Pat Kop: Let’s update Vivaldi

Pat Kop: Let’s update Vivaldi


norman lebrecht

July 05, 2020

The iconoclastic violinist gives the old Venetian music teacher a right makeover.



  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Too eccentric. Her excesses are tiresome.

  • Marg says:

    Link doesnt work – not hyperlinked

  • Peter says:

    Impressive sight-reading by Mrs. Kopatchinskaya. Now; if you want some real Vivaldi, listen to Carmignola/Marcon and Venezia Baroque Orchestra. And don’t look any further.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Vivaldi’s music never sounded better than with the great Italian chamber group ‘I Musici’. Arguably also the four seasons with Schneiderhan in the Lucerne Festival, but Vivaldi was not in his main focus. The current HIP and other grotesqueries are just unmusical.

  • lillianastanescu says:

    Recall hearing her in a concerto once – the conductor (who shall remain nameless) leaned over to her after the first movement and said none to subtly, “calm down!” – she didn’t, and never has. Being a live wire obviously works for her, though results are variable.

  • Patrick says:

    Over seasoned.

  • christopher storey says:

    Oh dear oh dear ……

  • John Borstlap says:

    What do you get when ‘contemporary composers’ treat music like Vivaldi’s, to update the old guy and have him sound more of our time? Since the approach is entirely materialistic, because nobody involved has any understanding of the spirit of the music, you get distortions, desintegration, the crumbling of textures. Comparable to a lethal fungus destroying a lively plant, or a cancer destroying a human being. THAT is, according to these people, ‘updating to our own time’. And the violin lady better look for another job.

    • X.Y. says:

      “Nobody involved has any understanding of the spirit of the music…” speaking of Giovanni Antonini and the Giardino Armonico without even having heard their recording… Now this is what one can call prejudice.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Nobody involved in the exercise of ‘updating Vivaldi’. The exercise is the proof. I know, reading is not always as easy as it seems.

        And then, the GA ensemble think that quickly racing through the score with accents on the first beat of the bar is baroque practice.

        • X.Y. says:

          Dear John Borstlap, that you have firm opinions on many topics cannot escape the attention of an even casual reader of SD and we are grateful for your pointing out that reading is not always easy. However one can respectfully draw your attention to the fact that P.K. and Antonini never spoke about updating Vivaldi, so its difficult to undestand your attack (“distortions, desintegration, the crumbling of textures”) on a recording which you have not even heard. All this is rather painfully reminding of discussions about “Entartete Kunst” which it was hoped would now be obsolete.

          • John Borstlap says:

            At 0:38 we hear:

            ‘This time Vivaldi is associated with contemporary Italian composers who have been asked to write short pieces to be interspersed with Vivaldi’s concertos.’


            I have been thinking quite long in an attempt to understand what the nazi’s have to do with a simple observation like this.

    • Emil says:

      It seems to me that the video makes clear that not one note of the Vivaldi is altered. It’s a juxtaposition of new Italian music with Vivaldi concertos. So what exactly is the problem?

      • John Borstlap says:

        (Sigh) The problem is, that ‘old’ music is being brought into a ‘contemporary’ context, by mixing it with contemporary music: combining snippets of Vivaldi with new snippets. Why? Mrs Pat Kop explains:

        ‘What would happen if Vivaldi came into our own time? What happens when he hears the music of Simone Morio or Marco Stroppa or Aureliano Cattaneo? And what happens when the composers of today think about what has remained in us from these elements of Vivaldi’s music?’ Fortunately for Mr Vivaldi, he is dead so he will be spared the nonsense of early 21C. And concerning the last question, that is easily answered: ‘nothing’.

        The exercise is naive and pointless on so many accounts that it is not worth the effort to go into that quickmire of confusion…..

        Marco Stroppa:

        Aureliano Cattaneo:

        Of Simone Morio I could not find any recording on the internet, but given mrs Kop’s utterances, the nature of the project and the type of sound artists involved, I am inclined to suspect Mr Morio will produce the same type of stuff.

        What kind of artistic contribution could combining bits of baroque music with sound art bits make? There is nothing against it, but also nothing for it. It’s just not serious.

        • G says:

          Unfortunate for you to dislike when people bring old music into the contemporary age and imposing their style upon it. You must really hate Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms and Mendelssohn then.

  • Alasdair Munro says:

    Could she play with Roby Lakatos?

  • Alphonse says:

    Her: “Let’s update Vivaldi!”
    Me: “Let’s not and say we did.”

  • Jaspers John says:

    People like this are such a danger to classical music. Too many music schools fail to teach taste.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Because taste is not a rational category, and difficult to even explain. You can only teach it by example, and then only to youngsters who are perceptive to it. Taste bypasses any intellectual consideration and travels by factual experience.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Don’t listen to the naysayers and old fogies, Patricia.
    I myself may not agree with all of your interpretations, but I think you’re a fantastic musician with a great imagination.
    Just keep on with what you’re thinking and doing.
    – regards, Greg

    • John Borstlap says:

      I totally agree with that! All those old fogeys with ther objections. As if music is something requiring all kinds of principles, intellectualissimisms or stuff, away with it, just play and have fun! I love Pat Kop especially when she plays the violin. SO fast!


  • mikhado says:

    I wish someone would have told me back in my conservatory days that instead of spending countless hours in a practice room were a complete waste of time. All I needed was to not wear shoes, mug, twirl, stamp, simper, have sloppy technique, play out of tune, lack discipline, ignore the score and the composers intentions, be willfully eccentric and have a PR ready backstory and the classical music world would toss bouquets at my shoe-less feet. Silly me.

  • Sven says:

    Let’s update Patricia Kopatchinskaya instead – update her to a musician that puts the composer first.

  • Henry williams says:

    How ostentatious

  • Bernard Caplan says:

    I think she is great. I am a big fan. She is like a violin version of Picasso who is perfectly capable of playing in the so called correct/competition circuit manner. She chooses to use her wonderfully creative imagination instead to shed new light on well worn hackneyed music. Long may she prosper!

    • Jay says:

      It’s the age when even frustrated monkeys are
      are considered creative .There is a great difference
      between a disciplined Picasso achievement and
      wrecking havoc with an established work done
      under the umbrella of creative imagination.In this case it would be as going to aTurner exhibit only to
      find some idiot has overpainted every thing in day glow colors to shed new light on an old want new..create new ! don’t vandalize the old.l

    • John Borstlap says:

      Picasso also played wonderfully fast! Love it! Even with nose and ears at the wrong places, Pat Kop cannot rival THAT.