Les Arts Florissants by Charpentier – 8 October

Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s renowned chamber opera Les Arts Florissants returns to Dallas after a 20 year hiatus, in collaboration with the New York Baroque Dance Company. Written to celebrate the return of peace to Europe (probably referring to the defeat of the Turks at the Gates of Vienna in 1683) this charming and profound work celebrates the return of the Arts of Music, Poetry, Painting, and Architecture, flourishing under the reign of Peace, who has triumphed over Discord, through the glory of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Tickets

 

North Texas Giving Day 2016

Many thanks to Board President Michael Mathews for the matching funds, making this our best North Texas Giving Day ever!

The Dallas Bach Society board of directors also wants to thank the generous supporters of early music who donated today. With your help, we can fund the education and outreach endeavors of the 2016-17 season!

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Baroque Bash 2 with Dallas Bach Society

The Dallas Bach Society, Texas’ premiere early music ensemble, is presenting a workshop on baroque performance practice. This FREE workshop is open to high school students enrolled in orchestra at Sam Houston High School. Students will work with world class faculty who are leaders in the early music field. Students will participate in large and small chamber ensembles, as well as masterclasses. A concert will be presented at the end of the workshop, open to the public.

Faculty: James Andrewes, baroque violin
Michelle Hanlon, baroque violin
Miguel Cantu IV, baroque viola
Eric Smith, baroque cello and bass

workshoparlington

Baroque Bash with the Dallas Bach Society

workshopdallas

The Dallas Bach Society, Texas’ premiere early music ensemble, is teaming up with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Young Strings to present a baroque workshop. This FREE workshop is open to advanced middle and high school students currently in the Young Strings program. Students will work with world class faculty who are leaders in the early music field. Students will participate in large and small chamber ensembles, as well as masterclasses. A concert will be presented at the end of the workshop, open to the public.

 

When:
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 9:00am-3:30pm 3:30pm Concert

Where:
Meyerson Symphony Center Horchow Hall
2301 Flora St. Dallas. TX 75201

For more information on the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Young Strings, click here.

For information on the education and outreach opportunities of the Dallas Bach Society, call 682.325.2224.

Importance of the Arts for Youth

Eric Smith discusses the importance of the outreach programs he experienced in his youth in El Paso, Texas. Mr. Smith is currently the Director of Outreach and cellist with the Dallas Bach Society.

EricSmithOutreachVideo

2016-2017 Chorus Auditions

Auditions

We have scheduled two possible audition dates:

  • Saturday, August 20, 2016, starting at 5PM
  • Sunday, August 21, 2016, starting at 6PM

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 7611 Park Lane, Dallas TX 75225

We would like to schedule each person within a 30-minute time slot. (That doesn’t mean your audition will last 30 minutes – just that it will be basically within that 30-minute period.)

If you wish to audition and have not recently provided us with a resume, please do so as soon as possible by  e-mail. Be sure all contact information is provided – e-mail addresses, phone numbers (including cell), and mailing address. If you have any digital audio recordings of yourself that you can send, or a link to one, that would be delightful and helpful!

For the audition, please plan to sing TWO prepared pieces by Bach, Handel, Telemann, Buxtehude, Monteverdi, Schütz, or one of their contemporaries. An accompanist will be provided, so you will need to bring legible scores for the accompanist. You may also be asked to sight-read. You will be evaluated for both solo and chorus positions.

Many thanks for your interest in Dallas Bach Society! I look forward to hearing from you.

Kathy
Chorusmaster

Questions? Email info@dallasbach.org.

2016-2017 Subscriptions available!

We are happy to announce our 2016-17 season Musical Awakenings, replete with seminal masterpieces from all aspects of Baroque and Classic music.

New Year’s Eve will introduce the 500th anniversary year of Martin Luther’s Reformation with Bach’s last cantata, Ein feste Burg – A Mighty Fortress is our God – paired with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, to get 2017 off to a great start! Other season highlights include an early December evening of Haydn’s first set of Symphonies as heard in Esterhazy; a Passiontide concert with Bach’s very first cantata, Christ lag in Todesbanden, also by Luther, paired with the first Lutheran oratorio, Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri; and in May, a fully staged outdoor performance of Henry Purcell’s Fairy Queen at Casa M.

We will open on October 8th with Les Arts Florissants of Charpentier, a chamber opera written in 1685 to honor the return of peace to Europe (probably referring to the defeat of the Turks at the Gates of Vienna in 1683). This charming and profound work celebrates the return of the Arts (Music, Poetry, Painting, Architecture) flourishing under the reign of Peace, who has triumphed over Discord, through the efforts of the Sun King, Louis XIV.

