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BACH CANTATA RING 2018


In 2000, John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists mounted the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, a trailblazing tour which saw performances of all 198 of Bach’s sacred cantatas in more than 60 churches throughout Europe and the US.

BACH CANTATA RING ITINERARY

Starting in May 2018, John Eliot Gardiner and the same two ensembles will embark on a major new Bach cantata project. This summer tour will bring a carefully selected programme of cantatas from across the sacred calendar to audiences in prestigious concert halls, churches and festivals throughout Europe. The first part of the tour will commence with eleven European dates featuring a mixed programme of cantatas. This will be followed in June with performances in Leipzig, London and Paris where a Ring of 12 cantatas for Easter, Trinity and Advent will be performed over consecutive weekends.

Tue 8-May

8.15pm

Concertgebouw

Amsterdam

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 78 | 140

Wed 9-May

8.00pm

Audimax

Regensburg

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 78 | 140

Fri

11-May

8.00pm

Frauenkirche

Dresden

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 78 | 140

Sat

12-May

8.00pm

Kölner Philharmonie

Cologne

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 78 | 140

Sun 13-May

8.00pm

Philharmonie

Luxembourg

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 78 | 140

Tue 15-May

7.30pm

Musikverein

Vienna

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 78 | 140

Wed 16-May

7.30pm

Liszt Academy

Budapest

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 78 | 140

Thu 17-May

8.00pm

Dvořák Hall

Prague

Cantatas BWV 12 | 70 | 81 | 140

Sat

8.30pm

Basilica, San Pietro

Perugia

Cantatas BWV 78 | 140 | 81 | 20

Sun 20-May 8.00pm

Collegio Borromeo

Pavia

Cantatas BWV 78 | 140 | 81 | 20

Mon 21-May

8.30pm

Auditorium Manzoni

Bologna

Cantatas BWV 78 | 140 | 81 | 20

Fri

8-Jun

8.00pm

Nikolaikirche

Leipzig

Cantatas BWV 61 | 36 | 70 | 110

Sat

9-Jun

8.00pm

Nikolaikirche

Leipzig

Cantatas BWV 12 | 103 | 34 | 20

Sun 10-Jun

8.00pm

Nikolaikirche

Leipzig

Cantatas BWV 90 | 101 | 78 | 140

Tue 12-Jun

8.00pm

Königslutter

Braunschweig

Cantatas BWV 12 | 20 | 103 | 34

Fri

15-Jun

7.30pm

Barbican

London

Cantatas BWV 61 | 70 | 81 | 110

Sat

19-May

16-Jun

7.30pm

Barbican

London

Cantatas BWV 12 | 20 | 103 | 34

Sun 17-Jun

7.30pm

Barbican

London

Cantatas BWV 101 | 140 | 78 | 19

Tue 19-Jun

8.30pm

Basilica, St Denis

Paris

Cantatas BWV 101 | 140 | 78 | 19

Wed 20-Jun

8.00pm

Chapelle Royale

Versailles, Paris

Cantatas BWV 12 | 20 | 103 | 34

Thu 21-Jun

8.00pm

Chapelle Royale

Versailles, Paris

Cantatas BWV 61 | 36 | 70 | 110

Wed 29-Aug

7.30pm

Église Abbatiale

Festival Berlioz

Cantatas BWV 12 | 20 | 103 | 34


AN INTRODUCTION TO BACH’S CANTATAS John Eliot Gardiner – Music in the Castle of Heaven, A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach A musical work such as a Bach cantata is manifestly a journey from a beginning, through a middle, and to an end, and yet at that end the light it casts in the memory on all that has gone before creates the feeling that we are constantly in a state of arrival — leading to a sense of being aware of, and thus valuing, our own consciousness, both now and in what went before. And, if we accept that one part of the human psyche searches for a spiritual outlet (and, indeed, a spiritual input), then however materialistic our society may have become, however agnostic the Zeitgeist, for those who have the ears to hear it, the confident and overwhelmingly affirmative music of Bach can go a long way towards meeting this need. For Bach is of the very front rank of composers since 1700 whose entire work was geared, one way or another, towards the spiritual and the metaphysical — celebrating life, but also befriending and exorcising death. He saw both the essence and practice of music as religious and understood that the more perfectly a composition is realised, both conceptually and through performance, the more God is immanent in the music. ‘NB’, he wrote in the margin of his copy of Abraham

Calov’s Bible commentary ‘Where there is devotional music, God with his grace is always present.’ This strikes me as a tenet that many of us as musicians automatically hold and aspire to whenever we meet to play music, regardless of whatever ‘God’ we happen to believe in. So, at a time when the churches have long since lost their drawing power in the West, our choice to perform the cantatas of Bach in churches [throughout the year 2000] merely underscored the once-living context of this music. In the course of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage we were to ask ourselves several times in that year whether Bach’s original purpose (and perhaps also its effect), besides meeting an urgent need for inspiration and solace, was to jolt his first listeners out of their complacency and to spotlight meretricious aspects of their lives and conduct. Bach, the supreme artisan, disdained by some of Leipzig’s intelligentsia for his lack of university training, and conscious of his place in his family’s history, honed his skills to the point where his craftsmanship, his imaginative gift and his human empathy were in perfect balance. The rest was up to God.


MONTEVERDI CHOIR & ORCHESTRAS - BACH CANTATA RING A European tour of Bach’s greatest sacred cantatas. Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen | BWV 12 Jubilate, third Sunday after Easter. First performed 22 April 1714 - Weimar Es erhub sich ein Streit | BWV 19 Feast of St Michael. First performed 29 September 1726 – Leipzig O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort | BWV 20 First Sunday after Trinity. First performed 11 June 1724 - Leipzig O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe | BWV 34 Pentecost Sunday. First performed 1 June 1727 - Leipzig Schwingt freudig euch empor | BWV 36 First Sunday in Advent. First performed 2 December 1731 - Leipzig Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland | BWV 61 First Sunday in Advent. First performed 2 December 1714 - Weimar Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! | BWV 70 Second Sunday in Advent. First performed 6 December 1716 - Weimar Jesu, der du meine Seele | BWV 78 14th Sunday after Trinity. First performed 10 September 1724 - Leipzig Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen | BWV 81 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany. First performed 30 January 1724 - Leipzig Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott | BWV 101 Tenth Sunday after Trinity. First performed 13 August 1724 – Leipzig Ihr werdet weinen und heulen | BWV 103 Third Sunday after Easter. First performed 22 April 1725 - Leipzig Unser Mund sei voll Lachens | BWV 110 First Day of Christmas. First performed 25 December 1725 – Leipzig Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme | BWV 140 27th Sunday after Trinity. First performed 25 November 1731 - Leipzig

Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists John Eliot Gardiner Conductor Guest Soloists Mary Bevan Hana Blažíková Julia Doyle

Soprano Soprano Soprano

Reginald Mobley

Alto

Matthew Brook Peter Harvey

Bass Bass

Consort Soloists Amy Carson Angela Hicks

Soprano Soprano

Sarah Denbee Emma Lewis

Alto Alto

Ruairi Bowen Hugo Hymas Graham Neal Gareth Treseder

Tenor Tenor Tenor Tenor

Alex Ashworth Bass Samuel Pantcheff Bass


Programme texts © John Eliot Gardiner; adapted from a journal written in the course of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage (2000)

WEINEN, KLAGEN, SORGEN, ZAGEN BWV 12

BWV 12 Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen was composed in Weimar just after Bach’s promotion to Konzertmeister in 1714, and revived by him a decade later in his first season in Leipzig. It begins with a ravishing sinfonia, descriptive, one imagines, of the tearful sowing of the winter corn. The oboe’s plaintive cantilena, redolent of Marcello or Albinoni, sets the scene for the opening tombeau, one of the most impressive and deeply affecting cantata movements Bach can have composed to that point. Coming at it backwards, from long familiarity with the Crucifixus of the B minor Mass (which is what this movement later became), one is struck by its greater starkness and its searing pathos. In place of the four syllables Cru-ci-fi-xus – four hammer blows nailing Christ’s flesh to the wood of the cross – Bach inscribes the title of his cantata through four distinct vocal lines (‘Weeping... wailing... fretting... fearing’). Each word, a heart-rending sob, is stretched over the bar-line and the four-bar passacaglia bass. These words, we learn in the motet like sequel, are the ‘signs of Jesus’s suffering’ with which the believer is branded.

