“How good and pleasant it is” welcomes you to the world of 17th century German music, a musical environment out of which Johann Sebastian Bach’s genius emerged.

"Musical Company" by Johannes Voorhout (1674) from Hamburg Museum. Johann Adam Reinken - harpsichord; Dietrich Buxtehude - gamba; possibly Johann Förscht singing.

“Musical Company” by Johannes Voorhout (1674) from Hamburg Museum. Johann
Adam Reinken – harpsichord; Dietrich Buxtehude – gamba; possibly Johann
Förscht singing.

The 17th century German-speaking world was a period of turmoil and enlightenment from which flowered a uniquely German style of music.  It is only recently that much of this music is being rediscovered with period performances unravelling its incredible beauty and powerful emotions.  Drawing from the two most important musical styles of the time, the Italian and the French, composers created a German style of music that was ‘totally original, sophisticated, free and varied in its forms, and deeply expressive”.

The audience will come to appreciate the influence of the Reformation and its iconoclast Martin Luther, not just in the music for the church but far beyond.  Luther was aware of the power of music when he wrote to Ludwig Senfl in 1530: ‘except for theology, is there no art that could be put on the same level as music?’.

Pacific Baroque Festival 2016 delights in this opportunity to bring to light a range of musical gems from 17th century Germany.  Not only will it present the music of Bach’s predecessors in Leipzig (Johann Kuhnau, Johann Schelle, Sebastian Knupfer) but the audience’s musical journey will explore other musical centres such as Hamburg, Lubeck, Bremen, Nuremburg, Dresden, to name a few.

“I am particularly looking forward to the 2016 festival for its focus on a wealth of diverse music from 17th Germany, a period rich in musical treasures, now somewhat ignored because of the looming shadow of later composers such as Bach and Telemann. I’m also thrilled that we will welcome three internationally-renowned soloists and specialists in this repertoire: the German soprano Dorothee Mields, who has charmed European audiences with her crystalline voice and deeply expressive singing, the Boston-based baritone Sumner Thompson, and Victoria’s own Benjamin Butterfield who continues to appear in concert halls the world over. I am also very excited to meet and hear one of France’s inspiring young organists, Emmanuel Arakélian.” – Marc Destrubé, Artistic Director
“No present-day singer understands German sacred music of the seventeenth century better than the soprano Dorothee Mields and, unsurprisingly therefore, no one sings it better.” – International Record Review

Ticket prices have remained constant for over ten years. Purchase tickets.

Read more on the Festival program

Watch: Franz Tunder “Ach Herr, lass deine lieben Engelein”; soprano – Dorothee Mields

“This Festival is a delight every year”