This celestial allegory will be brought to life by Catherine Turocy and her New York Baroque Dance Company with the Dallas Bach soloists and instrumental ensemble.

Our annual performance of Handel’s most popular masterpiece Messiah at the Meyerson Symphony Center will take place on December 19, featuring the orchestra and chorus with soloists Ava Pine, Soprano, Derek Chester, Tenor, and David Grogan, Bass, and introducing brilliant young Alto Kathryne Overturf. And we have added a performance in Plano at Saint Andrew’s on the 21st, with the annual Sing-along taking place on the 20th at Incarnation.

In February, we will experience a new venue as we present Soprano Nell Snaidas, who was awarded “Best Classical of the Year” by Theater Jones for her House Concert on Mediterranean themes in 2015, at the Meadows Museum – the seat of Spanish art in Dallas – with an intimate program with Baroque lute and guitar and the Dallas Bach Chamber Players. Seating is very limited, and those who heard Nell before will be first in line for this concert!

In May, we present a very special event: Henry Purcell’s the Fairy Queen, in a site-specific staging of Purcell’s magical music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a brand-new al fresco setting worthy of the delightful comedy. Catherine Turocy brings her Hawaii Performing Arts Festival creation and her dancers for a once-in-a-lifetime production with the Society, where you the audience will sit in a terrace garden setting as the performance goes on around you!

Our House Concert series, always an exquisite experience, features the complete Bach Suites for violoncello with Dallas Bach principal cellist Eric Smith, who will play the entire cycle over two evenings, one in the fall, and one in the spring. This is your chance to experience these glorious works in a chamber setting where every nuance and detail of expression will be enjoyed to the fullest. Come to one or both, but do not miss this opportunity! And in January, we collaborate with the Dallas Goethe Center as the world-renowned Drew Minter joins the Dallas Bach Society. Seats are of course limited – subscribe now to guarantee your chance to appreciate the artistry of Mr. Minter under ideal circumstances!

Traditional Concert Series 

Les Arts Florissants 8 October 2016, 7:30pm
SMU Caruth Auditorium

Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s renowned chamber opera returns to Dallas after a 20 year hiatus, in collaboration with the New York Baroque Dance Company. Written to celebrate the return of peace to Europe (probably referring to the defeat of the Turks at the Gates of Vienna in 1683) this charming and profound work celebrates the return of the Arts of Music, Poetry, Painting, and Architecture, flourishing under the reign of Peace, who has triumphed over Discord, through the glory of the Sun King, Louis XIV.

Franz Josef Haydn: Symphonies #6, 7, 8 “Le Matin”, “Le Midi”, “Le Soir” 3 December 2016, 7:30pm
Church of the Incarnation

Dallas Bach goes classical with performances of Haydn’s first great symphonic set, performed as they were first heard in Esterházy where he was music director. As we are giving our German Baroque Christmas program a year off after last year’s amazing concert, we will offer our annual caroling in German after this concert

Handel’s Messiah 19 December 2016, 7:30pm Meyerson Symphony Center and 21 December 2016, 7:30pm Saint Andrew’s UMC, Plano

“The best Messiah I’ve ever heard in person” (Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News) – our annual celebration of Handel’s immortal masterwork, complete, featuring the Dallas Bach

Orchestra and Chorus, with soloists Ava Pine, Soprano, Derek Chester, Tenor, and David Grogan, Bass, and introducing brilliant young Alto Kathryne Overturf. The Dallas Bach Orchestra and Chorus are led from the harpsichord by Artistic Director James Richman.

Annual Messiah Sing-Along 20 December 2016, 7:30pm
Church of the Incarnation

Join in the chorus as the Dallas Bach Orchestra and soloists from our Meyerson performance accompany YOU in our lively and popular evening of singing enjoyment. We also offer the Novello edition of the Messiah score for purchase; we’ll hold the score for you at Will Call or mail it to you!

Cantata 80 Ein feste Burg and The Four Seasons on New Year’s Eve 31 December 2016 6pm
Church of the Incarnation

Dallas Bach Orchestra and Chorus rings in the New Year and the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation with Bach’s last cantata, on Luther’s famous tune, along with a virtuoso performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons by our concertmaster Clare Cason. A Blockbuster Celebration, with a New Year’s Eve reception included in the ticket price!

Repertorio Español” with Nell Snaidas 10/11 February 2017, 7:30pm
The Meadows Museum at SMU

Soprano Nell Snaidas was awarded “Best Classical of the Year” by Theater Jones following her brilliant House Concert in 2015, and we agree! We are bringing her to the seat of Spanish Art in Dallas, the Meadows Museum, for masterpieces of the Baroque and Renaissance befitting the magnificent art that will surround us. With Baroque Guitar and Lute and chamber ensemble.