Even when conducting the Crucifixus version I cannot rid my mind of the thrice- articulated ‘Angst... und... Not’ (which later became ‘passus est’). If this is the nadir, the point, according to the scholar Eric Chafe, ‘where the individual has already been brought by consciousness of sin to extreme torment’, then rarely, if ever, have these sentiments been so harrowingly portrayed in music. Even at this early stage in his development of cantata form, Bach is uncompromising in his search for hermeneutic truth, willing to sacrifice surface attraction and to substitute a tortuous melodic line in order to convey the immense difficulty of remaining ‘steadfast’ under provocation. A gritty experience is only made bearable by the presence of the hymn-tune Jesu, meine Freude intoned by a trumpet – like a hand outstretched to help the believer, on the last rung of the ladder, in his struggle to attain faith. A final chorale, ‘Was Gott tut das ist wohlgetan’, with trumpet descant, affirms Luther’s goal for the individual, who through faith can ‘rise beyond Christ’s heart to God’s heart’.


ES ERHUB SICH EIN STREIT BWV 19

All Bach’s music written for St Michael’s day is immense in concept and sustained bravura. One senses that he was spurred on, inspired even, by the presence of a virtuosic group of trumpeters,the municipal Stadtpfeifer of Leipzig under their ‘Capo’ Gottfried Reiche, just as Berlioz was a century or so later by the newly-available cornets à pistons and saxhorns. In BWV 19 Es erhub sich ein Streit Bach uses his brass instruments in highly contrasted ways: at one extreme, obliging the listener to experience the scale and significance of these apocalyptic encounters in the opening chorus, at the other, in the E minor tenor aria (5th Mvt), evoking the ever-watchful protection afforded by the guardian angels wheeling around in the stratosphere. BWV 19 opens without instrumental preamble with a description of the ‘war in Heaven’, constructed as a monumental choral fugue with the singers as the main combatants. They lead the doubling instruments (strings and three oboes) into the fray with

a ferocious confrontational swagger and impel the trumpets to follow in their wake. It is only when they pause for the first time in thirty-seven bars that the instruments really find their voice (in a four-bar Nachspiel). But that is only the ‘A’ section of an immense da capo structure. The ‘B’ section starts out with the advantage tilted in favour of the ‘raging serpent, the infernal dragon’ – another seventeen bars of ‘furious vengeance’ dominated by the choir. As the singers catch their breath again, the orchestra advances the story, ending with a tell-tale hemiola revealing this to be the turning-point in the battle. Back come the choir, on their own now and in block harmony while the continuo rumbles on, to announce Michael’s victory. But it doesn’t end there: for the next twenty-five bars Bach shakes his kaleidoscope to give us a gleeful account of the final moments of the battle, the repulse of Satan’s last attack by Michael’s inner guard and a lurid portrayal of Satan’s cruelty – a slow, screeching chromatic descent in the sopranos – before the whole battle is relived again from the beginning.


O EWIGKEIT, DU DONNERWORT BWV 20

BWV 20 Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort opens with an elaborate choral fantasia fitted over a French overture. Three oboes confront the string band: each group hammers out a whole bar’s worth of semiquavers, suggesting a heart thumping terror. The rising melodic cantus firmus (‘O Ewigkeit’) doubled by the martial (almost apocalyptic) tromba da tirarsi carries the lower three voices in its wake up to a top F, before they splinter off in the double-dotted style of the instruments (‘du Donnerwort’). In the vivace the oboes and strings join together to present a double fugue, the second of which descends chromatically, appropriate to the text ‘With my great grief, I do not know which way I should turn’. The lower voices are now more detached from the tune, containing several powerful cross-accents and a huge upward sweep for the basses on ‘Traurigkeit’ (grief). The tenor prolongs the mood of torment (2–3 Mvt) – ‘as Jesus says, there is no redemption from agony’ – ramming home the themes of anxiety, pain, hell and the quaking heart. Bach uses a varied thematic armoury: long notes and undulating quavers to suggest eternity, chains of appoggiaturas stretched over tortuous figurations to suggest fear, wild runs for flames and burning, broken fragments, chromatic and syncopated, for the quaking heart. The mood of the bass recitative and aria (4–5 Mvt) seems to jar horribly. Have we been conned by all the earlier fire and brimstone? Or was it a deliberate ploy to dissipate the gloom,

offering a glimmer of hope to the now-battered Christian soul? Dietrich Henschel suggested that Bach’s purpose here is to insist that there really was ‘kein Problem’: all that is required is for the believer simply to trust in God. You can almost see him sitting back in his chair, favourite pipe in mouth, blowing smoke circles contentedly. If so, the reprieve is only temporary. The strange sequel, an aria (6th Mvt) in triple time for alto and strings, ‘O mankind, save your soul’, is presented with extravagant rhythmic dislocation, no doubt representative of ‘Satan’s slavery’, A pessimistic, even nihilistic chorale stanza (7th Mvt) closes Part I: ‘Torment shall never cease’. What did the preacher use as his sermon text? Perhaps the call to the lost sheep to throw off the sleep of sin, the subject of the superb bass aria in C major for trumpet and strings (8th Mvt) which opens Part II, Bach’s answer to Handel’s ‘The trumpet shall sound’ from Messiah. It is immensely taxing both for singer and trumpeter, requiring technical control and dramatic delivery. The alto soloist now launches into a threatening tirade against the carnal world, which leads to an alto/tenor duet with continuo only, made up of successions of six chords over a disjointed quaver line, evoking the horrors awaiting those who lust after riches on earth. Only the final chorale, this time ending with a plea to God to be taken from life’s torments and temptations and the ghoulish spectre of eternity, brings a glimmer of hope to this technicoloured cantata.


O EWIGES FEUER, O URSPRUNG DER LIEBE

BWV 34

BWV 34 O Ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe began life as a wedding cantata whose references to ‘heavenly flames’ enabled Bach to re-adapt it easily as a cantata for Whitsun. Despite its origins this is a superb work from start to finish, and one in which Bach’s use of trumpets and drums is markedly different from that in the other Whitsun cantatas. In the opening chorus the timpani trills crackle with fiery energy and the trumpets build up a storm. But then Bach releases the pent-up energy with a wonderfully frivolous descending arpeggio in the first trumpet. The chorus enters, the basses holding a top D for most of five bars to symbolise the ‘eternal’, the other three parts aglitter with ‘fiery’ embellishments. For the ‘source of love’ Bach superimposes two serene, intertwining lyrical lines over a ‘sprung’, articulated bass line. Then the trumpets and drums return, precipitating a cross-beat homophonic passage for the choir. A brief, high-lying tenor recitative (2nd Mvt) leads to an exquisite pastoral tableau, an

alto aria with muted strings and two flutes – ‘Happy are you, you chosen souls’. An innocuous-sounding bass recitative (4th Mvt) catches fire at the words ‘The Lord pronounces on His hallowed house/these words of blessing’. Like some Old Testament prophet the bass enjoins the whole ensemble to declaim verse 6 of Psalm 128, ‘Peace upon Israel’, in two slow bars reminiscent of and equivalent in grandeur to the opening exordium to the B minor Mass. Abruptly a typhoon of an orchestral finale is unleashed with off-beat D major scales, drawing the chorus to follow in its wake with ‘thanks to the Almighty’s wondrous hands’. There is an extended stretch of thrilling orchestral writing before the choir returns to the ‘Peace upon Israel’ theme, this time within the Allegro pulse, with a final shout of joy from the sopranos on a top B bringing this irresistible Whit Sunday cantata to a glorious conclusion.


