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Getting a HANDEL on BACH
Made possible in part by generous support from MARGUERITE I. HARKNESS, CPA
As we struggle with restlessness during the Coronavirus Shutdown, it is interesting to ponder life in the 18th century. Epidemics were frequent and inescapable. J.S. Bach buried 8 of his own children, several of whom probably died from infectious diseases. With all the sorrow in his life – including the death of his first wife – it is miraculous that his Brandenburg Concertos sparkle with such joy and exuberance.
In today’s episode of Music for the Soul, we offer Brandenburg Concertos no. 4 and 5 in newly released videos from Tanglewood. Performing these pieces always feels to us like food for the soul. No matter what stresses or headaches we may have when we arrive at a concert hall, we are always joyful and glowing after performing the Brandenburgs.
Bach was a big admirer of Handel. Both were born in the same year, about 80 miles apart. Bach came from a clan of Lutheran church musicians, while Handel grew up around the aristocracy, since his father was a court surgeon. Each wore the lifelong stamp of his origins, but Bach’s admiration for Handel inspired him to attempt a meeting at least twice.
Today we offer two stunning arias by Handel: Tornami a vagheggiar from ALCINA and Da Tempeste from GIULIO CESARE. Both are sung by our friend Amanda Forsythe, the impeccable coloratura soprano whose solo album “The Power of Love” with Apollo’s Fire has been a Billboard hit. Enjoy!
Wishing you health and inspiration,
(appx. 53 minutes)
Performed at the Tanglewood Festival, 2015:
J.S. BACH: Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 in G Major
Olivier Brault, violin | Francis Colpron & Kathie Stewart, recorder
J.S. BACH: Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D Major
Jeannette Sorrell, harpsichord | Kathie Stewart, traverso | Olivier Brault, violin
Performed in Cleveland, 2015:
G.F. HANDEL: Tornami a vagheggiar (Morgana) from ALCINA
G.F. HANDEL: Da Tempeste (Cleopatra) from GIULIO CESARE
Download Program Notes
“Bach & Handel: Two Saxons Who Changed the World” – by Jeannette Sorrell
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