Mobirise

Festival Concerts

FRIDAY AUGUST 4 2017 8:00 P.M. • ST. MARK'S LUTHERAN CHURCH • 1111 O'FARRELL STREET • SAN FRANCISCO

Opening Night:
Water Music by Handel & Telemann

American Bach Soloists • Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the legendary performance of George Frideric Handel’s world famous Water Music that was performed for King George I during an evening on the River Thames. Wanting to impress his close aristocratic friends and all of London at the same time, the King and his party boarded a royal barge at Whitehall Palace destined for Chelsea, where dinner would be served. According to the first British newspaper (The Daily Courant), “the whole River in a manner was covered” with boats and barges of onlookers and those seeking an extraordinary outdoor concert. The music was an instant hit and is now among the most recognizable works of the Baroque era. Paired with Handel’s music to be played upon a river is Telemann’s music about a river, in this case the Elbe as it flows through the city of Hamburg. Hamburger Ebb’ und Fluth (“Hamburg’s Ebb and Flood”) paints nautical scenes of mythological deities—Thetis, Neptune, Naiads, Triton, Aeolus, and Zephir—culminating with a joyful movement about sailors (“Die lustigen Boots Leute” or “The merry Boat People”).

SATURDAY AUGUST 5 2017 8:00 P.M. • ST. MARK'S LUTHERAN CHURCH • 1111 O'FARRELL STREET • SAN FRANCISCO

Orpheus in Britannia

American Bach Soloists

The ABS Academy features one of the most distinguished faculty of Early Music performers to be found anywhere. This program, designed specifically to spotlight their gifts as powerful and dramatic performers, takes its name from the legendary ancient Greek hero who was endowed with superhuman musical skills that could move all living things, charm wild beasts, and even coax rocks and trees into movement. Selections by the greatest composers of the English Baroque—including Purcell, Jenkins, and Handel, among others—will present the unique artistry of the Academy Faculty in an enthralling showcase.

Works by Thomas Arne, William Babell, John Blow, William Boyce, John Dowland, Orlando Gibbons, George Frideric Handel, John Jenkins, William Lawes, Nicola Matteis, Henry Purcell, John Stanley, and Thomas Vincent

SUNDAY AUGUST 6 2017 7:00 P.M. • ST. MARK'S LUTHERAN CHURCH • 1111 O'FARRELL STREET • SAN FRANCISCO

SUNDAY AUGUST 13 2017 2:00 P.M. • SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC • 50 OAK STREET • SAN FRANCISCO

Bach's Mass in B Minor

ABS Academy Festival Orchestra & American Bach Choir
with soloists from the ABS Academy
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

Jeffrey Thomas leads the ABS Festival Orchestra and American Bach Choir in performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor on each Festival Sunday. A beloved tradition, the annual performances of this pinnacle work of the repertory feature instrumental and vocal soloists from the ABS Academy.

THURSDAY AUGUST 10 2017 8:00 P.M. • SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC • 50 OAK STREET • SAN FRANCISCO

FRIDAY AUGUST 11 2017 8:00 P.M. • SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC • 50 OAK STREET • SAN FRANCISCO

Purcell's King Arthur

ABS Academy Festival Orchestra
American Bach Choir
with soloists from the ABS Academy
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

Henry Purcell’s King Arthur, considered a “semi-opera”—a work that includes arias and choruses, spoken dialogue, and dance music—is a setting of a libretto by the great English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright John Dryden (1631-1700), named England’s first Poet Laureate in 1668. The plot revolves around episodes from the battles between King Arthur’s Britons and the Saxons, centering primarily on Arthur’s efforts to recover Princess Emmeline, his fiancée who had been captured by his archenemy, the Saxon King Oswald. The music is a colorful anthology of songs, dances, and choruses, certainly ranking at the top of all theatrical music from the period of Restoration England, and features some of Purcell’s most delightful, lyrical, and recognizable works including the serenely beautiful aria, “Fairest Isle.”

SATURDAY AUGUST 12 2017 8:00 P.M. • SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC • 50 OAK STREET • SAN FRANCISCO

Bach & Sons

Sandra Miller, flauto traverso
American Bach Soloists • Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

The fame of Johann Sebastian Bach—the keystone of a multi-generational musical dynasty—gave permanence to the careers and legacies of his forebears and sons. This program features some of Bach’s most profound music including orchestral transcriptions of selections from The Musical Offering, Clavier Übung III, and the monumental Passacaglia in C Minor. Then, following performances of Sinfonias from some of Bach’s best cantatas, his most successful progeny will be represented by Carl Philipp Emanuel’s tour-de-force concerto for flauto traverso, Wilhelm Friedemann’s Sinfonia in F Major, and a rarely performed Trio for Strings in D Major by Johann Christian (known as “the English Bach”).

Johann Sebastian Bach: Transcriptions
     Ricercar a 6 (from “The Musical Offering”)
     Passacaglia in C Minor
     Wir gläuben all an einen Gott (from Clavier Übung III) Johann Sebastian Bach: Sinfonias from Cantatas
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Sinfonia in F Major for Strings
Johann Christian Bach: Trio for Strings in D Major
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Concerto in A Major for Flute