Boccherini a Baeza: una qualità interpretativa semplicemente eccezionale

“Che la rivelazione di molte musiche dipenda in gran parte dagli artisti è qualcosa che ha chiarito la proposta di Fabio Biondi ,e dei musicisti di Galante Europe, con la loro interpretazione di opere di Luigi Boccherini: trii, quartetti e quintetti, in particolare il celebre quintetto per archi e chitarra, con il suo famoso fandango di chiusura e le dodici variazioni di «La ritirata de Madrid».

Si può parlare di una nuova prospettiva che porta alla riscoperta di queste opere, e che deriva da una qualità interpretativa semplicemente eccezionale.

Ciò che abbiamo  ascoltato nell’auditorium di San Francisco de Baeza è stata  una lettura  decantata,  squisita, che ci ha permesso di capire facilmente  il successo internazionale che il lavoro di Boccherini ricosse inmediatamente. ”

ABC CULTURAL  – Alberto González Lapuente – 10 dicembre 2019


Varsovie, Opéra, le 16 août 2019. Stanislaw Moniuszko : Le Bâtelier.

Fabio Biondi, depuis une petite dizaine d’années nous a révélé un aspect moins connu de ses talents de chef. En s’attaquant d’abord à Bellini ou à Verdi, il leur insuffle une énergie nouvelle. Après Halka en version italienne, dont le fantastique enregistrement est disponible en France, il poursuit son exploration du répertoire de Moniuszko avec Flis.
Installés ce soir carrément sur le colossal plateau de l’Opéra de Varsovie, le plus grand d’Europe, on apprécie l’acoustique surprenante sous les cintres de cette scène immense. Au coeur des gradins on retrouve donc l’Europa Galante et le fabuleux Choeur de Podlasie. L’orchestre sur instruments d’époque révèle toute la finesse et les couleurs éblouissantes de la partition de Moniuszko.


Posté le par

A remarkable rendition of Handel’s Silla at the Enescu Festival

(…) Thursday night’s rendition was outstanding. Violinist Fabio Biondi has been leading Europa Galante for almost two decades and the cohesiveness he brought to the ensemble is easily recognizable. The musicians collective expertise in playing music of the 17th and 18th centuries is indisputable and was in full display once again. In the orchestral interludes, the balance between winds and strings was well adjusted and the support that the ensemble offered to the singers was carefully individualized.

Edward Sava-Segal – 07/09/2019


Music review: Europa Galante, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Sweeping melodic lines and dramatic harmonic twists played with lightness and wit are some of the hallmarks of Mozart’s music, but they could equally apply to his contemporary, Milanese composer Carlo Monza (c1735-1801). Europa Galante’s juxtaposition of the little-known Italian’s string quartets with those written by Mozart in Milan – K80, K156 and K157 – revealed stylistic similarities that are startling. And apparently the two men did meet.

The quartet’s leader, Fabio Biondi, has championed Monza’s work which is now enjoying modern-day premieres after languishing in a private archive.

Monza treats his quartets as program music, giving them narratives that present almost like mini-operas. Vulcan the Roman god of fire hammers away at his forge in the F major, the viola is the gambler who loses everything in a flurry of trills in the B flat major while the skirmish between rival lovers in the C major results in a fatal dual.

The D major is called ‘Opera in Musica’, with the viola again the protagonist in this ill-fated love affair.

Playing on period instruments, the quartet’s engaging tonal warmth along with their crisp delivery gave an enticing glimpse into music of the 1770s when Milan was under Austrian rule.


Susan Nickalls – SCOTSMAN – 12th August 2019

At Edinburgh, Europa Galante Reveal Craftsmanship, Skill and Warmth in Monza’s Music

Europa Galante,  Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 10.8.2019

Mozart – String Quartet in C, K 157; String Quartet in G, K 80; String Quartet in G, K 156

Monza – String Quartet in F ‘La Fucina di Vulcano’; String Quartet in B flat ‘Il giuocatore’; String Quartet in in D ‘Opera in music’; String Quartet in C ‘Gli amanti rivali’

My mouth was watering at the prospect of hearing Europa Galante in the flesh at the Edinburgh festival, especially in Mozart. This period instrument group have spiced up the world of Historically Informed Performance enormously over the years, with seminal recordings of Vivaldi and Boccherini, and their 2006 disco of Mozart violin concert  was the most dazzlingly exciting release to come out of the Mozart 250 year.

