Early Music Vancouver presents Bach Collegium Japan (BCJ) – Bach, Handel, Vivaldi on December 9, 2018 at 3pm at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC. Widely recognized as one of the world's leading ensembles specializing in the works of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, Bach Collegium Japan and acclaimed British soprano Joanne Lunn, led by music director Masaaki Suzuki perform a concert of music by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel, as well as of shorter works by Conti, Marcello, and Telemann.
The highly anticipated Vancouver concert begins with a performance of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor - BWV 1067. Blending the elegance of French dance suites with the energy and brilliance of Italian composers like Vivaldi, Bach likely wrote this work featuring the flute during his time as kapellmeister to the Prince of Anhalt-Köthen. The ensemble then plays Vivaldi’s beloved Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins from his collection of string concertos entitled L’Estro Armonico. Bach thought enough of this collection to transcribe six concerti from the set in various arrangements over the years.
Following these instrumental works, soprano Lunn joins the orchestra for a performance of Conti’s dramatic and virtuosic setting of an ecstatic sacred love poem, Languet anima mea. This work was included in Bach’s personal library and is said to have been performed by his wife, Anna Magdalena. It demonstrates the extent to which Bach was influenced by Italy’s vocal music as he was by its instrumental music.
The orchestra then will perform shorter instrumental works by composers that Bach admired – Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor and Telemann’s Paris Quartet No. 1 in D Major.
The concert will conclude with a performance of Handel’s spectacular sacred motet, Silete venti -HWV 242. Praised by audiences as one of Handel’s most thrilling sacred works for solo voice and chamber orchestra, it is an early cantata written during his time in Italy as a young man. This is the only work in the programme that cannot be directly connected to Bach’s personal library. Like Conti’s Languet anima, however, it exploits all of the same musical and rhetorical devices used in secular operatic music of the time. It is a perfect vehicle for the virtuosic skills of British soprano Lunn, who has been described by the Financial Times as having “a voice of spun gold and a face full of conviction”.
Hailed by BBC Magazine as “Kings from the East,” Bach Collegium Japan perform all over the world with the aim of presenting historically informed interpretations of baroque music centering on Bach’s religious works. Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990 to introduce Japanese audiences to period instruments and performances of great Baroque masterpieces, Suzuki has established himself as a leading international authority on the works of Bach, and has remained the music director ever since. In 1995, the ensemble began the epic project of recording all of Bach’s liturgical cantatas in chronological order. The triumphant conclusion of their complete cycle comprises of over 50 CDs and has been met with universal critical acclaim, cementing Bach Collegium Japan as one of the world’s most important interpreters of the music of Bach.
Lunn is one of Britain’s most in-demand sopranos and Baroque specialists, and frequently performs on stages throughout Europe. She studied at the Royal College of Music in London where she was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal. Lunn’s long-term relationship with Bach Collegium Japan has included multiple tours and recordings. In addition to her work with BCJ, Lunn regularly records and performs in concert with notable ensembles such as John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir, Collegium Vocale Gent, Concerto Copenhagen, Tafelmusik Cappella Amsterdam, Ensemble Pygmalion, and many others.
EMV Presents Bach Collegium Japan – Bach, Handel, Vivaldi
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3pm
(Pre-concert talk at 2:15pm in the Royal Bank Cinema with Masaaki Suzuki and Joanne Lunn hosted by Matthew White)
Address: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts 6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Ticket Prices: From $18
Box Office: earlymusic.bc.ca or 604-822-2697
Image by João Messias