If you can binge-watch your favorite TV show (mine’s “The Crown”), is it possible to “binge-listen” to the Brandenburg Concertos?
Some friends have told me their favorite way to experience Bach’s masterful collection is to listen to them all at once, whether on their favorite recording or live. I agree! Live performances of all six concertos (especially on period instruments) are few and far between, and we can’t wait to provide that opportunity for listeners this weekend.
The BCOC is primarily a string ensemble, but we are always thrilled to invite period wind players to join us. (They are like our favorite cousins that we get to see once a year!) Joining us for the Brandenburgs are several musicians that have played with us often over the last several years, including Kathryn Montoya and MaryAnn Shore (oboes), Todd Williams (horn), and Keith Collins (bassoon). Also returning are flutist Tamara Meredith and recorderists Linda Lunbeck and Michael Lightner, all three of whom have played with us since our first season.
Joining us for the first time are horn player Linda Dempf for Concerto #1 and trumpeter Josh Cohen on Concerto #2 (a piece that Josh performs frequently throughout North America). Joining Todd on horn, these superb specialists will display their amazing talents on natural brass instruments!
Since its beginning the BCOC has been committed to nurturing and highlighting young talent in the early music field. This week we expand that focus with our new Young Artist Spotlight. We are delighted to welcome Stephen Gamboa-Diaz to perform the harpsichord solo in Concerto #5 and to share the continuo duties with me for these concerts. Stephen is originally from Oxnard, California, and now lives in Connecticut after recently receiving his Artist Diploma from Yale University.
Thursday’s performance at Broomfield Auditorium will feature four of the Brandenburg Concertos (#1, 3, 4 and 5); the slightly reduced program will allow us to provide concert commentary, a demonstration of some of the instruments, and a short introduction to Baroque improvisation (using the “slow movement” of the Concerto #3 as a departure).
The remaining performances — Friday evening in Highlands Ranch, Saturday evening in Cherry Hills Village, and Sunday afternoon in downtown Denver — will each include all six Brandenburg Concertos in one program, with a minimum of talking and a maximum of music-making. Definitely a binge listening experience!
I look forward to seeing you this weekend.