DORIAN KOMANOFF BANDY
CONDUCTOR - VIOLINIST - KEYBOARDIST - EDUCATOR

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Reviews

Audience reactions, via Twitter, to a recital (London) and a house concert (Boston)

Mozart: Così fan tutte, April-May 2012 (London)

...Dorian Komanoff Bandy's approach brought the music to life...His palpable passion for what he was doing matched that of the principals on stage, and he secured some very fine playing from his little orchestra. Tempos were fast, but not excessively so, and the music bristled with energy...This was not the "Classical," or even the "Romantic" Mozart, but it was an unquestionably theatrical Mozart.
David Chandler, Opera Today

Special mention must go to musical director Dorian Komanoff Bandy for his sensitive direction and spirited accompaniment on the fortepiano.
Lise Smith, londonist.com

The performance was accompanied by Musica Poetica London, who gelled with the modern interpretation of the music while maintaining Mozart's quintessential touch. Hats off to Dorian Komanoff Bandy, for fulfilling the tricky role of conductor and fortepianist. His recitative accompaniment was at all times refreshingly evocative.
Mark McCloskey, thoroughlymodernmilly.com

Guest Music Director/Conductor Dorian Komanoff Bandy conducted with both sensitivity and energy.
Hillary Fischer, bachtrack.com

Chamber Music by Becker, Biber and Buxtehude, September 2011 (London)
Musica Poetica London

An hour of glorious chamber music of this period was a rare pleasure, and it held the audience's attention, with increasingly enthusiastic appreciation as it proceeded ... [The programme] demanded both sensibility and virtuosity from the musicians, who were not found wanting.
Peter Graham-Woolf, musicalpointers.com

Handel: Semele, April 2011 (London)
Musica Poetica London

Musica Poetica London [led by concertmaster Dorian Bandy] kept up a blistering pace for the whole evening, ... [with] constantly upbeat brilliance and dynamism.
Bachtrack.com

Rousseau/Burney: The Cunning Man, March 2010 (Ithaca)
Les Petits Violons

Watching Dorian Bandy conduct from the harpsichord was a real joy, his lighthearted mastery over gesture and dramatic development clearly an inspiration to the orchestra, singers and audience.
The Cornell Daily Sun

Mozart/Da Ponte: Don Giovanni, November 2008 (Ithaca)
Les Petits Violons

Acting as impressario and conductor, Bandy was also the production's life-force, one energized by powers that amazed and uplifted audiences, and whose unflagging source could only be guessed and marveled at.

Although accustomed to working with 18th-century wind players, Bandy had to make due with their modern counterparts, but in the event drew from them unexpected precision and liveliness.

A gifted violinist and violist, Bandy is also an ingenious and tasteful accompanist to opera recitatives--a rare and valuable ability that alone would guarantee him a musical career promising much more than even this. Occasionally he rose halfway up from his seat to catch the attention of a section of the orchestra or a slightly wandering singer. The standing ovation after the final ensemble was immediate.
counterpunch.org

Repertoire: Conducting / Violin

Conducting

BACH

St John Passion
Mass in B minor
Magnificat
Brandenburg Concertos 1-6
Orchestral Suites 1-3
Harpsichord Concertos in D minor, E major, D major, F minor, A major
Violin Concertos in A minor and E major

BARBER

A Hand of Bridge

BEETHOVEN

Symphony no. 1 in C major
Symphony no. 2 in D major
Symphony no. 4 in B flat major
Symphony no. 5 in C minor
Symphony no. 6 in F major
Symphony no. 8 in F major
Egmont Overture

CAVALLI

La Calisto

CORELLI

Concerti grossi op. 6 nos. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12

HANDEL

Alcina
Radamisto
Rinaldo
Semele
Messiah
Dixit Dominus
Concerti Grossi op. 3 nos. 1, 2, 3, 4
Concerti Grossi op. 6 nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12
Water Music
Fireworks Music

HAYDN

L'infedeltà delusa
L'isola disabitata

Symphonies nos. 1, 3, 17, 28, 52, 91, 92, 94, 104

Piano Concerto in D major
Violin Concerto in G major
Cello Concerto in C major

LULLY

Armide
Le bourgeois gentilhomme

MONTEVERDI

L'Orfeo

MOZART

Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Le Nozze di Figaro
Don Giovanni
Così fan tutte
Die Zauberflöte
La Clemenza di Tito
Complete Symphonies, Concertos, Serenades, Divertimenti