Passion Concert: Bach’s Cantata 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden and the first Lutheran oratorio, Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri 1 April 2017, 7:30pm
Zion Lutheran Church

We offer Bach’s very first cantata, also on a song by Martin Luther, to continue our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, along with a most beautiful and historically significant piece by Buxtehude. For Bach, this composer was paramount – he walked 200 miles each way to experience Buxtehude’s music at the cathedral in Lübeck and overstayed his leave to soak up more of the master’s knowledge and genius.

Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen 12 and 13 May 2017, 7:30pm
Private Residence

A site-specific staging of Purcell’s magical music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a brand-new al fresco setting worthy of the delightful comedy. Catherine Turocy brings her Hawaii Performing Arts Festival creation and her dancers for a once-in-a-lifetime production with the Dallas Bach soloists and players where you the audience will sit in a terrace garden setting as the performance goes on around you! Preference for Fairy Queen goes to season subscribers.

House Concert Series

The Complete Cello Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach
11 and 12 November 2016 and  10 and 11 March 2017, both at 8pm; hors d’oeuvres and libations at 7pm
Performed at Private Residences

Two evenings with Dallas Bach principal cellist Eric Smith, featuring the complete cycle of the most amazing music for solo cello ever written. This is your chance to experience these glorious works in a chamber setting where every nuance and detail of expression will be enjoyed to the fullest extent. Come to one or both but do not miss this opportunity!

An Evening with Drew Minter
27 and 28 January 2017, 8pm; hors d’oeuvres and libations at 7pm
Performed at Private Residences

In association with the Dallas Goethe Center, Drew Minter rejoins the Dallas Bach Society in an evening featuring German favorites from the Minnesingers to the Baroque. Seats are of course limited – subscribe now to guarantee your chance to appreciate the artistry of Mr. Minter under ideal circumstances!

Important: House Concert single tickets will go on sale after the subscription drive. Subscribe now to reserve your places at these extraordinary evenings of music and merriment!

NEW THIS SEASON! General Admission subscribers will have a special section just behind the premium section. You do not have to arrive early to enjoy the best G.A. seats.

Beloved past president of Dallas Bach Society passes

It is with sadness that the Dallas Bach Society shares the news that our beloved past president Bill Booziotis passed away last week.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at Communities Foundation of Texas.

http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/arts/headlines/20160513-lamster-bill-booziotis-was-an-architect-for-the-ages.ece

The “Goldberg” Variations

The Dallas Bach Society
7 May 2016

J.S. Bach – Klavierübung Teil IV: “The Goldberg Variations” BWV 988
James Richman, Harpsichord

About the Program:

The Air with Diverse Variations which make up the fourth and final section of Bach’s encyclopedic Klavierübung are widely conceded to be his ultimate keyboard work. None of his other works exploit the harpsichord so perfectly, and this is one case where the piano fails most thoroughly at providing either the distinctive coloration which is at the heart of the piece, or the technical means for its realization. While the variations are indeed “profound”, complicated, and in general “learned”, as the 18th century would have put it, they are also a work of enormous lyricism and sensual beauty, as well as great playfulness.

The most interesting development in modern times concerning the Bach repertoire is surely the discovery in the early 1970’s of Bach’s own annotated copy of the printed edition of the Goldberg Variations. Appearing in one of three piles of music sold to settle the estate of a music professor in Alsace in the 1930’s, this first edition with its red ink markings was widely known, and sat on the music desk of its owner Prof. Paul Blümenroeder for over forty years before he took it to be rebound. Then a page containing fourteen canons on the Goldberg bass line in an all too familiar hand fell out of the tattered leather binding, and when the red- ink corrections in the printed copy were examined more closely, they too were found to be Bach’s own.

In addition to correcting various wrong notes, Bach clarifies our understanding of the work with his annotations in this copy, which of course became immediately the unique source for the work. He adds Adagio to the famous 25th “Black Pearl” variation, which was no surprise, although the verification of the disputed appogiaturas which smooth out the dramatic jumps in its opening were probably a disappointment to those looking for the equivalent of verismo drama in eighteenth-century keyboard music. The 7th variation is now officially a tempo di giga, and in general there are numerous ornaments which were omitted in the printed version, or perhaps added by Bach later – most striking of all are the appogiaturas in virtually every bar of the 26th variation, which was already so florid that no one today would have ever dreamed of enriching it further.

