Dallas Bach Society spoke with Artistic Director James Richman.
DBS: For years, house concerts have been an integral part of Dallas Bach Society’s season. What’s so special about them, James?
J.R.: Well, you get to be really close to the musicians and have the unique opportunity to experience the music in a setting that is very similar to when the pieces were originally performed. In the Baroque period a small audience of connoisseurs could experience the artistry of master musicians in a private setting.
DBS: Neat. I know that I’m not only speaking for myself..I love it when I can get up close and personal with the performers and gain some insight into the music and the instruments that I might have missed in a more formal recital setting.
J.R.: Yes, and the intimate nature of our featured solo instrument in October makes it especially perfect for enjoyment at a house concert.
DBS: What are we going to hear at the first house concerts on Friday, Oct.19, in Flower Mound, and Saturday, Oct. 20, in Dallas?
J.R.: We welcome Brent Wissick, virtuoso extraordinaire of the viola da gamba, for a program of the complete sonatas for gamba and obligato harpsichord by J.S. Bach. Maestro Wissick is a Distinguished Professor of Music at UNC Chapel Hill and served for many years as President of the American Viola da Gamba Society.
DBS: Oh, I remember him from about a year ago. He is an amazing talent.
J.R.: Yes, he is. Brent has been featured with the Dallas Bach Society for several seasons. He has performed with essentially all of the important early music ensembles in North America as well as many in Europe.
DBS: One word about viola versus viola da gamba. They are not the same, are they? It’s confusing to some folks.
J.R.: Well, the viola is the second smallest instrument of the string family as we know it today, whereas the viola da gamba belongs to the viol family that was prevalent during the Renaissance and the Baroque era. The viola da gamba was a very important solo instrument in the Baroque period. The viola never really achieved such fame. The viola da gamba is held between the player’s legs much like a cello, only is has a much mellower sound and 6 strings as opposed to 4 on the viola and cello.
DBS: Thank you very much, James. We look forward to listening to you and Brent perform Bach’s sonatas for gamba at the house concerts this October.
The first house concert is fast approaching on Friday, October 19th and will be hosted by DBS’s very own secretary, Kyle Mistrot, and Dr. Michael Mathews at their amazing “Casa M” in Flower Mound. All who attended the house concert there last April knows that it is well worth the trip just to see the house itself.
The second house concert is on Saturday, October 20th and is being hosted by one of our esteemed patrons and Board members, in a beautiful, central location in Dallas. We are indeed fortunate to have such involved and dedicated patrons and board members at Dallas Bach Society.
Please join us for a truly memorable evening!