What happens when unrestricted love – Divine and human - faces levity and infidelity?
From the admonitions of Jeremiah, through lightheartedness and betrayal, to the delighful flame of true love.
Music from Italy (by the Marcello brothers Benedetto and Alessandro, and the Brussels born Joseph-Hector Fiocco), Portugal (Marcos Portugal), Brazil (Ronaldo Miranda) and France (Michel Pignolet de Montéclair) including an original baroque setting of Maoz Tzur in homage to Chanukah.
Sofia Pedro (Portugal) soprano
Ricardo Rapoport (Brazil/France) baroque bassoon & cavaquinho
Marina Minkin harpsichord
Myrna Herzog viola da gamba
Born in Lisbon, Sofia recently graduated with a bachelor degree from the Conservatory of Amsterdam, in the class of Sasja Hunnego. Her earlier singing studies started in the voice class of Joana Levy, which she concluded with a maximum classification. She was a finalist of the 9th Classical Singing competition of the Rotary Club Foundation, in Portugal, in 2016.
Sofia is a founding member of Ensemble Seconda Prat!ca. With this group, she has performed in the Festival d'Ambronay and Festival du Sablé (France), Sevicq Brezice (Slovenia), Oude Muziek Festival (The Netherlands), Internationale Händel-Feestspiele Göttingen and Heinrich Schütz Musikfest (Germany), Stockholm Early Music Festival (Sweden) and in Latvia and Portugal. The ensemble's first recording, "Nova Europa", was released in 2016 by Ambronay Éditions.
She has attended masterclasses of Dame Emma Kirkby, Isabel Rey, Claron McFadden, Ira Siff, Alexander Oliver, John Potter and Elena Dumitrescu Nentwig.
Sofia has performed the following roles for staged operas in her previous schools: Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni), Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (Puccini), Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart), Carmen in Carmen (Bizet), Belinda and 2nd Woman in Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Bruxa/Witch in Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck), Maman and Libellule in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Ravel), and Eurydice in Orphée et Eurydice (Gluck). In 2017, Sofia sang the role of Spirit in Cendrillon (Massenet) with the Dutch National Opera Academy, and she currently prepares the opera Fairy Queen (Purcell) with ensemble Seconda Prat!ca. She has performed as a soloist in Requiem (Mozart), Kaiserrequiem (Fux), Petite Messe Solennelle (Rossini), Messiah (Händel), Gloria (Vivaldi), Magnificat em Talha Dourada (Eurico Carrapatoso) and Missa Crioula (Ariel Ramirez).
Sofia holds a bachelor degree in Archaeology, from Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
On completing his bassoon studies with Noël Devos in his home city of Rio de Janeiro - where he also studied guitar, viola da gamba (with Myrna Herzog), composition, conducting and architecture — RICARDO RAPOPORT joined the Symphony Orchestra of Brazil. In 1984 he moved to Paris to refine his playing with Maurice Allard at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, where he was awarded a Premier Prix in bassoon.
After completing a chamber music course with Maurice Bourgue, he received a French government grant to follow the Advanced Studies in Music programme at the Banff Center in Canada, concentrating on baroque bassoon. Since then, alongside his chamber-music and solo work, he performs and records regularly with various Early Music ensembles, such as Le Parlement de Musique, Les Musiciens du Louvre, La Petite Bande, Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, Ensemble Matheus and Le Concert Spirituel, among others.
Ricardo Rapoport also has a passion for contemporary music, which he frequently performs, and has been involved in various contemporary premiere performances. He currently teaches bassoon, baroque bassoon and chamber music at the Conservatoire National de Région in Rennes, and is regularly invited to participate in festivals and masterclasses in both Europe, Brazil and the US.
His world-premiere recording of Antoine Dard's "6 Sonatas for Bassoon and Bass Bass" (1758), published by the Ramée label with Pascal Dubreuil at the harpsichord, was a great success for critics and audiences [5 diapason, 4 Monde de la Musique, 5 Rivista Musica (Italy), 5 Rondo (Germany), etc.].
"This was certainly a unique setting for what was to be a different kind of program, a program challenging two bass instruments to join - and strike a balance with harpsichord and the soprano voice. The quartet opened with a festive rendition of the Italian traditional melody of “Maoz Tzur” (Rock of Salvation). Sofia Pedro contended especially well with the Hebrew text!
Sofia Pedro’s rendition of Montéclair 's “Le triomphe de la constance” was dramatic, spontaneous and finely crafted with the extensive substantive solo passages for the bass viol played evocatively by Herzog... Ricardo Rapoport’s playing in Boismortier’s Sonata for bassoon was sympathetic, playful and good-humored; his splendid legato quality emerging warm and appealing as he created contrasts between the movements... Alongside Herzog’s vital and elegantly ornamented playing of Marcello’s viol Sonata, the harpsichord (Marina Minkin) added moments of textural and melodic beauty... In playing that was subtle, gently flexed, precise and decidedly gripping, Minkin highlighted the sophistication of J.S.Bach's solo keyboard arrangement of Marcello’s Oboe Concerto BWV 974, exposing its marvelous array of textures in the outer movements. Her eloquent playing of the Adagio (2nd movement) invited the fantasy to unfold via its harmonic course.
Pedro’s performance of the strophic, cynical “Você trata amor em brinco” (You are making fun of love) was coquettish and saucy. For her warm and appealing singing of Portugal's "Cuidados, tristes cuidados" (Worries, Sad Worries), a tender and unabashedly sentimental song, Ricardo Rapoport joined the ensemble with the beguiling and energetic sound of the cavaquinho (a small guitar played with a plectrum). Brazilian composer Ronaldo Miranda (b.1948)'s “Cantares”, a poignant and fragile love song, colored with just a touch of nostalgia, made for a delightful and tranquil end to the program. Offering new and inspirational musical experiences, Dr. Myrna Herzog continues to bring captivating repertoire to concert halls and with performance of the highest standard." Pamela Hickman's Concert Critique Blog
Read the full critique here.