The Toronto Bach Pageant Goals For A Multifaceted Expertise Of The Iconic Composer’s Music


L-R: Violinist Adrian Butterfield (Photo courtesy of the artist); The Toronto Bach Festival (Photo: Elana Emer); Soprano Yeree Suh (Photo courtesy of the artist)
L-R: Violinist Adrian Butterfield (Photograph courtesy of the artist); The Toronto Bach Pageant (Photograph: Elana Emer); Soprano Yeree Suh (Photograph courtesy of the artist)

The Toronto Bach Pageant will probably be held from Might 24 to 26, presenting 4 live shows and a lecture that supply audiences an opportunity to expertise completely different aspects of Bach’s work.

That features works for strings to organ to vocal compositions, and an off-the-cuff efficiency setting that Bach himself would have appreciated.

We spoke to the Pageant Creative Director John Abberger to take a deep dive into its choices

The 2023 Toronto Bach Festival (Photo: Elana Emer)
The 2023 Toronto Bach Pageant (Photograph: Elana Emer)

John Abberger: Pageant Particulars

Opening Evening | Sport Of Threes (Might 24)

Adrian Butterfield is a featured artist for the opening night time live performance. Violinist, director and conductor Adrian Butterfield is a specialist in interval efficiency of the music composed roughly from 1600 to 1900. He at present serves as Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Pageant, Affiliate Music Director of the London Handel Pageant, and Professor of Baroque Violin on the Royal School of Music in London. He leads the London Handel Gamers and The Revolutionary Drawing Room, and directs and conducts The London Handel Orchestra.

Together with a busy performing profession, he’s a recording artist. He’s carried out on each of Abberger’s personal recordings, amongst lots of his personal, and with The London Handel Orchestra.

“I actually thrilled to have the ability to invite him to play on the competition this 12 months,” says Abberger.

Bach’s Concerto for Three Violins opens the live performance, adopted by an Ouverture by Johann Bernhard Bach, a second cousin of Johann Sebastian.

The concept for the central theme of threes was Abberger’s personal. “I got here up with it. I’ve lengthy wished to […] to carry out this concerto for 3 violins that we’re doing,” he says. He notes that the piece’s origins have been as a piece for 3 harpsichords, and that numerous variations of it exist with completely different instrumentation.

“It’s certainly one of Bach’s best concerto moments,” he says. “I’ve wished to do this piece for some time.”

Together with Bach’s work, the live performance delves the composers who influenced J.S., similar to Vivaldi and Albinoni. Exploring the music that surrounded Bach throughout his personal period, and which influenced him, is a a lot larger and ongoing venture. “We’re type of scratching the floor with that,” Abberger says.

Whereas it’s onerous to say who listened to who on the time, it’s recognized, as he factors out, that Bach possessed Albinoni manuscripts in his private examine.

It ends with the magnificent Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, the place the triple concerto is developed right into a three-part work that sees violins, violas and cellos every taking part in an impartial half, together with a basso continuo.

“I can simply think about him loving the problem,” Abberger says. “It’s a unprecedented piece. I type of constructed the live performance round that.”

Will probably be the primary time Brandenburg No. 3 will probably be carried out on the Pageant.

“It’s going to be an fascinating live performance.”

The Toronto Bach Pageant Orchestra will accompany, together with violinists Patricia Ahern and Cristina Zacharias, and oboist John Abberger.

Program in full:

  • Concerto for Three Violins in D main, BWV 1064R by J.S. Bach
  • Ouverture in G minor by Johann Bernhard Bach
  • Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041 by J.S. Bach
  • Concerto for 4 Violins Op.3 No.1 in D main, RV 549 by Antonio Vivaldi
  • Concerto for Oboe in D minor, Op.9 No.2 by Tomasso Albinoni
  • Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G main, BWV 1048 by J.S. Bach
The 2023 Toronto Bach Festival (Photo: Elana Emer)
The 2023 Toronto Bach Pageant (Photograph: Elana Emer)

Organ Recital | Aaron James (Might 25)

Aaron James will carry out a recital on Karl Wilhelm organ at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, which Abberger calls one of many metropolis’s finest.

Organist and composer Aaron James is a local of Toronto. He earned a BMus from the College of Western Ontario, after which a MMus in Organ Efficiency and Literature from the Eastman Faculty, adopted by a PhD in musicology. He’s a fellow of the Canadian School of Organists, and is at present the Director of Music for the Toronto Oratory of St Philip Neri, and a Sessional Lecturer in organ on the College of Toronto.

“We’re very happy to current a whole lot of our native expertise,” Abberger says. “We’ve seen actually nice advance gross sales,” he provides.

Regardless of the recognition of a only a few items, Abberger feels that the majority of Bach’s organ works stay little recognized. “They’re deeply private works,” he says. “I’m decided to maintain presenting it. It’s an necessary a part of any Bach competition.”