SCHWINGT FREUDIG EUCH EMPOR

BWV 36

There is a certain logic to recycling a particularly fine secular birthday cantata to serve as the opening cantata of the liturgical year – and that is just what Bach did in BWV 36 Schwingt freudig euch empor, first as a five-movement work and then in this double-decker form in eight movements, first performed on 2 December 1731. Its opening movement is best described, perhaps, as a spiritual madrigal – capricious, light-textured and deeply satisfying once all its virtuosic technical demands have been met: those tricky runs, divisions and chromatic intervals in all voices, and the chains of triplet figuration in the unison oboes d’amore and first violins. In its final state this much-revised cantata is structurally unusual in the way its opening chorus and three fine arias are separated not by recitatives but by chorale stanzas. The first is a duet for soprano and alto doubled by oboes d’amore, with continuo. The gentle, triple-time aria for tenor with oboe d’amore obbligato (3rd Mvt) makes play with the popular conceit of the soul (bride) and Jesus (bride - groom), and the delight of the one at the appearance of the other.

One might have expected Bach to assign the next aria to a soprano, since he pursues the theme of the soul as bride, but he has other ideas. It is the bass soloist who gets this spirited aria (5th Mvt) with its echoes of the first movement and its highly sophisticated (but totally un-pedantic) elaboration and avoidance of a regular da capo structure. Luther’s sixth stanza, dealing with the sins of the flesh and Christ’s mission to redeem humankind, is embedded in a flurry of semiquavers marked molt’ allegro, in effect a trio sonata movement for the two oboes d’amore with continuo. In a berceuse of pure enchantment, the final aria is for soprano proclaiming the way God’s majesty can be celebrated even with ‘subdued, weak voices’, and is accompanied, appropriately, by a muted violin. If it were not for a passing similarity to the echo aria ‘Flößt, mein Heiland’ from the Christmas Oratorio, one would be tempted to describe this aria as unique in Bach’s cantata output, not least in its tender lyricism, its confidential exchanges and playful interweaving of violin and voice, a technique that springs from much older dialoguing, Michael Praetorius’s Zwiegesängen. The final chorale is the eighth of Luther’s stanzas, a sturdy public proclamation of praise.


NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND BWV 61

BWV 61 Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, composed in Weimar in 1714, is based on the favourite Advent chorale of the time, Luther’s 1524 transformation of the Ambrosian Advent hymn ‘Veni redemptor gentium’. It has a dark, imposing character, one that Bach reinforces – or softens – through his inventive variety of treatments. In the opening chorus, Bach superimposes the old medieval chant on top of the most avant-garde music he then knew, the French overture of Louis XIV’s monopolistic court composer, Lully, and thereby brings just the right flavour of majesty, awe and expectation to this first day in the liturgical calendar. The tenor concertist next celebrates the colossal benefits to humankind of Jesus taking on human flesh, first in recitative and in arioso, through imitative intertwining with the continuo (2nd Mvt), and then in a lyrical 9/8 aria with a three-part meshing of voice, continuo and upper strings, entreating Jesus to enter His church and to instigate a ‘blessed New Year’. At the midway point of this cantata there is a switch from the external properties of Advent (Christ’s arrival on earth) to the internal (His entering into the soul of the individual believer via

the sacrament). Christ stands at the door of the soul and knocks (4th Mvt). Measured pizzicato chords create a mysterious and hugely evocative backdrop to Christ’s request to be admitted to the believer’s dwelling and to share his evening meal. The pattern of increasing intimacy with God, the internalisation of the Word via the sacrament (Kanzel – Altar – Abendmahl), is mirrored by Bach in a pattern of decreasing instrumentation, so that the soprano’s touching response to Jesus’s words in the 5th movement is confined to just basso continuo. The cantata ends rather abruptly, not with a four-part chorale harmonisation but with the final stanza of Philipp Nicolai’s hymn ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern’. In its fourteen bars Bach requires the violins to climb three octaves to convey the extent of the soul’s longing (‘Verlangen’) for the joys of a future life and the prospect of Jesus returning at the end of time. The reference here to the ‘beautiful crown of peace’ can perhaps be linked in Bach’s iconography with the way his own initials are intertwined with their mirror image and surmounted by a crown in the famous monogram that appears on the beautiful glass goblet that was presented to him in the mid- 1730s.


WACHET! BETET! BETET! WACHET! BWV 70

BWV 70 Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! has survived in the musical form of the expansion that Bach made for performance in Leipzig on 21 November 1723 (26th Sunday after Trinity). The original cantata was a shorter, six-movement Advent piece composed seven years earlier in Weimar (BWV 70a), of which only three upper string parts survive. No damage was done in the process to Salomo Franck’s libretto since the underlying theme of both Sundays (the coming of Christ and the Last Judgement) is virtually the same at this pivotal point in the year, the ‘old’ year referring to the time of Israel and the ‘new’ to the time of Christ’s life on earth. Franck and Bach together lay great emphasis on the juxtaposition between linear, human time and God’s eternal, immutable time. Through the addition of a second chorale and four recitatives (two secco, two accompagnato) paraphrasing the Gospel (Matthew 25:31–46), their original cantata now becomes a two-part work concerned with the opposition between destruction and restoration. Bach attempts the impossible: to overcome the sequential way in which musical (and therefore human) time unfolds by suggesting ways in which it is subordinate to, and subsumed within, God’s eternal time. The result is a unique fusion of prodigious music from two of his most fertile periods of cantata composition, those groundbreaking bursts he made in 1716 and 1723. One could pretend to

notice the stylistic joins between the two versions and styles, but that would be disingenuous. In fact what is so impressive here is the convincing and dramatic way the first accompagnato erupts out of the opening chorus (Weimar) and how the equally dramatic proclamation of the Last Judgement is stitched so seamlessly on to the soothing aria. What strikes me most about the following accompagnato (2nd Mvt) for bass soloist, strings, oboe and trumpet, and its twin (9th Mvt), is the operatic punch they both pack. Beginning with repeated semiquavers hammered out in Monteverdi’s stile concitato (literally the ‘excited style’), they anticipate by many years the supremely operatic outbursts of two of Handel’s most formidable heroines, Dejanira the unhinged wife in Hercules (1745) (‘Where shall I fly?’) and Storge the outraged mother in Jephtha (1752) (‘First perish thou!’). But it is not merely their full-throttle openings that link these great scenas to Bach’s cantata: Bach is a match here for Handel in his powerful vocal declamation, the fine gradations of mood and the vividly supportive orchestral accompaniment he invents to portray the cataclysmic destruction of the world and, finally, the seraphic transition (from recitative to the bass aria) as Jesus guides the believer to complete ‘stillness, to that place of abundant joy’ (‘zur Stille, an den Ort, da Lust die Fülle’).