So I can’t conceal a bit of disappointment at the way they tackled these early Mozart String Quartets. For one thing, the instruments themselves were remarkably subtle, which is a lovely thing in itself, and it helps to bring out the conversational aspects of the quartets they were performing. Some elements were lovely, such as the minor key slow movement of K157, and Biondi himself, leading the ensemble from the first violin, did some delicious ornamentations in the first movement repeats. Intentionally or otherwise, however, they also gave the proceedings a hint of timidity, dialling down the excitement to a level that the music didn’t deserve. OK, it’s early Mozart (dating from 1770-73), but there is still a lot to get excited about in it, and I really wanted to hear them let loose and tear into the youthful composer’s vigorous melodies.

It never came, but perhaps their hearts lay elsewhere in this programme; specifically with the quartets of Carlo Monza. Monza was an older contemporary of Mozart, and the two men probably met at the court of Milan while Mozart was preparing the first performances of Lucio Silla. The programme book for this performance claims that these are ‘modern-day premieres’ of these Monza quartets, and even if there wasn’t much substantiation of that claim, there cannot have been many in the Queen’s Hall audience who have come across the composer before. (No, me neither.)

Turns out there is a lot to like, though. There’s craftsmanship, skill and warmth in Monza’s music, and the quartets that Biondi chose all have programmatic elements to them, as you can see from their subheadings. This shrewd move kept the audience’s attention through music that could otherwise seem a little formulaic, and it made my ear tune in in a way that it might not otherwise have done. The deliciously woody tone of the instruments gave an extra bite to the hammerings of Vulcan in his forge in the F major quartet, even suggesting a hint of sexual jealousy in his (utterly unconvincing) reconciliation with Venus as depicted in the latter movements. There was a delightful bustle to the opening movement of the B flat quartet with its depiction of the life of a gambler, and the warm viola-led melody of the finale suggested that the gambler’s supposed repentance might not last that long.

I found his ‘opera in music’ quartet most interesting, though. Monza affects to adopt some of the clichés of opera in this purely musical form, even down to adding a couple of instrumental recitatives, but he never specifies exactly what tale each movement is supposed to be telling. That meant that my ear and imagination ran rather wild, supposing love, drama, triumph and reconciliation; but was Monza, perhaps, doing this deliberately to suggest a touch of emperor’s new clothes? Similarly, the battle of the violin and viola in the ‘rival lovers’ quartet led, after the death of one lover, to a suspiciously upbeat finale; perhaps suggesting that the ladies weren’t too sad to see him gone after all!

Simon Thompson – SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL – 10th August 2019

The modern-day premieres of four quartets by Monza were, in some ways, even more interesting than listening to Mozart

” (…) Europa Galante was founded by Fabio Biondi in 1990, now regarded as the pre-eminent period instrument ensemble playing 17th and 18th century Italian music.

Although the resident orchestra at Fondazione Teatro Due parma, Biondi regularly leads smaller sections of the whole in various international performances.

In Edinburgh this year, he led a string quartet to the Queen’s all – himself and Andrea Rognoni on violin, Stefano Marcocchi on viola and Alessandro Andriani on cello. Biondi’s choice of music was masterful; Mozart is always a crowd-puller, while Monza is a much more obscure but an interesting composer.

The young Wolfgang was in this mid-teens when he visited Milan in the early 1770s and began composing chamber pieces in the current North Italian Style. Carlo Monza was approaching 40 and probably at the eight of his creative powers. 

In the string quartets K80, K156 and K157, the ensemble captured the unmistakeable spirit, even then, of the boy genius before the towering majesty of the works of his all too brief musical maturity.

The modern-day premieres of four quartets by Monza were, in some ways, even more interesting than listening to Mozart. The four pieces showcased a clear talent, especially in “Il giuocatore” (the gambler) and “Gli amanti rivali” (the rival Lovers)”.

