Concert: Bach I – Evening
A musical journey into Johann Sebastian Bach’s incredible creativity! Get up-close-and-personal with some of baroque music’s most beloved instrumental works. Also at 5pm.
Johann Sebastian Bach – Suite no. 1 and Brandenburg Concerto no. 1
wcfsymphony’s recent acquisition of the beautiful 1970 Tom Pixton harpsichord featured on this performance was made possible by Black Hawk County Gaming Association and the estate of C. Hugh Pettersen.
We hope you enjoy our personal approach to program notes: insights from Jason into how and why pieces were selected, followed by notes and quotes from composers and artists about their work.
Introduction from Jason: Since I’ll be offering thoughts on Bach’s works as we perform them - and because there is notably little first-hand commentary on these works by their composer or other observers - we are going light on program notes for these concerts.
One notable aspect of our Bach performances will be the focus on this composer’s particular eagerness to ‘remix’ existing music, whether it be popular musical styles or even his own pieces. Let us know what you think at the afterparty (which features a soundtrack of contemporary remixes of Bach’s concertos and suites)!
Bach's dedication to the Margrave of Brandenburg: As I had a couple of years ago the pleasure of appearing before Your Royal Highness, by virtue of Your Highness's commands, and as I noticed then that Your Highness took some pleasure in the small talents that Heaven has given me for Music, and as in taking leave of Your Royal Highness, Your Highness deigned to honor me with the command to send Your Highness some pieces of my composition: I have then in accordance with Your Highness's most gracious orders taken the liberty of rendering my most humble duty to Your Royal Highness with the present concertos, which I have adapted to several instruments; begging Your Highness most humbly not to judge their imperfection with the rigor of the fine and delicate taste that the whole world knows Your Highness has for musical pieces; but rather to infer from them in benign consideration the profound respect and the most humble obedience that I try to show Your Highness therewith. For the rest, Sire, I beg Your Royal Highness very humbly to have the goodness to continue Your Highness's gracious favor toward me, and to be assured that nothing is so close to my heart as the wish that I may be employed on occasions more worthy of Your Royal Highness and of Your Highness's service - I, who without an equal in zeal am, Sire, Your Royal Highness's most humble and obedient servant. Coethen, March 24, 1721
Announcement of the 1736 Leipzig concerts at which Bach’s instrumental works were performed: Both of the public musical Concerts or Assemblies that are held here weekly are still flourishing steadily. The one is conducted by Mr. Johann Sebastian Bach, Capellmeister to the Court of Weissenfels and Musik-Direcktor at St. Thomas's and at St. Nicholas's in this city, and is held, except during the Fair, once a week in Zimmermann's coffeehouse in the Catherine Street, on Friday evenings from 8 to 10 o'clock; during the Fair, however, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, at the same hour. The participants in these musical concerts are chiefly students here, and there are always good musicians among them, so that sometimes they become, as is known, famous virtuosos. Any musician is permitted to make himself publicly heard at these musical concerts, and most often, too, there are such listeners as know how to judge the qualities of an able musician.