JESU, DER DU MEINE SEELE BWV 78

BWV 78 Jesu, der du meine Seele opens with an immense choral lament in G minor, a musical frieze on a par with the preludes to both the surviving Passions for scale, intensity and power of expression. It is cast as a passacaglia on a chromatically descending ostinato. Here the persistence of the chromatic ground is even more pronounced, sung by the basses at every appearance of the chorale. Just where you might expect the three lower voices to give respectful accompaniment to the cantus firmus, Bach gives them an unusual prominence: mediating between passacaglia and chorale, preparing and interpreting the chorale text in the way that the preacher of the sermon might do. Indeed, such is the power of exegesis here, one questions whether Bach was yet again stealing the preacher’s thunder (inadvertently?) by the brilliance of his musical oratory. At all events it is one of those opening cantata movements in which you hang on every beat of every bar in a concentrated, almost desperate attempt to dig out every last morsel of musical value from the notes as they unfold. Not in one’s wildest dreams could one envisage a more abrupt contrast than that between this noble opening chorus and the delicious, almost irreverently frivolous soprano/alto duet that

follows. Bach’s wizardry obliges you to nod in assent – or tap your foot – to the plea ‘may Thy gracious countenance smile upon us’. He never wrote more smile inducing music! Redemption lies through the shedding of Christ’s blood, and, in the aria with flute obbligato (4th Mvt), the tenor claims confidently that though ‘all hell should call me to the fight, Jesus will stand beside me that I may take heart and win the day’. We might expect a trumpet, or at the very least the full string band, to evoke this battle with hell, but Bach is in subtle mode here. The last pair of movements, prior to the final chorale, are for bass. First there is an accompagnato which begins as a meditation on the agony of the Cross and, as it develops and changes speed, on submission to Christ’s will as a result of his redemptive sacrifice. Passion in a Bach performance is a rare commodity in today’s climate of clean musicological respectfulness and textual fidelity, but by its absence it jars with the miracle of Bach drawing on all his technical expertise, his mastery of structure, harmony and counterpoint and imbuing them with such vehemence, meaning and – exactly that – passion.


JESUS SCHLÄFT, WAS SOLL ICH HOFFEN? BWV 81

This amazing work, first performed in Leipzig on 30 January 1724 is one of only a handful of cantatas in which Bach seizes on a dramatic incident from the Gospel of the day – here Matthew’s account of Jesus calming the violent storm on Lake Galilee which threatens to capsize the boat in which he and his disciples are sailing – and makes it the basis of a metaphor pertinent to the Christians of his day: life as a sea voyage.

Suddenly the storm bursts. It is astonishing what a vivid scene Bach can create from a simple 3/8 allegro in G major just for strings. A continuous spume of violent demisemiquavers in the first violins set against a thudding pulsation in the other instruments reaches ear-splitting cracks on the 7/6/4/2 flat chords to convey the rage of ‘Belial’s waters’ beating against the tiny vessel.

Jesus’ sleep on board ship is the initial backdrop to an eerie meditation on the terrors of abandonment in a godless world – cue for a pair of old-fashioned recorders (so often associated in Bach’s music with contemplations of death as well as sleep) to be added to the string band. Nor is it a surprise that Bach gives this opening aria to an alto, the voice he regularly turned to for expressions of contrition, fear and lamenting. Life without Jesus (his soporific silence lasts all the way through the first three numbers) causes his disciples and later generations acute anguish and a sense of alienation which comes to the surface in the tenor recitative (2nd Mvt) with dislocated, dissonant harmonies.

A tropological interpretation of this biblical event was, one would have hoped, sufficient justification for Bach’s brilliantly inventive and, yes, dramatic treatment, and a foretaste of his St John Passion, whose premiere lay just over two months away. But we can be sure that it would have ruffled the feathers of Leipzig councilmen like Dr Steger who, nine months earlier, had voted for Bach as Cantor with the implied proviso ‘that he should make compositions that were not theatrical’.


NIMM VON UNS HERR, DU TREUER GOTT BWV 101

For BWV 101 Nimm von uns Herr, du treuer Gott, Bach and his librettist managed to squeeze in a single passing reference to Leipzig (2nd Mvt), but for the rest it is based squarely on the primary hymn for this Sunday, one by Martin Moller (still conceptually related to the Gospel) written during a time of plague in 1584 and sung to the melody of Luther’s German version of the Lord’s Prayer. The relentlessness of Luther’s ‘Vater unser’, and the way the chorale is a strong audible presence in all but one of the movements of this cantata, including the recitatives, is matched in the opening movement by Bach’s use of yet another of Luther’s hymns as the thematic basis for his chorale fantasia, one associated in the congregation’s mind with the Ten Commandments (‘Dies sind die heil’gen zehn Gebot’). Clearly, the wages of sin, the overwhelming power of retribution visited upon those tempted to stray from the Lord’s path, prompted Bach to subject his first listeners to a twin-barrelled doctrinal salvo and to compose what Robert Levin described to me as ‘the most crushing work of Bach’s career’.

It starts out ruminatively with an independent bass line supporting a trio of oboes exchanging the ‘Ten Commandments’ theme with the upper strings. But before long we are given sharply accentuated dissonances over a dominant pedal, the first in a succession of hammer blows which convey the ‘schwere Straf und große Not’ (‘grave punishment and great distress’) of the text. They contribute to the unsettling mood of this extraordinary tone poem, at once so archaic-sounding in the doubling of the voice parts by old-fashioned cornett and trombones, as though Bach were intent on reconnecting to Luther’s time, and yet modern in the way, for example, that the wrenching harmonies only begin to make sense as passing events in contrapuntal terms at a specific tempo, or Bach’s use of a seven-part orchestral texture which he then expands to eleven real parts.


IHR WERDET WEINEN UND HEULEN BWV 103

BWV 103 Ihr werdet weinen und heulen opens with a glittering fantasia for a concertante violin doubling a ‘sixth flute’ – a soprano recorder in D. These are pitted against a pair of oboes d’amore and the string band, engaging in apparently festive dialogue. Only with the entry of the four vocal concertisten to an angular fugal theme (comprising an augmented second and an upwards seventh) do we realise that we have been caught unawares: the festive instrumental theme represents not the disciples’ joy at Christ’s resurrection but the sceptics’ riotous laughter at their discomfort – hence the malicious cackles of the high recorder. A more conventional approach might have been to leave the antithesis of the two opening clauses intact with, say, a gloomladen slow movement (as in BWV 12 and 146), followed by some form of chuckling scherzo. What Bach does is altogether

more astonishing. Anticipating by a century the Dankgesang of Beethoven’s A minor string quartet Op.132, his strategy is to superimpose these opposite moods, binding them in a mutually enlightening whole and emphasising that it is the same God who both dispenses and then ameliorates these conditions. The alto aria (3rd Mvt), with violin obbligato in F sharp minor, is an attempt to illustrate divine medical help dispensed to the repentant sinner. The tenor aria (5th Mvt) features one of those hair-raising trumpet parts in which, amid the prevailing mood of exuberant relief, the player is expected to produce several nonharmonic (i.e. technically impossible) notes to match the singer’s recall of ‘betrübte Sinnen’ (‘troubled feelings’).


UNSER MUND SEI VOLL LACHENS BWV 110

The most festive and brilliant of Bach’s Christmas Day cantatas in his third, BWV 110, Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, composed in 1725. Its opening movement is identical to that of the overture to the Orchestral Suite No.4 in D, BWV 1069, with the addition of a pair of flutes to the first oboe line. Here he takes its French overture structure (slow - quick - slow) and uses the ceremonial outer sections to frame the fast fugal statement, but with a fourpart chorus newly worked into the instrumental fabric. As a paraphrase of psalm 126 the piece emerges new-minted, alive with unexpected sonorities and a marvellous rendition of laughter-in-music, so different from the stiff, earnest way it is often played as orchestral music. When they are suddenly

doubled, as here, by voices singing of laughter, instrumentalists have to re-think familiar lines and phrasing. Reciprocally, the singers need to adjust to the instrumental conventions of a French overture. To an existing structure with an already implied antiphony between separate instrumental groups Bach was later keen to add differentiated concertante effects. For one of the cantata’s revivals (in either 1728 or 1731) he wrote out new ripieno parts for the upper three lines (the bass part is lost) so as to reinforce the contrast between solo and tutti sections. The whole piece has an irresistible swagger, saved from degenerating into a peasant stomp by its elegance and lightness of touch.