Finally, it seems that the lovely story related by Spitta about Count Keyserling and his goblet with a hundred louis d’or must suffer serious doubt. Aside from the obvious fact that a printed score would surely have borne a dedication in recognition of such a fabulous commission, we are now faced with the discovery that Goldberg the harpsichordist, who supposedly lulled the count to sleep with this work, was baptized in 1727, which would have made him twelve or thirteen when it was composed and fourteen when it was published. It may be quite true that he played Keyserling to sleep with this music, but it is far more likely to have been in the late 1740’s at the earliest and, sadly, probably from a copy purchased for a very much less princely sum.

Bach’s Saint John Passion program

19 March 2016 8:00 p.m. at Church of the Incarnation

The Dallas Bach Society
James Richman, Artistic Director

THE PASSION ACCORDING TO SAINT JOHN
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
BWV 245 (LEIPZIG 1723)

Dann Coakwell, Evangelist
David Grogan, Jesus
Nicholas Garza, Servus
Audrey Brown, Ancilla
Charles Moore, Pilatus
Jason Awbrey, Petrus
Claire Daniels, Soprano
Agnes Vojtko, Alto
Nicholas Garza, Tenor
Patrick Gnage, Bass

About the Program:

To herald his arrival in Leipzig in 1723, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a dramatic setting of the story of Christ’s final hours which he called his Johannes-Passion, or Passion According to Saint John. No doubt anxious to establish from the outset his complete mastery of church music, he made the work an outpouring of human emotions surrounding the sacred story, depicting in lively settings the voice of Christ, the message of the Evangelist, as well as the human feelings of the chorus, who from time to time represent the pious Christian congregation, the forces of the Roman Empire, and the angry crowd of Jews desperate to have Christ crucified.

This multiplicity of roles for the chorus is entirely in keeping with he practice in Baroque opera, where the chorus as a rule took on whatever identity of massed characters was called for, turning from courtiers to soldiers, peasants, or exotic nations, without so much as a costume change! The illustration of character and emotion took precedence, and standard stage dress would be altered usually by no more than a character symbol held by each chorister. As Bach wrote no opera, having made the decision to devote himself to the perfection of church music, his two great passions in effect represent this genre for us in his complete works. It is in these compositions that his most telling examples of Baroque characterization are found, and they are indeed powerful.

The obvious problem with such dramatic works was that everyone already knew the story, and how it would end. Thus the elements of suspense and surprise are not available, and indeed Bach opens the second half of Saint John with a Chorale which tells virtually the entire plot in a few bars. It is a sign of his consummate power as a composer that it matters not at all that we know what will happen, as his illustration of it in sound is so moving that it draws our attention in and of itself.

Bach uses the devices of the opera to teach this holy lesson, with the addition of the unusual character of the apostle himself telling the story, as in the Bible. This role of the Evangelist, however, derives directly from the “Mercury” characters in other operas, always a high tenor, a messenger telling us a narrative, only here made into the most important character aside from Jesus himself. Jesus is represented by the bass voice, in keeping with the Baroque norm for all gods, sorcerers and the like (through Mozart’s Sarastro in the Magic Flute), but especially meaningful for Bach as the fundamental bass, from which grows all music like an overtone series. When the bass is missing in Bach, and the high overtone chromatics dominate, we are usually far from the Lord!

The arias are also employed as in opera, taking time out from the action to give us a picture of the state of mind and emotions of the solo singer, here representing a member of the Christian people. In Saint John, these are mostly contemplative on the part of various Christian people affected by aspects of the story, and range from the naive apostle singing “I follow you with joyous steps” with the sound of innocent flutes, to the extremely sad “It is fulfilled” when the death of Jesus is at hand, accompanied by a mournful solo gamba. In the end, however, Bach transcends opera to produce a moving rendition of Biblical Truth, confined by no particular form, but rather using every possible means to transmit the Word in music.

About the Artists:

DANN COAKWELL, Evangelist, tenor, is sought after as a performer of Bach, Handel, and their contemporaries, who specializes in J.S. Bach’s Evangelist and the tenor roles of Benjamin Britten. He can be heard as a soloist on the Grammy-winning Conspirare: The Sacred Spirit of Russia, 2014 (Harmonia Mundi) and Grammy-nominated Conspirare: A Company of Voices, 2009. Coakwell has performed as a soloist internationally and nationally under such acclaimed conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, William Christie, Nicholas McGegan, Matthew Halls, John Scott, and Craig Hella Johnson. Coakwell has performed multiple times in New York’s Carnegie Hall, and he made his Lincoln Center New York solo debuts at both Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall to critical acclaim in 2014. He has appeared as a soloist with organizations such as Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart in Germany, Bach Collegium Japan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Oregon Bach Festival, and Conspirare.

