There is never a bad time of year to play Bach, but March – as his birthday month – is an especially good time! (March is also Early Music Month and Women’s History Month… more on that in my next blog post!)
Here are some concerts I’m involved in this month and next featuring the music of Bach. And it’s thrilling to be playing live music for audiences again!
An Evening of Baroque Music with the Fittz-Nowell Duo
Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 pm
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2015 Glenarm Place, Denver
Suggested donation: $25 at the event (credit card option available)
The concert is a benefit for Rocky Mountain Refuge, a wonderful new non-profit organization providing dignified end-of-life care in a safe environment to our terminally ill unhoused neighbors. I’m honored to partner with good friend and colleague Jim Fittz to support this very good cause. In addition to three Bach pieces, two sonatas for cello and harpsichord by Geminiani and a solo harpsichord suite by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre.
Discover Baroque: Zimmerman’s Coffee House
Wednesday March 16 at Noon
Not a concert, but a one-hour presentation on Zoom with recorded musical examples as part of BCOC’s Discover Baroque series for life-long learning. Some of Bach’s most enduring and beloved instrumental works, as well as his comic “Coffee Cantata,” received their first performances in the intimate surroundings of Zimmerman’s coffee house in Leipzig. Learn more about this unusual music venue and what Bach performed there.
Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado presents Bach’s Coffee Cantata
Sunday, March 20 (the day before Bach’s birthday) at 7:00 pm
Wildcat Mountain Auditorium, Highlands Ranch
An instrumental ensemble from BCOC will be joined by three Colorado favorites – soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah, baritone Adam Ewing, and tenor Joseph Gaines, for a new production of the cantata staged as a comic mini-opera. Rounding out the program is music of Telemann: Concerto Polonois and Flute Concerto in D major, with Tamara Meredith as soloist. A good time will be had by all!
Happy Hour Concerts: Complete Gamba Sonatas
Moving into April, I will be appearing on the wonderful Happy Hour Concert series on April 8 with gambist Benjamin Cline for Bach’s three sonatas for viola da gamba and obbligato harpsichord. This is my first opportunity to play all three of these amazing sonatas in one concert. I look forward to playing them with Ben in an intimate space for the Happy Hour audience on April 8 at 6:00 pm, and also for the Cottonwood Festival in Hays, Kansas on April 2.
Thinking of the gamba sonatas reminds me of this quote from Bach scholar Christoph Wolff:
Perfectly constructed and unique in sound, Bach’s compositions offer the ideal of bringing into congruence original thought, technical exactitude, and aesthetic beauty, Whatever the category of music and whatever the level of achievement, …individually and collectively Bach’s works demonstrate the musical realization of unity in diversity, of musical perfection.