WACHET AUF, RUFT UNS DIE STIMME BWV 140

BWV 140 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, first performed in Leipzig on 25 November 1731 is the most famous and enduring of all the church cantatas. The festive, expectant mood that he creates in his opening chorus is probably stronger and more palpable than any other piece in this tour. If anyone in the posh world of classical music ever doubted that J S Bach could also be considered the father of jazz, here is the proof. With its Gregorian origins, Philipp Nicolai’s popular tune and poem (1599) form the bedrock of Bach’s invention. The way that Bach hoists the whole tessitura of his forces in the second phrase is thrilling, an optimistic gesture guaranteed, you would think, to lift the faint-hearted out of their mid-winter blues. The mood returns in the other two chorale settings, the tenors’ ‘Zion hört die Wächter singen’ (4th Mvt), with its beguiling violin/ viola obbligato (with hints of the watchman’s joy and a constant

toying with one’s expectations of downbeat/half-bar emphasis) and the plain but gorgeously satisfying final chorale, ‘Gloria sei dir gesungen’. Flanked by these public, pillar-like outbursts are two fine recitatives, one secco for tenor, the other an accompagnato for bass, and two intimate duets for soprano and baritone drawing heavily on references to The Song of Solomon. The first of these is a slow siciliano in which the flickering of lamps ‘lit with burning oil’ finds perfect illustration in the arabesques of the violino piccolo. A rich tradition of similarly sensual musical allegories, including fine examples by Bach’s own cousin, Johann Christoph, stands behind this ravishing number. The second duet (6th Mvt), with its oboe obbligato, has a jauntier air. To reflect the union of bride and bridegroom Bach has no compunction in stealing the clothes of contemporary operatic love duets in his use of chains of suspensions and parallel thirds and sixths.


BACH CANTATA RING | LEIPZIG In June, the Leipzig Bach Festival will welcome audiences from around the world to sample some of Bach’s greatest cantatas in his Leipzig churches by internationally renowned interpreters of his music. The initial idea for the Leipzig Ring of Cantatas came from John Eliot Gardiner, president of the Bach Archiv who envisaged performing 30 sacred cantatas, across nine concerts during one weekend, alternating between the churches of St Thomas and St Nicholas and arranged by the position of each cantata within the liturgical year – from the first Sunday of Advent to the 27th Sunday after Trinity Sunday.


As conductor, John Eliot Gardiner will appear with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, and will be joined by Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Masaaki Suzuki with the Bach Collegium Japan, and the Gaechinger Cantorey with their new director Hans-Christoph Rademann. Completing the line-up will be Bach’s own choir, the Thomanerchor with the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Thomaskantor Gotthold Schwarz. For this special event John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras have curated 3 concerts that will include a selection of Bach’s most popular cantatas, alongside motets by other composers chosen to bring to life the message of each cantata. BARBICAN BACH WEEKEND, 15–17 JUNE Immediately following the Leipzig Cantata Ring comes the chance to enjoy the same 3-cantata concert series at London’s Barbican Centre as part of their Bach Weekend. Tickets for these performances are available from the Barbican box office at www.barbican.org.uk or by calling +44 (0)20 7638 8891.

Programme 1 - Advent to Christmas BWV 61: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland Jacobus Gallus: Jerusalem gaude gaudio (motet) BWV 36: Schwingt freudig euch empor BWV 70: Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! Schütz: Ach Herr, du Schöpfer aller Ding, SWV 450 (motet) BWV 110: Unser Mund sei voll Lachens Programme 2 - Easter to Trinity BWV 12: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen Marenzio: Jubilate Deo (motet) BWV 103: Ihr werdet weinen und heulen Sartorius: Veni creator spiritus; Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist (canons) BWV 34: O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe G. Gabrieli: Timor et tremor (motet) BWV 20: O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort Programme 3 - St Michael to late Trinity BWV 19: Es erhub sich ein Streit Buxtehude: Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott (cantata) BWV 101: Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott BWV 78: Jesu, der du meine Seele Schein: Freue dich des Weibes deiner Jugend (motet) BWV 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme


D-LEb Thomana 20

D-LEb Thomana 20

Soprano - Sopran: (Schreiber: J. A: Kuhnau)

Soprano - Sopran: (Schreiber: J. A: Kuhnau)

BachDigitalSource_source_00003226

BachDigitalSource_source_00003226 Seite 1

Extract of the Soprano part-book for BWV 20 (Scribe: J. A: Kuhnau) Courtesy of Bach-Archiv Leipzig

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D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 120 3. Aria - 3. Aria, fol. 2v, m. 1-23a

3. Aria - 3. Aria, fol. 3r, m. 23b-55

Extract of the orchestral score of BWV 81 (Scribe: J. A: Kuhnau) Courtesy of Bach-Archiv Leipzig


MONTEVERDI CHOIR Soprano Mary Bevan* Hana Blažíková* Julia Doyle* Amy Carson† Angela Hicks† Charlotte Ashley Zoë Brookshaw Angharad Rowlands Gwendolen Martin Alto Reginald Mobley* Sarah Denbee† Emma Lewis† Simon Ponsford Matthew Venner * Guest

soloists Consort soloists

Tenor Ruairi Bowen† Hugo Hymas† Graham Neal† Gareth Treseder† Thomas Herford Bass Matthew Brook* Peter Harvey* Dietrich Henschel* Alex Ashworth† Samuel Pantcheff † Daniel D’Souza


ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS Violin 1 Kati Debretzeni Iona Davies Madeleine Easton Jane Gordon Davina Clarke

Double bass Valerie Botwright

Violin 2 Alison Bury Henrietta Wayne Jean Paterson Hรฅkan Wikstrรถm

Oboe Michael Niesemann Rachel Chaplin Mark Baigent Robert de Bree

Viola Fanny Paccoud Monika Grimm Lisa Cochrane Malgorzata Ziemkiewicz Aliye Cornish

Bassoon Gyรถrgyi Farkas

Timpani Robert Kendell

Horn Anneke Scott

Keyboards James Johnstone Antonio Greco

Cello Marco Frezzato Catherine Rimer

Flute/Recorder Rachel Beckett Christine Garratt

Trumpet / Tromba da Tirarsi Neil Brough

Trumpet Robert Vanryne Michael Harrison Simon Gabriel Cornett Richard Thomas Trombone Adam Woolf Miguel Tantos Sevillano Christian Jones


JOHN ELIOT GARDINER


Sir John Eliot Gardiner is founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique; his work with these ensembles has marked him out as a pioneer of historically informed performances.

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s a regular guest of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Gardiner conducts repertoire from the 17th to the 20th century. He was awarded the Concertgebouw Prize in January 2016. The extent of Gardiner’s repertoire is illustrated in the extensive catalogue of award-winning recordings with his own ensembles and leading orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, on major labels (including Decca, Philips, Erato and 30 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon), as wide-ranging as Mozart, Schumann, Berlioz, Elgar and Kurt Weill, in addition to works by Renaissance and Baroque composers. Since 2005 the Monteverdi ensembles have recorded on their independent label, Soli Deo Gloria, established to release the live recordings made during Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, for which he received Gramophone’s 2011 Special Achievement Award and a Diapason d’or de l’année in 2012. His many recording accolades include two GRAMMY awards and he has received more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist. Gardiner has also conducted opera productions; at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at the Vienna State Opera and at Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

From 1983 to 1988 he was artistic director of Opéra de Lyon, where he founded its new orchestra. Following the success in 2008 of Verdi Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House, Gardiner returned there in 2012 to conduct Verdi Rigoletto, and in 2013 Mozart Le nozze di Figaro, to coincide with the 40th anniversary since his ROH debut. In autumn 2015, he returned to ROH to conduct Gluck Orphée et Eurydice, with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, co-directed by Hofesh Shechter and John Fulljames. An authority on the music of J S Bach, Gardiner’s book, Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, was published in October 2013 by Allen Lane, leading to the Prix des Muses award (Singer-Polignac). Among numerous awards in recognition of his work, Sir John Eliot Gardiner holds several honorary doctorates. He was awarded a knighthood for his services to music in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. More recently Gardiner and the Monteverdi ensembles celebrated the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth with staged performances of his three surviving operas across Europe and in the USA. Recordings in 2017 included two Bach releases with SDG, Magnificat in E Flat and St Matthew Passion, and Mendelssohn Symphony No 2 (Lobgesang) with the LSO.


