About the program
Midori Seiler, the world-famous baroque violinist of German and Japanese descent, will be collaborating with the Festival Orchestra for the second time this season. The programme for this, her second concert, consists of compositions by German baroque masters.
The Suite in B minor, presumed to have been composed in Cologne, is probably the most popular of Bach’s four orchestral suites. The audience will be in for an unusual treat; according to musicologists the work was originally written in A minor for strings. The Bach scholar Werner Breig has reconstructed that version.
Music history knows of six Bach violin concertos, of which three have been lost. Bach and the Leipzig Collegium Musicum performed the Concerto for Two Violins in D minor in concerts at Café Zimmermann. Spitta, Bach’s notable 19th century biographer, described its divinely beautiful slow movement as a “vocal pearl”.
“… even though I have composed many such as this, they have never really stemmed from my heart; the least you could say is that they are mostly in the French style”, wrote Georg Philipp Telemann in one of his autobiographies. Tonight’s concert will feature his suite, La Bizarre, and his Concerto for Two Violettas in G major. (The violetta was an instrument between the viola and the gamba, but isn’t used any longer today, which is why this work is usually played on two violas.)
After his stays in Hamburg, Rome and Florence, Händel visited Naples in April 1708 and spent the next three months there. He composed the concert’s closing soprano cantata during these eventful times. The libretto is a fictive monologue from the widowed Empress Julia Agrippina (15-59 AD), shortly before her assassination.
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Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in A minor (reconstructed by Werner Breig)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto for Two Violins and Strings in D minor, BWV 1043
Georg Philipp Telemann: Orchestral Suite in G major “La Bizarre”, TWV 55.G2
Georg Philipp Telemann: Concerto for Two Violas in G major, TWV 52.G3
Georg Friedrich Händel: “Agrippina condotta a morire” – cantata, HWV 110