Maine Classical Beat: A REVELATORY BRANDENBURG 3

A REVELATORY BRANDENBURG 3 JUNE 24, 2017 Portland Bach Festival Cathedral Church of St.. Luke June 23, 2017 by Christopher Hyde Now No. 3 has to be admitted to the pantheon. The performance of the third Brandenburg Concerto by the Bach Festival Orchestra Friday night at St. Luke’s Cathedral came like a revelation, or was it an epiphany? Scholars have been debating for centuries about the absence of a slow movement in this work, but Arthur Haas at the harpsichord improvised a riff on Bach’s central cadence that showed what had been there all along, inspiring Beethoven to write equally short movements. A form exists as a frame for the composer, not an edict from on high. A convenient convent

Concert Review: Portland Bach Festival beautifully open to interpretation

Concert Review: Portland Bach Festival beautifully open to interpretation By ALLAN KOZINN In its quest to bring the music of Bach and his contemporaries to every corner of Portland and its environs, the Portland Bach Festival has already presented performances this season at a bowling alley, two churches and a social hall on the city’s waterfront. On Thursday evening, the festival took over the acoustically vibrant sanctuary at Etz Chaim Synagogue, in the Maine Jewish Museum. The shape of the program was much like that of the festival’s Sunday evening opener: One of the six suites for unaccompanied cello opened the program, as an extended prelude of sorts, followed by chamber concertos (bran

Portland Press Herald: A 'magnificent' start to the Portland Bach Festival

A ‘magnificent’ start to the Portland Bach Festival By ALLAN KOZINN The artistic directors of the Portland Bach Festival, Lewis Kaplan and Emily Isaacson, knew they had a hit long before the end of last summer’s inaugural season. Partly because of the timeless draw of Bach’s intricate, virtuosic and enduringly popular music, and partly on the prospect of hearing Portland musicians join forces with superb players, including several early music specialists from New York and Boston, the festival concerts not only sold out, but also created the buzz its founders hoped for. Moreover, the alternation of formal church concerts and informal events like “Bach & Beer,” which let listeners hear perform

Maine Classical Beat: AN OUTSTANDING BRANDENBURG 2

AN OUTSTANDING BRANDENBURG 2 JUNE 19, 2017 Portland Bach Festival Episcopal Church of St. Mary June 18, 2017 by Christopher Hyde Like Oscar Wilde, I have very simple tastes: I am always satisfied with the best. Such as the Portland Bach Festival’s performance of the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 at St. Mary’s Church on Sunday. I was brought up on that and the No. 5, on what I now realize was a bad recording (better than nothing), and have never missed an opportunity to hear it once again. Sunday’s rendition by the festival orchestra under Lewis Kaplan, with soloists John Theissen, piccolo trumpet, Emi Ferguson, flute, John Ferrillo, oboe and Renée Jolles, violin, was quite simply the bes

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