MONTEVERDI CHOIR


Founded by Sir John Eliot Gardiner in 1964, the Monteverdi Choir has always focused on bringing a new perspective to its repertoire. With a combination of consummate choral technique and historically-informed performance practice, its real difference as an ensemble lies in its ability to go beyond the music, seeking to make the visual impact of its performance enhance the experience, even exploiting the venues themselves in the search for immediacy and drama. This approach has led the Monteverdi Choir to be consistently acclaimed over the past 50 years as one of the best choirs in the world.

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mongst a number of trailblazing tours was the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, during which the Choir performed all 198 of JS Bach’s sacred cantatas in more than 60 churches throughout Europe and the US. The entire project, recorded by the company’s record label Soli Deo Gloria was hailed as ‘one of the most ambitious musical projects of all time’ by Gramophone magazine. The Monteverdi Choir has over 150 recordings to its name and has won numerous prizes. The Choir is also committed to training future generations of singers through the Monteverdi Apprentices Programme. Many Apprentices go on to become full members of the Choir, and former Choir members have also gone on to enjoy successful solo careers. The Choir has also participated in several staged opera productions, including Der Freischütz (2010), Carmen (2009) at the Opéra Comique in Paris, and Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet. In 2015, the Choir performed Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at

the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, working in collaboration with the Hofesh Shechter dance company. In addition, the Choir has taken part in a variety of projects across different repertoires – from an extensive tour of Bach St Matthew Passion (performed from memory) with the English Baroque Soloists to Berlioz Roméo et Juliette at the BBC Proms and Festival Berlioz with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner they have also collaborated with both the London Symphony Orchestra on Mendelssohn Ein Sommernachtstraum and the Tonhalle Orchestra on Janáček Glagolitic Mass. Most recent achievements include the acclaimed Monteverdi 450 trilogy tour which saw them perform all three of Monteverdi’s surviving operas across Europe and in the US. Along with recordings of Mendelssohn Symphony No 2 (Lobgesang) with LSO and Bach Magnificat in E Flat alongside the English Baroque Soloists.


ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS


The English Baroque Soloists have long been established as one of the world’s leading period instrument orchestras. Throughout their repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to Mozart and Haydn, they are equally at home in chamber, symphonic and operatic performances and the distinctive sound of their warm and incisive playing is instantly recognisable.

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he ensemble has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Sydney Opera House. During the course of the 1990s they performed Mozart’s seven mature operas and recorded all of his piano concertos and mature symphonies. The English Baroque Soloists are regularly involved in joint projects with the Monteverdi Choir, with whom they famously took part in the iconic Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, performing all of Bach’s sacred cantatas throughout Europe and the US. They also toured Gluck Orphée et Eurydice to Hamburg and Versailles, following a staged production at the Royal

Opera House, Covent Garden, in collaboration with the Hofesh Shechter dance company. In 2016 they were involved in several tours, including performances of Bach Magnificat in E flat, Lutheran Mass in F major, and Cantata ‘Süßer Trost’ with the Monteverdi Choir in venues around Europe, and Bach St Matthew Passion as well as a mixed programme of Mozart Symphonies 39-41, Requiem and Great Mass in C Minor. Most recently they have taken part in the Monteverdi 450 trilogy tour which saw them perform all three of Monteverdi’s surviving operas across Europe and in the USA. They have also released two Bach recordings on the SDG label, St Matthew Passion and Magnificat in E flat.


Praised by Opera magazine for her “dramatic wit and vocal control” in stand out performances on opera and concert platforms, Mary Bevan is a winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent in music.

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MARY BEVAN SOPRANO

n the 2017/18 season, Bevan debuts at the Teatro Real in Madrid as Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene, and sings the title role in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera Coraline for the Royal Opera House at the Barbican Theatre. In concert, Bevan will join the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as Mary in Sally Beamish’s The Judas Passion in the UK and on tour in the United States; sing Bach Christmas Oratorio on tour in Australia with the Choir of London and Australian Chamber Orchestra; and Handel Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music.

Bevan can be heard in such recent recordings as Handel in Italy with London Early Opera (Signum), Handel The Triumph of Time and Truth and Ode for St Cecilia’s Day with Ludus Baroque (Delphian), Ludwig Thuille songs with Joseph Middleton, and Mendelssohn complete songs with Malcolm Martineau (Champs Hill). Her solo disc with pianist Joseph Middleton is due for release in 2017. Bevan trained at the Royal Academy Opera, and read AngloSaxon Norse and Celtic at Trinity College, Cambridge. She is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.


Born in Prague, as a child Hana Blažíková sang in Radost Praha choir and played violin. Later she turned to solo singing. In 2002 she graduated from the Prague Conservatory in the class of Jiří Kotouč and later studied with Poppy Holden, Peter Kooij, Monika Mauch and Howard Crook.

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oday Hana specialises in the interpretation of baroque, renaissance and medieval music, performing with ensembles and orchestras around the world, including Collegium Vocale Gent, Bach Collegium Japan, Sette Voci, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, L’Arpeggiata, Gli Angeli Genève, La Fenice, Nederlandse Bachvereniging, Tafelmusik, Collegium 1704, Collegium Marianum, Musica Florea, L’Armonia Sonora amongst others. She has performed at many world festivals, including Edinburgh International festival, Oude Muziek Utrecht, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Resonanzen, Festival de Sablé, Festival de la Chaise-Dieu, Arts Festival Hong-Kong, Chopin i jego Europa, Bachfest Leipzig, Concentus Moraviae, Summer Festivities of Early Music, and Festival de Saintes.

In 2010 and 2013 she took part in the Bach St Matthew Passion tour under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, in 2011 she made her debut at Carnegie Hall with Masaaki Suzuki’s Bach Collegium and performed Bach St John Passion with Boston Symphony Orchestra. In November 2014 she participated in the stage production Orfeo Chaman with L’Arpeggiata in Bogota. Hana appears on more than 30 CDs, including the well-known series of Bach´s cantatas with Bach Collegium Japan. She also plays gothic and romanesque harp and is a member of Tiburtina Ensemble, which specialises in the Gregorian chant and early medieval polyphony. Hana returns to perform with the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras following her portrayals of La Musica/Euridice (L’Orfeo) and Poppea/Fortuna (L’incoronazione di Poppea) during last year’s Monteverdi 450 celebrations.

HANA BLAŽÍKOVÁ SOPRANO


Born and educated in Lancaster, Julia read Social and Political Sciences alongside a Choral Scholarship at Cambridge. She made her professional débuts singing Messiah with The King’s Consort at the Cadogan Hall and with the Britten Sinfonia / Polyphony at St John’s Smith Square and continues strong relationships with both. Since then she has performed all over the world and become established as a specialist soprano in Baroque repertoire.

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he has worked with conductors including Frieder Bernius, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Matthew Halls, Philippe Hereweghe, Richard Tognetti, Alfredo Bernadini, Györgi Vashegyi, Robert King, Nicholas Kraemer, Juanjo Mena, Sir Roger Norrington, Arsys Bourgogne, Gianandrea Noseda and Trevor Pinnock.

