Baroque All-Stars

March 11, 2019

 

This March, a wonderful variety of musical talents will team up, joyously, to present Johann Sebastian Bach’s monumental St John Passion.  It should be an exhilarating evening.

 

First, we have our maestro, Matthias Maute, guiding the performance.  Born in Germany and recognized internationally as a virtuoso recorder player, Matthias has settled in Montréal to teach and conduct, leading his Ensemble Caprice to many sparkling Baroque performances, including a Vivaldi recording that recently won a JUNO (“Canadian Grammy”) for best classical recording of the year.

 

Second, we have our marvelous soloists: 

Anna Christofaro, soprano, who has built an active solo career as well as sung with the Grammy award-winning professional choir, Conspirare

Nerea Berraondo, alto, a native of Spain who has won international acclaim as a singer with a “nuanced, clean and spectacular” voice.

Nicholas Chalmers, tenor, recognized for his superb solo skills as well as years as a singer in professional choirs, The Rose Ensemble and The Singers—Minnesota Choral Artists.

Alan Dunbar, bass, winner of the Grieg Festival vocal competition and a founding member of Cantus, who dazzled CAE audiences with his agility, power, and gorgeous tone in our recent Messiah performances.

 

Third, the instrumentalists of the Bach Society of Minnesota have dedicated their considerable musical talents to the high-caliber performances of Baroque music.  All these players have decades of experience in honing the particular articulations, ornamentations, phrasing, and timbres that make Baroque music come to life.  Performing with a deep understanding and passion for their art, they will delight.

 

Fourth, the singers of Choral Arts Ensemble bring many years of musical and vocal study in general, and choral experience in particular, to the happy task of singing a Bach masterwork.  They are a wonderful choir, performing with superb tuning, balance, tone, and blend.  They work as a team to create stunningly expressive phrasing, word stresses, and articulations.

 

Finally, the superlative musical talent of Johann Sebastian Bach is our cornerstone.  Famous in his day mostly as a virtuoso organist with a miraculous ability in improvisation, Bach displayed total mastery of essentially all aspects of composition, creating a prodigious amount of richly varied and unfailingly exquisite music.  Those who find beauty in mathematics will find a similar satisfaction in the music of Bach.

 

Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven, 

and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human.  

Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.

 

                      —Douglas Adams

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November 12, 2019

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support Grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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