Highlights of the "all virtual" 2020-2021 season include:
- A re-creation of the organ recital that Felix Mendelssohn played in 1840 at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig (where J.S. Bach spent the last 27 years of his life) in order to raise money for a statue of Bach. (October 8th, 2020 at 6:15pm). In addition to his own improvisations, Mendelssohn performed some of Bach’s most memorable organ works at this concert, including the E-flat “St. Anne” fugue (BWV 552/2), the great Prelude and Fugue in A minor (BWV 543), and the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565). Click this link to listen to this program.
- Gottes Zeit is die allerbeste Zeit (BWV 106), one of Bach’s earliest cantatas, possibly written for the funeral of his uncle around 1706, performed by the Bach+ Vocal Consort (October 15th, 2020 at 6:15pm). This cantata, known as the Actus Tragicus, shows the young Bach in full command of his art. The Bach scholar Alfred Durr writes that, “…it could be argued that in later years Bach’s art became a great deal more mature, but I hardly grew more profound. The Actus Tragicus belongs to the great musical literature of the world.” And it beautifully offsets our performances of some of Bach’s most mature works in the coming weeks. Click here to listen to this program.
- Selections from Dan Tepfer’s creative series #BachUpsideDown (October 22nd, 2020 at 6:15pm), performed by Dan Tepfer in collaboration with members of the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra. In this creative and fresh approach to the Goldberg Variations, Dan records each variation straight into his Yamaha Disklavier. Then, using a computer program that he wrote, the Yamaha plays it back in inversion (upside down). Since that time, Dan's project has been generating a lot of attention, including a nice article in the New York Times (see the link below). In this concert, we mix it up a bit further by having members of the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra replace the Yamaha and follow Dan’s performance of particular variations play with performances of the inversion. Click here to listen to this program.
Read more about #BachUpsideDown here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/15/arts/music/dan-tepfer-bach.html
- Some of the pathways that link the mature Baroque, as represented by the music of J.S. Bach, with the emerging Classical era of Mozart and the young Beethoven (as we continue to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth). And what better way than through music written for solo flute, an instrument that as very much in vogue during the entire latter part of the 18th century On November 5th, 2020 at 6:15pm, Shaughn Dowd, flute, Jihoon Chang, clarinet, and Noah Dion, piano, will offer a “Readers Digest” version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, K. 620, written in 1791, as well two relatively unknown early works of Beethoven, Sonata for Flute and Piano in Bb Major and Trio Concertante in G Major, both written before 1790, that reveal a charming side to the young composer. Click here to listen to this program.
- The Musical Offering, Bach’s portfolio sent to Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, following their famous meeting on May 7, 1747, performed by members of the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra (February 18, March 4, and March 25, 2021). This is the second of three concerts across two seasons that provide a glimpse into one of the main areas of interest for Bach during his last decade: collections in which he takes a simple musical idea and thoroughly examines it for all of its musical potential, with a clear focus on strict counterpoint. The Goldberg Variations achieve this relative to a simple bass line; the Musical Offering uses the “royal theme” as the basis for exploration; and the Art of Fugue, to be performed next season, exhausts a single theme (and any performers involved!) in fourteen fugues and four canons.
- An encore performance by Beau Soir Ensemble (February 25, 2021), a flute, viola, and harp trio, based in the Washington, DC area, dedicated to the performance of standard and contemporary chamber music repertoire spanning a variety of genres. Known for its exciting performance style and diverse programming, Beau Soir continues to attract a strong fan base through its acclaimed performances and unique audience interaction, which includes background, analysis, historical information, and descriptions of performance techniques within each performance. Beau Soir Ensemble’s goal is to make classical music accessible, interesting and enjoyable, inspiring a new generation of music lovers.