JULIA DOYLE SOPRANO

Highlights include performances with the BBC Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic, RTE Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Handel Orchestra, The English Concert, The King’s Consort, City of London Choir, London Bach Society, Retrospect Ensemble, OAE, The Sixteen, Collegium Vocale, Netherlands Bach Society,

Le Concert Lorrain, Bayerische Rundfunk, Kammerchor Stuttgart, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Seville Baroque Orchestra, B’Rock, J.S. Bach Stiftung, Tafelmusik, Music of the Baroque and at the Wigmore Hall, London and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Recent and future engagements include Mozart Mass in C Minor in Toronto, Vivaldi Juditha Triumphans at the Concertgebouw, Palace of Versailles and Theater an der Wien, Handel Aci, Galatea e Polifemo at Halle Handel Festival and recordings of Bach St John Passion with J.S. Bach Stiftung, a tour of Europe with The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Messiah with the Rias Kammerchor and Handel Occasional Oratorio with Bayerische Rundfunk.


Reginald Mobley is rapidly making a name for himself as soloist in Baroque, Classical, and modern repertoire with special focus on the works of Bach, Charpentier, Handel, Purcell, as well as other mainstays of the Baroque Period.

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eggie studied voice at the University of Florida with Jean Ronald LaFond, and Florida State University with Roy Delp and has since sung such works as Haydn’s Theresienmesse, Mozart’s Requiem, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has also performed the title role of Paris in the Florida premiere of John Eccles’s Judgment of Paris, under the direction of Anthony Rooley and Evelyn Tubb. A longtime member of the twice GRAMMY® nominated Miami based professional vocal ensemble, Seraphic Fire, Reggie has had the privilege also to lend his talents to other ensembles in the US and abroad, such as the Dartmouth Handel Society, Apollo’s Fire, Vox Early Music, Portland Baroque Orchestra, North Carolina Baroque Ensemble, Ensemble VIII, San Antonio Symphony, Early Music Vancouver and Symphony Nova Scotia under the direction of

Alexander Weimann, and the Oregon Bach Festival conducted by Matthew Halls. Reggie has a fair amount of nonclassical work under his belt including several musical theatre productions, most notable among which was the titular role in Rupert Holmes’ s Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Jacey Squires in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. In addition to his work in musical theatre, he has performed many cabaret shows, sets of jazz standards and torch songs at international venues. Reggie has been associated with Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras since 2016, performing Bach repertoire including St Matthew Passion and Magnifcat in E Flat in 2016 and a mixed programme of Bach/Schutz at the BBC Proms and Bachfest in 2017. The same year saw him play Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea for the US performances of the Monteverdi 450 trilogy.

REGINALD MOBLEY COUNTERTENOR


Matthew Brook has appeared widely as a soloist, and has worked extensively with conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Richard Hickox, Sir Charles Mackerras, Harry Christophers, Christophe Rousset, Paul McCreesh and Sir Mark Elder, and many ensembles including the Philharmonia, LSO, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the RPO, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists, the Gabrieli Consort & Players, the Sixteen, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Orchestre National de Lille.

R MATTHEW BROOK BASS BARITONE

ecent and future highlights include Haydn’s Creation with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Handel Messiah with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, Bach Magnificat and Brahms Triumphlied with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Il Re di Scozia Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart and on tour with the English Concert,

Bach B minor Mass at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut, Mozart’s Requiem with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, a tour of Bach cantatas with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging, a tour of Bach St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the roles of Herod and Father in Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.


Initially a student of French and German at Magdalen College, Oxford, Peter Harvey only later changed course to music, and a love of languages has always remained at the heart of his singing. On leaving university he went on to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, during which time he won prizes in numerous competitions, including the Walther Grüner International Lieder Competition, the English Song Award, and the Peter Pears Award.

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eter has made close to 150 recordings in repertoire spanning eight centuries, with an emphasis on the High Baroque. Along with works by Handel and Purcell he has recorded all the major vocal compositions of J.S. Bach and many of the cantatas with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe and Paul McCreesh. A fluent French speaker, Peter has recorded a great many works of the French Baroque including Rameau’s complete Grands Motets and the secular cantatas for bass voice. Recent and upcoming highlights include his debut at Royal Danish Opera as well as performances with Concerto

Copenhagen, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Gaechinger Cantorey, Freiburger Barockorchester, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Tafelmusik Toronto, Ensemble Pygmalion, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic , Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Nederlands Kamerorkest and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He has also appeared with The King’s Consort, Netherlands Bach Society, The Sixteen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

PETER HARVEY BASS BARITONE


OUR WORK Alongside our performance and project work, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras is committed to providing opportunities for professional development and education.

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e are passionately dedicated to nurturing future musical generations and sharing our specialist knowledge with emerging talent. This has been an integral part of our work for over five decades and remains a constant priority alongside our primary concert and recording activity. Our Monteverdi Apprentices Programme enables outstanding young musicians to spend an entire year training and performing with our three world-class ensembles, under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner. Participants perform and tour with the ensembles, take part in additional individual and group coaching sessions, and receive mentoring from our experienced musicians. In our management office, the Arts Management Training Programme offers graduates looking to build careers in arts administration a bridge between university and the professional world, in an innovative and supportive environment. Upon completion of the Training Programme, previous

trainees have gone on to secure positions with major arts organisations such as the Royal Opera House, Dance UK, Sage Gateshead, The Sixteen, Albion Media, The Agency Group, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. We are delighted to be sharing the wonderful music of our Bach Cantata Ring with students and young people from all over Europe and the UK, through open rehearsals, masterclasses and inspirational workshops: from the Liszt Academy in Budapest, to members of the Hertfordshire County Youth Choir and students from the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, we remain committed to ensuring that our music reaches the widest possible audience. At the heart of our long-term ambitions is a desire to expand our education and outreach work even further as we seek to inspire future generations of musicmakers through our world-class knowledge and expertise.


SUPPORT THE MONTEVERDI ENSEMBLES The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras is committed to producing work of the highest calibre and to sharing our distinctive performance practice with audiences around the world. Our supporters are a group of dedicated and discerning music lovers who take pride in the knowledge that their donations help us to achieve our artistic vision. As a registered charity without public subsidy, our benefactors are crucial to our work, helping us to produce top-quality performances, remunerate artists accordingly, nurture young talent, and consolidate the company’s ongoing sustainability. We value and welcome your support, and by joining us you will be making a direct contribution to the realisation of our artistic ambitions. Get involved in the following ways: MAKE A DONATION Donate directly to the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras and play your part in the creation of outstanding performances, inspirational education projects and developing the musicians of the future. BECOME A SUPPORTER By joining the membership scheme of the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras, not only are you helping to guarantee a sustainable future for our ensembles, but you are making a direct contribution to the breadth, depth and quality of our artistic output.

JOIN AS A CORPORATE PARTNER The Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras is a mark of excellence. We can tailor partnership packages to meet your business needs, including client and employee entertainment and international marketing opportunities. LEAVE A LEGACY By choosing to leave a legacy gift to Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras you’ll be playing a crucial role in securing the future of our three ensembles. JOIN OUR AMERICAN FRIENDS Our American donors have always played a valuable role in supporting the work of the Monteverdi ensembles worldwide. Become an American Friend by making a one- off donation or by joining the membership scheme. For further details please visit monteverdi.co.uk ‘The generosity of our supporters makes it possible for MCO to continue making music and offering a fertile training ground for young musicians in the years to come. Thank you.’ John Eliot Gardiner For more information, to make a donation, or to request a confidential conversation with our General Director, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7719 0120 or email us at development@monteverdi.org.uk. Additional information can be found on our website www.monteverdi.co.uk.