PURCELL

Dido and Aeneas
The Fairy Queen
Abdelazer

ROSSINI

Il barbiere di Siviglia
La Cenerentola

ROUSSEAU

Le Devin du Village, arr. Charles Burney as "The Cunning Man"

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI

Il Trionfo dell' onore

TELEMANN

St John Passion
Water Music
Alster-Suite
Overture-Suite in D major, per Pisendel
Recorder
Concerto-Suite in F major
Concerto in A major "The Frogs"

 

Violin, Accompanied and Solo Sonata repertoire only

ANONYMOUS

Violin Sonatas (from the Dresden archive) in A major and C minor
Viola d'amore partita in D minor

BACH

Solo Sonatas in G minor, A minor, and C major
Solo Partita in E major
Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin in B minor, A major, E major, F minor, and G major
Sonata for Violin and Continuo in G major, BWV 1021
Fugue for Violin and Continuo in G minor, BWV 1026
Violin Sonata in D minor, reconstructed by Dorian Komanoff Bandy after various sources

BIBER

Passagalia in G minor "The Guardian Angel"
"Mystery" Sonata no. 2 in A major
"Mystery" Sonata no. 8 in B flat major
Sonata III in F major, 1681
Sonata VI in C minor, 1681

CASTELLO

Sonata Seconda in D minor

CORELLI

Sonata in C major, op. 5 no. 3
Sonata in F major, op. 5 no. 4
Sonata in A major, op. 5 no. 6
Sonata in F major, op. 5 no. 10

FONTANA

Sonata no. 2 in D major

GROBE

Viola d'amore partita in C minor

HANDEL

Sonata in A major, op. 1 no. 3
Sonata in F major
Sonata in D major
Concerto for Corelli

HERTEL

Sonata op. 1 no. 2 in C major
Sonata op. 1 no. 4 in G minor

LOCATELLI

Sonata in D minor, op. 6 no. 12
Sonata in C major, op. 8 no. 4
Sonata in E flat major, op. 8 no. 6

MARINI

Sonata in A minor, op. 8 no. 4

MASCITTI

Sonata in D major, op. 5 no. 12

MATTEIS

Selections from the Ayres for a Single Violin

MOZART

Sonatas KV 296, 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 376, 377, 381, 454, 481

PANDOLFI MEALLI

Sonata in A minor, op. 3 no. 2 "La Cesta"
Sonata in D major, op. 3 no. 3 "La Melana"

PETZOLD

Viola d'amore partita in F major
Viola d'amore partita in A major

PISENDEL

Sonata in E minor
Sonata in D major
Sonata in C minor
Solo Sonata in A minor

SCHENCK

Fantazia in A minor, op. 7 no. 1

SCHMELZER

Passagalia in D major
Sonata IV in D major, arr. Dorian Komanoff Bandy for unaccompanied violin

TARTINI

Sonata in G minor "The Devil's Trill"
"Senza di te, mia cara" Manuscript

TELEMANN

Fantasia no. 6 in E flat major
Fantasia no. 9 in B minor
Fantasia no. 12 in A minor
Violin Sonata in F sharp minor
Complete 1715 Frankfurt Violin Sonatas:
Sonata no. 1 in G minor
Sonata no. 2 in D major
Sonata no. 3 in B minor
Sonata no. 4 in G major
Sonata no. 5 in A minor
Sonata no. 6 in A major

VERACINI

Sonata in G minor, op. 1 no. 1
Sonata in B minor, op. 1 no. 3
Sonata in E minor, op. 1 no. 6
Sonata in A major, op. 1 no. 7
Sonata in B flat major, op. 1 no. 8
Sonata in C major, op. 1 no. 9
Sonata in D major, op. 1 no. 10
Sonata in F major, op. 1 no. 12
Sonata in D major, op. 2 no. 1
Sonata in G minor, op. 2 no. 5
Sonata in D minor, op. 2 no. 12

VILSMAYR

Partita in A major

VIVALDI

Sonata in C major, op. 2 no. 6

VIVIANI

Toccata Seconda, in A minor

WALTHER

Scherzo no. 6 in B flat major
Scherzo no. 7 in A major
Scherzo no. 8 in C major
Scherzo no. 9 in D major
Aria in E minor
Partita no. 4 in D major

WESTHOFF

Suite no. 1 in A minor
Suite no. 4 in C major
Suite no. 6 in D major
Unaccompanied preludio and allemanda in A major
Sonata with continuo in D minor