Tom Kyle – SCOTTISH DAILY MAIL – 16th August 2019



StradivariFestival, buona la prima: standing ovation per Fabio Biondi

(Cremonaoggi – 20 Ottobre 2016)

Lo StradivariFestival 2016 è partito alla grande. Sabato sera auditorium Giovanni Arvedi tutto esaurito per l’inaugurazione con l’ensemble Europa Galante di Fabio Biondi in un concerto dalle grandi atmosfere classiche e barocche.(…)

Archi e Fiati per Romeo e Giulietta

Il segreto, come sempre, è nel motore. E il motore, in un melodramma dell’ottocento, è l’orchestra.
Da qui sono partiti  Fabio Biondi e Europa Galante per ripensare, alla radice, I Capuleti e i Montecchi di Vincenzo  Bellini  (1830):strumenti d’epoca, archi e fiati di numero uguale, violini, arpa e fortepiano per il continuo, trentasette elementi in tutto. (altro…)

I Capuleti e i Montecchi di Bellini in una appassionante esecuzione Intensa e coinvolgente la direzione

Domenica 28 settembre 2014 si è conclusa la VI edizione del Reate Festival, la rassegna musicale che ha nel suo DNA l’approfondimento e la riscoperta del Belcanto. Anche quest’anno ha proposto agli appassionati un’esecuzione di grande intensità di un’opera che è senza dubbio conosciuta nei suoi contenuti ma di rara esecuzione: I Capuleti e i Montecchi di Vincenzo Bellini. (altro…)

Bach, che passione!

Lo scorso 12 ottobre il Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino ha aperto le porte a Fabio Biondi e alla sua splendida direzione della Passione secondo Matteo di J.S.Bach. Al servizio del compositore tedesco, un cast internazionale di altissimo livello. (altro…)

IESI OPERA O frate ‘nnamorato al Pergolesi Spontini

Con un’opera inserita come cerniera tra Festival e l’inaugurazione della stagione di tradizione, il Festival Pergolesi ha confermato quest’anno la sua ritrovata vitalità, presentando una nuova produzione, Lo Frate ‘nnamorato di Pergolesi, affidato a Fabio Biondi con Europa Galante per la parte musicale e all’argentino Willy Landin per regia e scene. (altro…)

Un’Anna Bolena dal sapore ottocentesco

Buon successo di pubblico  ha avuto la rappresentazione di Anna Bolena, il capolavoro donizettiano la cui esecuzione è stata programmata nell’ambito della Quinta edizione del Reate Festival del quale è stato sicuramente l’avvenimento centrale. (altro…)

La rappresentazione di Anna Bolena chiude alla grande il Reate Festival

RIETI – Grande successo per la chiusura della quinta edizione del Reate Festival 2013, che sabato 28 settembre ha fatto registrare il tutto esaurito al Teatro Flavio Vespasiano per la rappresentazione di Anna Bolena diretta dal maestro Fabio Biondi. Applausi e ovazioni da un pubblico rapito dalla prima ripresa moderna dell’opera di Gaetano Donizetti, riproposta nella (altro…)

La Ferrari della musica barocca italiana

La “Ferrari della musica barocca italiana”, questa una delle definizioni che la stampa internazionale ha coniato per Europa Galante, tra le formazioni più importanti al mondo, che ieri sera all’Auditorium Varrone ha entusiasmato il pubblico. Fabio Biondi, violinista e direttore del gruppo, ha introdotto le composizioni con discorsività e grande competenza, (altro…)

ANTONIO VIVALDI Venezia – Teatro Malibran: Ercole sul Termodonte e Bajazet

“Fabio Biondi, alla testa della sua Europa Galante, concerta con fantasia e classe, i tempi sono sempre tesi, il suono brillante, l’agogica stringente che mira a mai far cadere la tensione del discorso musicale; le arie di Ippolita, le più belle dell’opera insieme alla “serenata” di Ercole del secondo atto, accompagnata da un pizzicato d’archi di incredibile modernità vivono e splendono di colori che paiono rinnovarsi in continuazione. 
Ben affiatata la compagnia di canto.”

Alessandro Cammarano   – OPERA CLICK – Ottobre 2007


Biondi’s Labors Won, or Unearthing The Lost Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi, Ercole sul Termodonte, 6 October 2007

Teatro Malibran, Venice
A Fondazione La Fenice production

“In the (Vivaldi-like) double bill of conductor and first violin, occasionally also grabbing the viola d’amore, Biondi led the performance with a relentless overall pulse, a nuanced choice of tempi and, most notably, a careful insight into the singers’ needs for breath and action (…). His Europa Galante sounded like a large multi-register theorbo struck by a single hand: an amazing outcome, considering the frequent turnover of instrumentalists within its ranks. Biondi has clearly got a signature sound, one of the most exciting in the early music scene today — to say nothing of his individual prowess on the baroque violin.”

Carlo Vitali – OPERA TODAY – 22nd October 2007