JOIN THE MONTEVERDI MEMBERSHIP SCHEME Each of our performances is comprised of a myriad constituent parts – not just the music we play, or the unique historical instruments that shape the unique sound of our ensembles, but everything from transport and accommodation to brochures, programmes, rehearsal spaces, language coaching, stage management – the list goes on. We are hugely reliant on the financial contributions of our supporters and that is why we so value our existing membership. By becoming a member of any level, you will be playing a crucial part in the creation of our unique brand of historically-informed musicmaking. To join us as a supporter or to renew an existing membership, or for more information, please call the Development Team on +44 (0)20 3197 9818 or email development@monteverdi.org.uk. Berlioz Membership £250-£999*, renewable annually • Priority ticket booking for selfpromoted concerts in the UK • Invitations to UK concert receptions • Acknowledgement of your donation on our website and in print where possible • Monthly Supporters’ Update emails

Brahms Membership

Bach Membership

£1,000-£2,999*, renewable annually

£5,000+*, renewable annually

• Priority ticket booking for all concerts in the UK • Invitations to UK concert receptions • Invitations to exclusive Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras events • Invitations to open rehearsals • Acknowledgement of your donation on our website and in print where possible • Monthly Supporters’ Update emails

• Priority ticket booking for all concerts in the UK • Invitations to UK concert receptions • Invitations to exclusive Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras events • Invitations to open rehearsals • Acknowledgement of your donation on our website and in print where possible • Monthly Supporters’ Update emails

Beethoven Membership £3,000-£4,999*, renewable annually • Priority ticket booking for all concerts in the UK • Invitations to UK concert receptions • Invitations to exclusive Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras events • Invitations to open rehearsals • Acknowledgement of your donation on our website and in print where possible • Monthly Supporters’ Update emails

GIFT A MEMBERSHIP If you have a friend or loved one who enjoys the work of the Monteverdi ensembles, then please consider gifting them with a year’s membership. Gift membership is available at all levels listed above. *The minimum payment required to purchase the benefits package for a Berlioz membership is £15, for a Brahms membership is £25, for a Beethoven membership is £100 and for a Bach membership is £150. Gift Aid provisions apply to the remaining suggested donation portion. You may purchase the benefits package separately without making any further donation. Please contact the Development Team for more information.


PATRONS & BENEFACTORS ROYAL PATRON HRH The Prince of Wales PRESIDENT Ian Hay Davison CBE BENEFACTORS Mr & Mrs Baha Bassatne William & Judith Bollinger Bette Jane Booth Michael L. Cioffi Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni Mrs Carol Colburn Grigor & Mr Murray Grigor Jill Jachera Patricia Kenneally London Women’s Clinic Foundation Monteverdi Tuscany, Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Italy Morgan Stanley One Medical Group Ivan & Emma Pearce-Molland Nicola Ramsden Judith McCartin Scheide Seneca Partners Lena Chang Sheeran John G. Turner & Jerry G. Fischer Sir David Walker Mr Bruno Wang Philip Wilbraham Winton Group


THE MONTEVERDI MEMBERSHIP SCHEME BACH MEMBERS Michael Beverley, DL David & Sandra Brierwood Mrs Julia Chappell Andrey Kidel William Lock Nicholas & Margo Snowman And those who wish to remain anonymous BEETHOVEN MEMBERS Lord Burns Peter & Stephanie Chapman Nick & Sarah Delfas Antony C. Shoults Stephen & Victoria Swift And those who wish to remain anonymous BRAHMS MEMBERS Mr Roy Blackwell, Mr Roger & Mrs Rosemary Chadder, Mr Kenneth & Mrs Diana Dent, Jake Donovan & Gracia Lafuente, Michael Estorick, Mr John & Mrs Felicity Fairbairn, Gordon Gullan, Mrs Jennifer Jones, Mr Duncan Matthews QC, Lady Nixon, Alessandro Orsaria, Miss Stephanie Plackett, Professor Richard Portes CBE FBA, David & Gillian Ritchie, Christian & Mytro Rochat, Rt Rev Dr David Stancliffe, Christopher Stewart, Dr Lourdes St George, Victor & Tina Vadaneaux And those who wish to remain anonymous

BERLIOZ MEMBERS Brian André & Peter Folstar, Geoffrey Barnett, Mary Bernard, Donald D. Campbell, Peter J. Chapman, Miss Vanessa Claypole, Anthony de Grey, Stephen & Melanie Edge, Joseph & Linda Fernandez, Flora Fraser, Donald J. Gorman, Doug & Mary Hawkins, János & Dietlinde Hidasi, George & Jenny Hill, Richard Jacques, Gareth Keene, Lydia Lau & Family, Li Peng Li, Richard Meredith, John Julius & Mollie Norwich, Andres Ortega & Veronica Uribe, Peter W. Parker, Mary Pinnell, David & Hilmary Quarmby, Dr Paul A. Sackin, Steven & Olivia Schaefer, Christopher J. H. Thornhill, Andrew Tusa, Andrew Wales, David Ward And those who wish to remain anonymous

CORPORATE PARTNERS Morgan Stanley Greensill Capital Limited Green Network Energy Ltd Intesa Sanpaolo TRUSTS AND FOUNDATIONS Dunard Fund The Fort Foundation The Scheide Fund The Vernon Ellis Foundation SUPPORTERS OF THE MONTEVERDI APPRENTICES PROGRAMME Geoffrey Barnett Mr Roger Chadder Heather Davies Ian Hay & Morny Davison Mr John & Mrs Felicity Fairbairn Keith Salway Mrs Helen Skinner The Ernest Cook Trust The Garrick Charitable Trust The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation IN MEMORIAM In memoriam John Baker In honour of William Barnaby In memoriam Lady Foley In memoriam Sir Ralph Kohn In memory of Kevin Lavery In celebration of Annette Pils In memory of Ruth Ziegler


AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE MONTEVERDI CHOIR & ORCHESTRAS, INC. CONDUCTOR’S CIRCLE - GOLD Michael L. Cioffi - Monteverdi Tuscany, Castiglioncello del Trinoro The Negaunee Foundation The Scheide Fund - The New York Community Trust CONDUCTOR’S CIRCLE - SILVER Laurie & Bill Benenson CONDUCTOR’S CIRCLE - BRONZE Jeffrey Calman Ferne Mele Stephen Rubin Christopher Stewart PATRONS Rodney & Jennifer Johnson Dr Laura Youens BENEFACTORS Kathryn Earley Christopher Laconi Neil Graham

FRIENDS Mr Frank Brown Dr Leslie Calman David Crosby Delphine Eberhart Francesca Hayslett Mr John Kelly Seth Levi Matthias Ohr & Shannon Coulter Mr David & Heidi Onkst John Strasswimmer IN MEMORIAM In honour of Bryan Lilly In memory of Dorothy Stuart

MCO MANAGEMENT Rosa Solinas General Director Martin Wheeler Finance & Administration Manager Matthew Broom Artistic Planning Manager Jonathan Broad Marketing & Communications Manager Emily Parker Tours & Choir Manager Tom Hansell Projects & Partnerships Coordinator James Halliday Artistic Advisor & Librarian Zoë Fabian Fundraising Executive Assistant Grace Ko Concerts & Projects Administrator Esther Kippax Office Assistant Conor O’Dwyer Marketing Trainee MCO BOARD Michael Beverley, DL (Chair) David Brierwood (Deputy Chair) David Best Virginia Fraser John Eliot Gardiner Joanne Merry Antony Peattie Nicola Ramsden Nicholas Snowman John Smyth


MONTEVERDI CHOIR AND ORCHESTRAS LIMITED Address: Level 12, 20 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 4AD, UK +44 (0)20 7719 0120 www.monteverdi.co.uk Find us on social media Registered charity 272279 Company registered in England & Wales 1277513

Bach cantata ring brochure  

Tour programme for our Bach Cantata Ring, 2018

Bach cantata ring brochure  

Tour programme for our Bach Cantata Ring, 2018

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