Baroque Vocal Premieres
Sundays in August
Sunday mornings in August, Stingray Classica broadcasts splendid new baroque programs! Violinist Gidon Kremer starts the morning with Bach’s Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006). The week after, enjoy another Bach masterpiece, with a performance of the Mass in B minor by the choir and orchestra of the famous Gewandhaus. During the closing weeks of this special, discover works by Handel and Valls performed by the renowned Vox Mago choir!
Sunday, August 4th | Bach - Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006)
Gidon Kremer’s return to J. S. Bach’s partitas is a major event. Kremer’s first recording of these works was released almost a quarter of a century ago. In this recording from 2006, Kremer once again takes on the greatest challenge for any violinist: Bach’s magnificent “Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin” (BWV 1001-1006), which Kremer himself calls the “Himalayas” of violin music. With these pieces, Bach firmly established the technical capability of the violin as a solo instrument. The partitas served as archetypes for solo violin pieces by later generations of composers. This rendition of the collection displays Kremer’s very personal sense of spontaneity and a readiness to take risks. Yet it is also marked by the structural awareness of an exceptional musician who, in a unique way, does justice both to the polyphonic wealth of the compositions and to their juxtaposition of dance elements and reflective profoundness.
Sunday, August 11th | J. S. Bach: Mass in B minor, BWV 232
In this concert, Herbert Blomstedt conducts the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Kammerchor for the last time as the Gewandhaus Music Director at the Leipzig Bachfest 2005. After seven successful years in Leipzig, the maestro performs J. S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232), one of the greatest works of church music ever written. Soloists are Ruth Ziesak (soprano), Anna Larsson (alto), Christoph Genz (tenor), and Dietrich Henschel (bass). The mass is a musical setting of the complete Ordinary of the Latin Mass and is one of last compositions Bach completed, just one year before his death, in 1750. Blomstedt's reading of the work is conceived and executed on the highest level with the performance pulsating with life. Since 1999, the Leipzig Bachfest has been regarded as the world’s leading festival celebrating the music of Bach.
Sunday, August 18th | Monteverdi - Vespro della Beata Vergine
In 1610, Monteverdi gave his Vespers for the Virgin in Mantova, before conquering Saint-Mark’s Basilica in Venice. It is the first great religious masterpiece of baroque. It has remained one of the key works in the universal musical heritage. After the genius of Orfeo (1607), the Vespers use its opening fanfare again and confirm Monteverdi as the main composer of his time. Sir John Elliot Gardiner conducted this work for the first time in 1964 and recorded it twice. It is for this work that he founded the Monteverdi Choir, one of the best choirs in the world. For their 50th anniversary in 2014, they perform Monteverdi’s masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergine at the Chapelle Royale de Versailles in France. The Monteverdi choir performs this masterpiece with the English Baroque Soloists and Les Pages du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles. The soloists are Silvia Frigato, Emanuela Galli, Raffaele Pè, Krystian Adam, Nicholas Mulroy, Gareth Treseder, Alexander Ashworth, and Robert Davies.
Sunday, August 25th | Händel - Dettingen Te Deum (HV 283)
Patrick Debrabandere conducts the Vox Mago choir in a performance of The Dettingen Te Deum (HWV 283), a canticle composed by George Frideric Handel, in 1743. On June 27, 1743, the British army and its allies, under the command of King George II and Lord Stair, won a victory at the Battle of Dettingen, over the French army. On the King's return, a day of public thanksgiving was appointed, and Handel was commissioned to write a Te Deum. Soloists are Bart Uvyn (alto), Denzil Delaere (tenor), Helena Maes (soprano), and Joris Stroobants (bas). The Vox Mago is made up of a group of enthusiastic and dynamic singers. The perfromance is recorded at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Presentatiekerk in Gent in 2018.
Sunday, August 25th | Valls - Missa Scala Aretina
Patrick Debrabandere conducts the Vox Mago choir and orchestra in a performance of the Missa scala aretina by the Spanish composer Francisco Valls (1672-1747). The work consists of three choirs and an extensive instrumental line-up, which is of a very festive character. Valls was a contemporary of Bach and was, like him, conductor at various churches. At the same time, Valls was stubborn enough to cause a scandal. In a certain passage of the Gloria (with the text "miserere nobis") he made a strange harmonic turn, without preparing dissonance. Some of his colleagues were furious, and this excitement is now hard to understand for modern listeners. The performance was recorded at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Presentatiekerk in Gent, in 2018.