This year the Pacific Baroque Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary, exploring the music of the featured composer at the very first Festival and the greatest of them all, Johann Sebastian Bach. J.S. Bach: ‘For Music-Lovers, To Refresh their Spirits’ presented music for small ensemble, a recital by one of the world’s great Bach interpreters on Bach’s own instrument, the organ, and music sacred, light-hearted and virtuosic for singers and instruments.
The opening concert “A Royal Theme”, featured a wonderful program of the Bach family’s music, highlighting Johann Sebastian Bach’s extraordinary trio sonata from the ‘Musical Offering’ along with two works by his famous son, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach. That evening’s organ concert ‘Bach’s Instrument’ by the acclaimed improviser of Bach’s keyboard music, Edoardo Bellotti, demonstrated Bach’s mastery of this instrument, exploring the different forms and genres of Bach’s works. Canadian soprano Shannon Mercer and baritone Tyler Duncan highlighted the next evening in ‘Bach Has Fun’ bringing the audience to its feet with engaging performances of Bach’s “Wedding Cantata” and “Peasant Cantata”. Then the formal concerts concluded on the Saturday with “Bach the Borrower”; the fullest house in the Festival’s 10 years experienced a wondrous performance of a ‘Lutheran Mass’ by the Victoria Children’s Choir and Men of the St Christopher Singers, Tyler Duncan and Conservatory of Music students Emma Hannan (soprano) and Kyle Guilfoyle (countertenor). Rounding out this Festival of Bach was a Service at Christ Church Cathedral (‘Vespers in Leipzig’) which explored sacred works by Georg Melchior Hoffmann, Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Ludwig Bach.
Thanks to all musicians, sponsors, volunteers and to our audience who supported the Pacific Baroque Festival 2014. We hope you enjoy these memories.
You can see the complete Festival 2014 Program here.