WOLDEMAR

L'ombre de Tartini
Caprice no. 2 in G major

Sample Concert Programs: Conducting / Violin / Lecture

Conducting

MOZART AND HAYDN: NACHTMUSIK
This program was originally designed for a UK period-instrument band whose primary membership is strings-only, but which has access to wind players; it is therefore flexible in its instrumentation. At its heart is the serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik, which, crafted at the same time as
Don Giovanni, is an operatic masterpiece disguised as instrumental music. Also featured are excerpts from Don Giovanni (in a rarely-heard orchestral arrangement from the late 18th century), as well as two of Mozart's darker, more troubled divertimenti, and Haydn concertos for cello and harpsichord (with Dorian Komanoff Bandy doubling as director and keyboard soloist).

THE SECRET HAYDN
Despite the immense popularity of Haydn's later symphonies, many of his earlier symphonic and operatic works remain neglected. This program focuses on four rarely-heard early- and middle-period symphonies, Nos. 3, 17, 28, and 52, tracing Haydn's development from the contrapuntal inventivness of his earliest orchestral works to the dark, brooding heights of his
Sturm-und-Drang period. Along the way, opera overtures and arias for soprano and tenor remind listeners of Haydn's active involvement with music for the stage.

THE SPIRIT OF MOZART, THE HANDS OF HAYDN
When the young Beethoven arrived in Vienna, his patron enjoined him to study composition with Haydn so that he might receive "the spirit of Mozart from Haydn's hands." Indeed, Beethoven did just that: despite his well-known association with Haydn, he remained for his entire career in thrall to Mozart's musical language, so much so that even his most revolutionary symphonies contain germs of ideas that originated in Mozart's. His opera
Fidelio has even been cited by some critics as one drawn-out musical allusion to Così fan tutte. This program includes works by Mozart and Haydn that either prefigure Beethoven or that directly inspired him, and culminates with Beethoven's First Symphony.

TELEMANN: WATER MUSIC
No composer penned more picture-music than Telemann, whose evocations of animals and natural scenes range from the polite and refined to the rudely realistic. Two vastly different suites bookend this program: at the beginning, the elegant "Water Music -- Hamburg Ebb and Flow" blends sounds of the river into courtly dances, while the "Alster Suite," which concludes the program, abandons all decorum and depicts dancing peasants, fighting chickens and hens, pealing churchbells, and other scenes from along the Alster river. Separating these two suites is the "Frogs" Violin Concerto, in which the entire orchestra engages in batrachian imitation, as well as the beautiful F-major concerto-suite for recorder and orchestra.


 

Violin

BACH EXPLORED: Bach the Dionysian; Dark Visions; Bach the Apollonian
Three concerts celebrating the rich tradition of polyphonic violin music by Bach's friends, colleagues, and forebears. Each concert focuses on a different aesthetic facet of Bach's own music, and finds resonances in the works of such figures as Johann Jakob Walther, Johann Paul Westhoff, Johann Georg Pisendel and Johann Mattheson, as well as Handel, Telemann, and others.
(Click for 2014-2015 performances of Bach Explored programs.)

THE GREAT CONTEST: Pisendel and Veracini in Dresden, 1722
This program features an imaginary reconstruction of the fabled (but, alas, probably fictional) contest between Dresden-based virtuoso Johann Georg Pisendel and Italian firebrand Francesco Maria Veracini. Although popular legend holds that Veracini threw himself from a window after losing the original contest, 300 years have since passed, and the musical tide may have turned...

MYSTICS AND ALCHEMISTS
Alchemy in the 17th-century was an art practiced both by the professional scientist and the layperson, by such figures as Sir Isaac Newton (who kept his furnace constantly
lit in case he should happen upon the formula for gold) as well as Dietrich Buxtehude. Some composers even used music as a way to work through their scientific theories. This program features the works of four such figures -- Johann Jakob Walther, Heinrich Biber, Johannes Schenck, and Johann Paul Westhoff -- and explores the projection of alchemy and mysticism into sound.

ITALIAN PASSIONS
Italian Passions traces the development of the violin sonata from its earliest incarnations at the dawn of the baroque, through the flighty, mercurial sonatas of Marini, Castello, Fontana and Pandolfi Mealli, to the solo works of Arcangelo Corelli, published on January 1st, 1700.

DEMONS AND GHOSTS
Atmospheric music by Bach, Matteis, Tartini and Woldemar. Features the celebrated Devil's Trill sonata, as well as Michel Woldemar's spooky and disturbing sonata The Ghost of Tartini, written in the early 19th century and "dedicated to the hands" of the dead virtuoso.

