March 12, 2017 Sunday @ 3pm
The Four Nations Ensemble

This concert's auction prize: PARIS loft near the Bastille


Photo credit: © David Rodgers

Program Notes for this Concert

Founded in 1986, The Four Nations Ensemble ( brings together soloists, frontrunners from several generations, who are leading exponents of period instrument and vocal performance. With a core ensemble of soprano, harpsichord or fortepiano, 2 violin, flute, and cello, Four Nations’ repertory runs from the Renaissance through Viennese Classical masterpieces of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. For four decades, Four Nations has developed a leading presence on the early music scene in New York and across the country. Four Nations has performed at major houses and on prestigious series throughout the United States including The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. The Ensemble has participated in festivals including The Boston Early Music Festival, New York's Mostly Mozart, Amherst Festival, New Haven's International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Maverick Concerts in New York, Chautauqua, The Indiana Early Music Festival, and Brasilseguridade in Rio de Janeiro. O special interest is Four Nations' resident ensemble status for both the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA and the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, CT. where the rich holdings of the two art collections and the brilliant curatorial staffs are an inspiration for music programming.

Past highlights include a major appearance at The Boston Early Music Festival & Exhibition; three week-long residencies with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in which the Ensemble led the orchestra in an examination of Baroque style through well known and rare masterworks for large ensembles; the release of Four Nations' seven CDs to remarkable press notices; the development of special programs for The 92nd Street Y, the Clark Art Institute and the Wadsworth Athenaeum. Four Nations' intrigue with the interrelationship of music, art and literature has also led to performances for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Center for British Art at Yale University, and the Bard Graduate Center.

The Ensemble presents two series of its own design. Hudson River Harvest Concerts, in its 25th year performs in historic homes and great barns, and a New York City series, in its 30th year. The Ensemble was invited to perform at Columbia University’s Maison Française in a series of concerts celebrating Rameau and Leclair and then the dominance of French Culture throughout 17th and 18th century Europe. These concerts were preceded by short lectures and conversations among renowned scholars of French literature, art and society in the old regime. Now the Ensemble had returned to Merkin Hall where the 2017 season will explore facets and inspirations to J. S. Bach.

Program Notes for this Concert


Bach and The Italians

Concerto for harpsichord in d minor BWV 1052           J. S. Bach     
Allegro—Adagio—Allegro                                               (1685-1750)

Su le sponde del Tebro                                                         A. Scarlatti
Sinfonia Recit:
Sulle Sponde                                 (1660-1725)
Contentatevi Recit: Mesto, stanco Aria Largo: Infelici meie
                 Aria: Dite almeno Recit: All’aura Aria: Tralascia pur di piangere


Concerto for cello and strings in c minor, RV 401         A. Vivaldi

                 Allegro non molto—Adagio—Allegro ma non molto

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, Cantata BWV 51             J.S. Bach
                 Aria: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen
                 Recit: Wir beten zu dem Tempel an
                Aria: Hochster, mache deine Güte
               Chorale: Sie Lob und Preis mit Ehren

This concert's auction prize: PARIS loft near the Bastille (PDF)

Click for enlarged PDF

Four Nations concerts and programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Click here for The Four Nations Ensemble web site.

Click here to join our mailing list and receive our e-mail newsletter!