DAVID GROGAN, Christus, bass, has performed extensively throughout the southwest, having appeared as a soloist with Dallas-Fort Worth area arts groups such as the Fort Worth Symphony, Dallas Bach Society, Plano Civic Chorus, Denton Bach Society, Texas Baroque Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Texas Camerata, Fort Worth Baroque Society, and several Texas universities. Recent performances include the Handel’s Messiah with Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys in NYC, Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Mountainside Baroque in Maryland, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, TX. The Dallas Morning News hailed Dr. Grogan as the “perfect Christus” after a performance of the Saint Matthew Passion with the Dallas Bach Society. The Albuquerque Tribune, in reference to a performance of Messiah with the New Mexico Symphony, said, “David Grogan had all the range and power required of the part, sounding like the voice of doom in “The people that walked in darkness” and the light of revelation in “The trumpet shall sound.” A performance of Elijah had critics praising his ability to “move easily from stentorian declamation to lyrical aria.” Another critic said that he “….brought an impressive vocal power to the lead role of Elijah, and his rich emotive gift set the level for the other chief performers.” The Dallas Morning News said “His meaty bass shook the heavens and the earth and sounded the trumpet with imposing conviction.”

CLAIRE DANIELS, soprano, is equally at home performing as a soloist, chamber musician, and choral singer. At the 2014 Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, she performed with Arethusa Musica in the Young Performer’s Festival, Battle of the Early Bands, and the Fringe. Recently relocated to Dallas, she was soon asked to join the Orpheus Chamber Singers. She has also performed with Ensemble VIII, Texas Early Music Project, ¡Sacabuche!, Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, the University of Texas Chamber Singers, Concentus, Pro Arte Singers, and also portrayed the role of Cupid in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis with the Indiana University Baroque Orchestra. She was a featured soloist on Glad Tidings of Great Joy, a Christmas special aired by Public Radio International. While pursuing a master’s degree in early music performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, she studied with Paul Elliott and Mary Ann Hart. She received her undergraduate degree in Choral Music Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

AGNES VOJTKO, Hungarian mezzo-soprano, has established herself as a versatile and genuine artist both on the operatic and concert stage. Currently she is teaching at Southwestern University while frequently engaged as a concert soloist. Recent appearances include Mahler’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with American Bach Soloists, Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew Passion with Dallas Bach Society and concerts with Houston Baroque. Last June she performed Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Schoenberg version) at UC Davis. Agnes has appeared with Austin Lyric Opera, Opera in the Heights and in Hungary with Ars Classica Chamber Opera and Budapest Chamber Opera. After she completed a bachelor’s degree at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, she moved to the United States as a Fulbright fellow to attend The University of Texas at Austin, where she obtained the Doctor of Musical Arts degree under the guidance of Darlene Wiley.

NICHOLAS GARZA, tenor, studied at University of Texas at Arlington as a Vocal Performance major with Jing Ling-Tam and David Grogan. Originally from Harlingen, Texas, Nicholas was a four-year Texas All-State Mixed Choir member, an Outstanding Soloist for Texas State Solo Ensemble, and a Competition winner in Classical Voice/Tenor at the 2010 NFAA YoungARTS. He has performed with Mountainside Baroque in Maryland as the Tenor soloist for the Telemann oratorio Der Tod Jesu and also was alto soloist for the Big Moose Bach Festival in New Hampshire. He worked with noted singer and conductor Simon Carrington as a singing fellow at the 2011 and 2012 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival of Yale University. He performs with many professional groups around the Metroplex including the Dallas Bach Society, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Orchestra of New Spain, the Fort Worth Opera Chorus and Christ the King Catholic Church. He has been called a “stand-out soloist” by the Dallas Morning News and has been hailed for his “appealing tenor, sinewy in the lower register, sweetly soft-edged on high.”

PATRICK J. GNAGE, baritone, studied voice at the Eastman School of Music and holds two degrees in Voice Performance and Literature. Mr. Gnage has been featured as soloist in all of the major oratorios of J.S. Bach, as well as the oratorios and choral works of Handel, Monteverdi, Carissimi, Mozart, Vaughan Williams, and Duruflé, performing with such ensembles as The Publick Musick, Orchestra of New Spain, Rochester Bach Festival Chorus, Concert Royal and the Dallas Bach Society. A new addition to his repertoire this season is the role of Jesus in Bob Chilcott’s version of the St John Passion, heard at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Dallas. Patrick also appears on recordings released by Naxos American Classics and Sonabilis.

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