THE PACIFIC BAROQUE SERIES

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FESTIVE CANTATAS: J.S. BACH
MAGNIFICAT & CANTATA BWV 110
(LET OUR MOUTH BE FULL
OF LAUGHTER)

The boys’ choir of the St. Thomas church in Leipzig was founded in 1212, and to this day, it still is one of the most prestigious ambassadors of musical culture in Germany. Historically, the choir director had to prepare the services in four churches and organize the music for city functions. Bach held the position from 1723 to his death in 1750; he was appointed only after two of his colleagues, further up on the list, Telemann and Graupner, had declined.

One of Bach’s major tasks was to provide annual cycles of cantatas for each Sunday. In his first year of taking up the post, Bach set the text of the (Latin) Magnificat with four inserted (German) hymns for a performance at Christmas, giving birth to one of his most popular and festive compositions. In this performance, we pair the famous Magnificat with cantata 110, which Bach composed for Christmas 1725, in his third year as cantor and director of the St. Thomas church. Vancouver’s Pacific Baroque Orchestra is joined by three natural trumpets, as many baroque oboes, and a stellar cast of singers, under the inspired direction of Alexander Weimann.

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This concert explores the juxtaposition of indigenous South American musical traditions with the ‘new’ repertoire introduced by the European colonizers in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The two main sources used to explore this repertoire are The Trujillo Codex from Peru and the Codice Luz y Norte published in Madrid but written in Mexico. The charango and pan flutes featured in this concert are played by virtuoso Federico Tarazone from Peru. The charango is a small guitar with five double strings that looks like a Spanish bandurria and is one of the most popular Andean musical instruments. Its resonator, which is rounded, is made from the shell of an armadillo. It has many names and is also known as tatú, atatou, quirquincho, querú, cabasu, piche, mulita, toche, mataca. The Argentinian singer Jonatan Alvarado, specialist of South American repertoire whose passion is to revive the tradition of self-accompanied singing, will join the ensemble to recreate this colourful journey.

Crossing The Andes