EMV Presents Bach Collegium Japan and Star Soprano
Joanne Lunn in Captivating Concert of Baroque Masterworks with – Bach, Handel, Vivaldi –
Internationally celebrated Baroque ensembles programme includes rarely heard works from composers who motivated and inspired J.S. Bach
Vancouver, BC – 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 shorter works by Conti, Marcello, and Telemann.
“We are extremely honoured to host Bach Collegium Japan’s first-ever performance in Vancouver,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of Early Music Vancouver. “This magnificent ensemble is one of the most important international advocates for Bach’s music played on period instruments. Their contributions to the world of historical performance are now legendary. Combining a meticulous precision with an obvious passion and energy, they represent the highest standard there is anywhere and I cannot wait for our audiences to hear them live.”
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.
ABOUT EARLY MUSIC VANCOUVER (earlymusic.bc.ca)
For close to 50 years, Early Music Vancouver (EMV) has dedicated itself to fostering an understanding and appreciation of musical treasures from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. Currently under the leadership of Matthew White – renowned countertenor and founding director of the Québec-based ensemble Les Voix Baroques – EMV continues to garner international acclaim as the largest presenter of early music in Canada, and as one of the most active and innovative organizations in its field in North America. EMV is proud of its educational outreach initiatives that include its popular annual summer festival at UBC’s School of Music; a new Baroque Mentorship Orchestra; community lectures; and instrument instruction and preservation.
Bach Collegium Japan – Bach, Handel, Vivaldi
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)
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1