California Bach Season Surveys French, German and Italian Works

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Paul Flight

The California Bach Society announces a season of unforgettable music, ranging from the French Baroque to the earliest works of J.S. Bach. It’s a season full of varied and glorious music you won’t want to miss!

The season opens on October 15–17 with “Splendor at Versailles,” masterpieces from three of the greatest composers of the French Baroque: Henri Du Mont, Michel Richard Delalande, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Du Mont’s richly textured Magnificat features soloists, chorus, and a small orchestra. Delalande’s lively setting of Psalm 98, Cantate Domino canticum novum, for chorus and orchestra, is one of over seventy motets he composed for the Royal Chapel. Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s beautiful Messe des morts is one of his most affecting works, with its sepulchral scoring of strings and flutes and serenely imitative polyphony.

For the holidays, we present “A German Christmas” on December 5–7. The program will present a wealth of rarely heard musical treasures ranging from Johann Ahle’s cantata Fürchtet euch nicht to Felix Mendelssohn’s Frolocket ihr Völker auf Erden and Hugo Distler’s lovely Est ist ein Ros’ entsprungen.

In the winter, we turn to J.S. Bach with “The Early Cantatas” on February 27–March 1. We present Bach’s beloved chorale cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden, which draws from Pachelbel’s work of the same name. Bach’s penitential Aus der Tiefen ruf’ ich, Herr, zu dir skillfully juxtaposes verses of Psalm 130 with the verses of a Lutheran chorale. We finish with Bach’s earliest surviving cantata, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich.

The season concludes with a survey of Italian composers, from Giovanni Gabrieli to Giuseppe Verdi and more. “An Italian Lineage,” on April 24–26, traces works from Domenico Scarlatti’s recently discovered Missa Breve “La Stella” for double choir to Ildebrando Pizzetti’s beautiful Messa di Requiem and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Romancero gitano, based upon poetry of Federico García Lorca, for choir and solo guitar.

We are offering special ticket incentives. First-time subscribers to our four-concert series will receive an extra ticket, good for any concert this season. Younger patrons can purchase $10 tickets in our “Under 30” category (students of any age with ID and patrons under 30). Season subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased by phone at 650-485-1097 or online at www.calbach.org/tickets.pl. Visit our website for more information, www.calbach.org .

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Written by Jonathan Harris