In a few hours, we’ll return to Bach’s masterpiece as the closing work for our ABS Festival. It is like enjoying a wonderful visit with a close friend: there is always something new to talk about and there are always familiar and cherished memories to revisit. Conversations with our best friends are easy and rich, and so are the musical conversations that we have with Bach through this great work that we are privileged to know so well.
Then we must say farewell to our dear new colleagues, the Academy Participants, who have made these two weeks the wonderful adventures that they were. I trust that we’ll see them and hear them again. I’m sure of that.
Yesterday’s master class (voice) and Max van Egmond’s lecture on the special techniques used by singers who specialize in music of the Baroque era (and beyond) were offered to capacity crowds. Those free public events are one of the defining aspects of our Festival, and many spend the entire week with us, enjoying those and evening concerts for six or so days in a row.
Last night, in the grand Concert Hall of the Conservatory, we were fortunate to hear the Distinguished Artist Series performance by Tanya Tomkins. She was, of course, superb. Beginning with one of the most complex of Bach Suites for Solo Violoncello, and ending with a concerto by Bach’s son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, the colors of sonorities during the concert were beautiful. The Sonata No. 6 in C Minor by Jean-Baptiste Barrière, scored for two ‘cellos and harpsichord was the big “surprise” on the program, revealing a deep blend of sounds and a sensational allegro movement. Afterwards, Tanya signed copies of her new CD recording of the Bach suites. Here’s a photo showing some happy audience members (who also appear to be young Giants fans).
So, it’s off to put the finishing touches on the Bach for our 2pm matinee. This should probably be the last installment of these blogs from the Festival. But I’m sure that we’ll send along a wrap-up of some sort.
Thanks for reading!