The programme of our 21st edition – indeed, this is the 333rd anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach, much awaited by all music-lovers – is built on different prolific themes. First, some of Bach’s major works: the Magnificat, Mass in A, Motet “Jesu meine Freude”, Cantatas 10, 54, 147, Concertos, Partita with its great Chaconne in D for violin solo, but also on a Viola da Gamba – fascinating comparisons! – and another Partita in D for keyboard, played on our very first harpsichord, gifted by a generous donator, which we dreamt of for 21 years!
Approaching Bach. It is worth getting to know his predecessors and contemporaries. There are two composers to be discovered absolutely: Zelenka (1679-1745), one of the most famous figures of Germany’s musical scene at the time, whom Bach invited to Leipzig, and Erlebach (1657-1714). We know that one of Bach’s brilliant students, Johann Caspar Vogler (1696-1763), was also Erlebach’s pupil. The latter introduced a novel, expressive and exquisite style of writing, combining opera and cantata styles, which will greatly influence the next generation, even though most of his works disappeared in the Rudolstadt (Thuringen) fire in 1735.
France, finally. The young Bach must have come across some of Marin Marais, works between 1696 and 1700 in Ohrdruf, at his brother’s, Johann Christoph. Between 1709 and 1712 he also personally copied by hand works by D’Anglebert and Grigny. And later, between 1717 and 1725, he got to know those of François Couperin, whose 350th anniversary is being celebrated this year. It should be noted that from then on, Bach developed a very personal art, taking in all the European styles, not only Germanic and Italian, but also French, with its captivating dance music.
Our dearest wish is that every listener be stimulated and moved, little by little, by this varied musical panorama and its series of irresistible effusions and multiple surprises, offered by outstanding musicians, all of them specialists in their own field.
Artistic Director of the Festival
Translation : Isabelle Watson
The title of this 21st edition, « Bach 333 »,
mirrors the symbolic value of number, much used by
artists of the early period, including Bach:
3 being the Trinity number and 2018 marking
the 333rd anniversary of Bach’s birth (1685-1750).
3 + 3 + 3 = 9, 9 being the glorification of Trinity, the most
3 x 3 x 3 = 27. And 2 + 7 = 9 also.
If we add our 21st edition, 21 being divine perfection,
2 + 1 = 3 → 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12.
1 + 2 = 3 → 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81 → 8 + 1 = 9.
A few magical numbers for
this 21st edition !
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