release date April 11th
“Passion on 10 Strings – Music for Viola & Guitar”
Música Española & Tango Zero Hour — Works by Granados, Piazzolla, de Falla, Malats and Albéniz
Nicolas Corti, Viola — Han Jonkers, Klassische Gitarre
“The Spanish pieces on this CD became famous mainly as solo guitar compositions by the three Catalan master pianists Isaac Albéniz, Joaquín Malats and Enrique Granados, and . I have often played them that way in concerts as well. In 2019, Nicolas and I had the idea to transcribe these works combined with works by Astor Piazzolla for viola and guitar. Since then, we have enjoyed playing this music in numerous concerts. The viola-guitar combination gives these compositions a whole new dimension.
Compared to the solo guitar versions, the works appear in a completely new light, allowing the compositions to emit transparency and a variety of tonal colors.
The Spanish music of the CD program alternates with music by one of the most frequently performed works of Manuel de Falla (1876–1946), and the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992). Piazzolla is considered the great innovator of the Tango, the “Tango Nuevo”. He originally composed the “Histoire du Tango” for flute and guitar. The other compositions are short character pieces, all of which we have arranged for viola and guitar. The two movements “Bordel-1900” and “Café-1930” evoke the history of Tango in their respective eras. “Bordel-1900” goes back to the beginnings of the Tango. The new dance form was played in the brothels of Buenos Aires around this time. As “1930” marked a new era, the Tango was no longer danced as it was around 1900, and people limited themselves to listening to it. The Tango becomes more musical and romantic, the movements become slower, new harmonies are added. The music takes on a strong melancholic streak.
Nicolas Corti studied viola with his father Ottavio Corti at the Zurich Conservatory, after having completed his maturity in a grammar school. 1980 he finished his teaching, orchestral and solo diplomas.
He then went to New York for intensive studies with Emanuel Vardi (the former soloviolist under Arthuro Toscannini with the famous NBC orchestra) for one year.
Since 1976 he has worked freelance in the Zurich Tonhalle and Opera Orchestras.
He was also 15 years member of the well known Collegium Musicum Zürich under Paul Sacher until this orchestra ended in 1992.
In 1982, Corti was founder of the Amati Quartet that has become internationally known, thanks to its many concert appearances in most famous concerthouses in the world and recordings with several compactdisc prices in Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.
With the Amati Quartet Corti had numerous concerts with great musicians as: Krystian Zimerman, Bruno Canino, Karl Engel, Rudolf Buchbinder, David Geringas, Steven Isserlis, Eduard Brunner, Paul Meyer, Karl Leister, Bruno Giuranna, Gérard Caussé, James Galway and others.
The Amati Quartet finished playing 2009. About 30 compact disques show the very high quality of this ensemble.
2005-2021 he was violasoloist in the Winterthur Orchestra, the Musikkollegium Winterthur.
Since 1996, Corti teaches viola and chamber music at the Zurich University of Arts (www.zhdk.ch). He gives solo performances and also plays in various chamber music formations as the Pianova Quartet, Trio with Töbi Tobler (Hackbrett) and Franziskus Abgottspon (Speaker), plays concerts in folkmusicstile with Claudia Muff, Töbi Töbler and Nadja Räss and recitals with See Siang Wong at the piano.
Dutch guitarist Han Jonkers studied at the conservatory in Maastricht, at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena with Oscar Ghiglia and at the Music Academy in Basel with Konrad Ragossnig and Oscar Ghiglia (soloist diploma).
Han Jonkers was a prize-winner at the competition in Viña del Mar (Chile-1983) and at the Maria Canals competition in Barcelona (1985).
He has been living in Switzerland since 1981 and performs as a soloist as well as in chamber music ensembles on all continents. Han Jonkers has been giving summer courses at the Music Festival Weeks in Arosa (Switzerland) for over ten years. Within the framework of the partnership of the Canton of Aargau (Switzerland) with Belarus, he has given regular concerts there with the flutist Bruno Meier and has held master classes at the Academy of Music in Minsk. Concert tours took him through South America (Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia) and Asia (Korea). In March 2007, he toured New Zealand with solo recitals and workshops at the University of Hamilton. In January 2017, Han Jonkers went on his fourth South African tour, this time with the Casal Quartet.
Several composers have written works for guitar on his commission (including Thüring Bräm, Martin Derungs, Sandra Goldberg, Galina Gorelova, V. Gritskevich, Paul Hanmer, Rudolf Kelterborn, Alexander Litwinowsky, Dimitry Lybin, Michael Schneider, Janos Tamas, Ernst Widmer, and Alfred Zimmerlin).
At the music publishing house Nepomuk in Aarau, a series with guitar music is supervised by him. His CD “Minsk Music” was awarded ‘CD of the month’ by Hessischer Rundfunk in March 2006.
Han Jonkers initiates various guitar festivals and courses. He is the artistic director of the festival “Boswil Guitar”, which takes place regularly. From 2003 to 2016 Han Jonkers was president of EGTA-Switzerland (European Guitar Teachers Association).
For many years, Han Jonkers has focused on teaching music to children. He regularly makes school visits to kindergartens and elementary schools and observes the music lessons of his students. As a result, he has completely changed his teaching concept for song accompaniment on the guitar in the direction of application-oriented teaching. In the last years, he has been regularly giving courses of song accompaniment for school lessons.
He has published several musicological articles in the press (among others in “Gitarre & Laute” about Frank Martin and in “Classical Guitar – The Guitar in Switzerland”).
Han Jonkers is a lecturer for guitar at the Pädagogische Hochschule, FHNW and lives in Basel.