S. Bach, Carl H. Graun and George F. Handel
Since taking part in the Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project in 2013, the versatile soloist Aco Bišćević has been making his mark at European opera houses and festivals as prestigious as Berlin, Munich, Salzburg, Merano, or Bayreuth. As the vocalist’s flexible high-lying tenor finds its fullest expression in the Baroque repertoire, the Ljubljana recital includes the first contemporary performance of a selection of Carl Heinrich Graun’s cantatas.
His partner in the uncovering of precious Baroque treasures is a pioneering ensemble, the Reicha Quartet. In partnership with various basso continuo masters, the four musicians focus on a coherent and historically informed performance. Seeking to understand the longings and efforts of artists and audiences in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Quartet engage in thorough exploration of the era’s mindset and the aesthetic principles that led to creating unique works. What emerges are unique, stylistically authentic interpretations, imbued with emotion and self-reflection.
The star of the evening’s performance was undoubtedly the Slovenian tenor, Aco Aleksander Bišćević… a high-lying tenor… he sang and acted with great dignity and restraint... His voice possesses a sweet light tone, which glided through the score, and his phrasing of the accompanied recitatives was smooth and accomplished.
The Reicha Quartet dealt with this composition admirably, the special attention that they pay to composers is well-known. The treatment of the theme in individual movements and the sensitive handling of dynamics were particularly remarkable.