The live performance contains favourites similar to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, and Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547.

As in this system for the vocal live performance later within the competition, the organ recital incorporates works by Bach’s predecessors at Leipzig, and his contemporaries. That features twin interpretations of “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” by Bach (BMV 739) and Buxtehude, together with each Bach’s and Reincken’s tackle “An Wasserflüssen Babylon” (“By the Waters of Babylon”).

As Abberger factors out, Bach was accustomed to Reincken’s work, and possibly additionally with Buxtehude’s competing setting of the identical hymn.

“He’s constructed a implausible program,” notes Abberger.

The 2023 Toronto Bach Festival (Photo: Elana Emer)
The 2023 Toronto Bach Pageant (Photograph: Elana Emer)

KAFFEEHAUS | Bach’s Hunt Cantata (Might 25)

Zimmermann’s Kaffeehaus, a favorite hang-out of Johann’s throughout his Leipzig days, is recreated to current a live performance in an off-the-cuff setting. The concept was launched ultimately 12 months’s Pageant, and shortly turned certainly one of its hottest options.

“It was a giant success,” notes Abberger, a lot in order that it led to a change to a much bigger venue. “I’ve been engaged on this for no less than 5 years,” he notes. “I’m very excited at this venue.”

The Kaffeehaus will probably be recreated on the acoustically pleasant and atmospheric Church of the Holy Trinity at Trinity Sq.. The live performance additionally affords two separate time slots to accommodate the demand.

“I believe it’s going to be implausible.”

Directed by Abberger, this system features a full efficiency of Bach’s “Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd” (Hunt Cantata), BWV 208, together with actions from Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. The worldwide visitor artist will probably be soprano Yeree Suh.

Abberger mentions assembly soprano Yeree Suh whereas working in Germany a few decade in the past. The German-Korean singer is properly generally known as an interpreter of seventeenth and 18th century repertoire, making her an ideal match for the event.

“She’s a implausible singer,” he says.

Canadian actor RH Thomson will reprise he function of Herr Zimmermann, with singers Ellen McAteer, soprano; Charles Daniels, tenor; Jesse Blumberg, bass, accompanied by the Toronto Bach Pageant Orchestra, with college students from the Collegium Musicum, College of Toronto.

Vocal Live performance: How Brightly Shines (Might 26)

“The vocal music is after all the top of Bach’s achievement,” says Abberger. He notes that the vocal works Bach composed throughout his time in Leipzig have been these he would carry out time and again all through his profession.

“He wrote [some] of his most refined chorale settings,” Abberger says. “Usually it’s the soprano that carries the chorale tune,” he explains, “the voices beneath including texture. He did this higher than anybody.”

Yeree Suh is joined within the live performance by soprano Sinéad White, altos Daniel Taylor and Nicholas Burns, tenors Charles Daniels and Shane Hanson, and basses Jesse Blumberg and Martin Gomes, with the Toronto Bach Pageant Orchestra.

As with the organ recital, this system contains different composers. “It’s additionally [about] Bach’s predecessors at Leipzig,” Abberger says.

The live performance contains two distinct settings of the standard carol “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (“How brightly shines the Morningstar”), one by Bach (BMV 1, an earlier model than within the organ recital), and one by Johann Kuhnau, Bach’s predecessor on the Thomas Kirche in Leipzig.

A bit by Johann Schelle, who was Thomaskantor from 1677 to 1701, simply earlier than Kuhnau, titled “Gott, sende dein Licht” (“God, ship your mild”), can be featured. Bach’s “Wer da gläubet und getauft wird”, BWV 37 (“Whoever believes and is baptised”) rounds out this system.

Lecture | Past Bach: Music and On a regular basis Life within the Eighteenth Century (Might 26)

Together with the music, there’s a chance to be taught. Dr. Andrew Talle’s Past Bach: Music and On a regular basis Life within the Eighteenth Century can be the title of his 2017 ebook.

He’s affiliate professor and coordinator at Northwestern College, the place he additionally earned a Bachelor’s diploma in cello efficiency, together with Bachelor’s and Grasp’s levels in linguistics. At Northwestern, his analysis revolves across the musical tradition of J.S. Bach’s period.

Talle’s newest work appears on the lives of odd folks in the course of the time of Bach, when the now-revered composer was certainly one of a number of within the metropolis of Leipzig, and all through Germany. His analysis took him by way of a mountain of documentation, together with private diaries, accounting ledgers, artistic endeavors, and rather more. He appears on the lives of musicians, and in addition the newbie performers, instrument builders, patrons of the humanities, and others.

His lecture will concentrate on an expert organist and his lifetime of amassing Bach’s works, whereas juggling work at an orphanage, a fiancée, and personal college students. The second a part of his lecture will take a look at the music composed by two teenage women who weren’t in any respect within the work of Bach.

  • Discover extra details about the Toronto Bach Pageant, together with Pageant passes and single tickets, [HERE].

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