Freiburger Barockorchester (photo: Britt Schilling)

Chamber Music

Baroque Festival

Baroque Concertos and Cantatas

When the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra was launched as a student initiative at the Freiburg College of Music in 1987, it was still a pioneer in the field of early music. Today it is regarded as one of the leading ensembles specializing in historical performance practice. At this concert, the orchestra devotes itself to a genre that is more representative of the Baroque era than any others: the solo concerto. With works by Albinoni, Marcello and Vivaldi, the “Freiburgers” reveal how strongly the music of Italy influenced the style of the German Johann Sebastian Bach.

Freiburger Barockorchester

Gottfried von der Goltz violin and direction

Jean Rondeau harpsichord

Behind Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

“Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht”, Cantata, BWV 52: Sinfonia

Gottfried von der Goltz violin and direction

Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052

Gottfried von der Goltz violin and direction, Jean Rondeau harpsichord

Tomaso Albinoni

Trio Sonata in B flat majorr, op. 1 No. 12

Jean Rondeau harpsichord

Alessandro Marcello

Concerto for Oboe, Strings and Continuo in D minor

Jean Rondeau harpsichord

Johann Sebastian Bach

“Ich liebe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte”, Cantata, BWV 174: Sinfonia

Gottfried von der Goltz violin and direction

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto in D minor, RV 565

Jean Rondeau harpsichord

Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto for Flute, Violin, Harpsichord, Strings and Continuo in A minor, BWV 1044

Jean Rondeau harpsichord

Dates and Tickets

Sun, 27 Feb 2022, 20:00

Chamber Music Hall

Programme

Johann Sebastian Bach was a trained organist. He taught himself composition with chorale arrangements and improvisations of the toccata and fugue. The Baroque concerto was a different matter – and nevertheless became a formative experience for the young Bach when he began to copy concertos by Albinoni, Vivaldi and Marcello around 1709/10. He learned three things from the Italian scores: first, how to organize the music with tutti and solo passages; second, how to design a development that passes through different keys; and third, how to treat themes that can be broken down into motifs.

Over time, Bach also arranged works by his colleagues for keyboard instruments, for example, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, which will be heard in its original version at today’s concert. The fugue, which is rarely found in works by Vivaldi, probably interested Bach the contrapuntist as much as the acoustic appeal of the overlapping violins at the beginning. In Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor, on the other hand, he could observe how the solo and tutti interact with each other. In the first movement, the oboe is juxtaposed with the unison of the strings; they fashion the finale together with identical material.

Bach’s own concertos range from the highly virtuosic solo Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052, with extended cadenzas, to complex group concertos such as the First and Third Brandenburg Concertos, the first movements of which Bach used again as cantata sinfonias (the Sinfonia of “Falsche Welt”, BWV 52, and the Sinfonia of “Ich liebe den Höchsten”, BWV 174). The Triple Concerto in A minor is based on a keyboard work that Bach composed in Weimar during his first period of enthusiasm for the concerto genre and reworked 20 years later. With its triplets, the newly composed tutti ritornello already displays characteristics of the galant style, while the imaginativeness of the playful solo passages is far removed from the thematic material of the beginning.

Biography

From whispering pianissimo to breathtaking fury: the members of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra initially wanted to revive the world of Early music, and they succeeded brilliantly. Since then, they have also dedicated themselves to works of the First Viennese School and Romantic periods – also with impressive success. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra was founded in 1985 by students of the College of Music in Freiburg, most of whom attended the violin class of Rainer Kussmaul, later concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Abbado era. After almost two years of research and rehearsal, the young ensemble gave its first public concert on 8 November 1987 and advanced with remarkable speed to become one of the most internationally sought-after orchestras on the original sound scene. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra works on a project-by-project basis with renowned conductors such as René Jacobs, Pablo Heras-Casado, Teodor Currentzis and Sir Simon Rattle. Alongside the renowned fortepiano specialist Kristian Bezuidenhout, the musical director is the Baroque violinist Gottfried von der Goltz, who usually leads the ensemble from the concertmaster's desk: “When performing Baroque works,” he says, “the musician has to read between the lines of the musical text, away from the fidelity of the text, in order to discern the content and essence of the music. This is very inspiring work.”

Freiburger Barockorchester (photo: Britt Schilling)

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