 

Educational/Lecture

BOSTON MFA GALLERY TALKS
Three talks, designed in collaboration with art historian Ruth Ezra for gallery lectures at Boston's MFA, December 2013-September 2014. (Adaptable to most art collections.)

1. The Passions
Painters, poets, and musicians alike have long sought to capture human emotions through the modulation of gesture, metaphor, and melody. This talk focuses on the intertwined aesthetic theories of the visual arts and music in the 17th century -- a time of debates about the relative powers of reason and
feeling -- and explores the depiction of the passions and affections across baroque canvases and compositions.

2. Figure and Ground in Art and Music
The relationship between foreground and background is at once elementary and elusive.
Does music defy the laws of perspective and space? Can the background be the most important part of a painting? Can melodies be composed in both two and three dimensions? This talk navigates troubled aesthetic waters, comparing works of Donatello, Il Rosso, Pannini, Barna da Siena, and Turner with music of Bach, Biber, Corelli, Tartini, Westhoff, and Woldemar.

3. The Art of Deception
When is a painting not a painting? Is the truest music the most feigning? From still-lives to picture music, this talk explores mimesis, imitation, and naturalism across two media.
 

ORNAMENTING MOZART'S OPERAS
Despite our abiding
interest in Mozart's operas, most performers -- "modern" and "period" alike -- remain unaware of the 18th-century conventions of vocal ornamentation. In fact, it is a literal truth that all recordings of Mozart's Da Ponte operas contain hundreds of wrong notes and dozens of missed opportunities for cadenzas and lyrical ornamentation. From the prosodic appoggiatura to melodic embellishments, this talk distills years of performance-practice research into a format useful for any singer, and also includes instruction on how to improvise ornamentation in a uniquely Mozartean style.

BACH'S LYRE
From the lyre of Orpheus to the satanic fiddling of Paganini, the solo stringed instrument has always sparked the fire of its listeners' imagination. No composer understood this better than Bach, whose genre-defying Sonatas and Partitas revolutionized the violin and its techniques...or did they? This lecture-recital celebrates the expressive, alluring, and sometimes bizarre unaccompanied violin works penned in 17th-century Germany by Bach's forebears and teachers.

BAROQUE AND CLASSICAL VIOLIN TECHNIQUES
Despite Early Music's
considerable advances in recent decades, many myths and preconceptions cloud our image of historical violin technique. Learn about what the surviving evidence really teaches us, as well as the physical nitty-gritty involved in putting the evidence into practice. Includes detailed discussions of chin-off shifting, holding the violin below the collarbone, upbow staccato in a variety of different idioms, and more.

 

LECTURE SERIES ON MOZART AND BEETHOVEN
8 Talks, designed for the Cambridge (MA) Center for Adult Education, Spring 2015

Session 1: Beginnings
How do Mozart and Beethoven open their works? What kind of bridges do they construct between silence and sound?

Session 2: Developments
Having completed the opening phrases, what then? An overview of Sonata Form, with emphasis on Mozart's and Beethoven's very different approaches to the Development section.

Session 3: Humor
Mozart and Beethoven were supremem manipulators of their listeners -- but to very different ends. Mozart's musical comedy is centered around sarcasm and irony; Beethoven's is unironic, but no less humorous.

Session 4: Time and Memory
Beethoven, perhaps for the first time in the history of music, found aural ways to depict time, distance, and the process of remembering, without any use of text.

Sessions 5 and 6: Mozart's Operas
Discussions of characterization, instrumentation, and musical depictions of seduction in
Don Giovanni, and of beauty and irony in Così fan tutte.

Sesssion 7: Instrumental Drama
A return to the world of the symphony and concerto after our operatic digression. How did operatic structures inform instrumental writing? How do Beethoven's symphonies adopt Mozart's operatic techniques?

Session 8: The Future of an Allusion
The impact of Mozart and Beethoven on Schubert, Rossini, Mendelssohn and Brahms.

LECTURE SERIES ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF ART
7 Talks, designed for the Cambridge (MA) Center for Adult Education, Summer 2016

Session 1: Human Evolution, Cultural Evolution, Memes, and the Arts

Session 2: The Standard of Taste

Session 3: Forms, Structures, and Expectations

Session 4: Performance; The Paradox of Acting

Session 5: Self-Reference; Identity and Abstraction

Sessions 6-7: Self-Reference in, and Critical Analysis of, Alfred Hitchcock's Films