At first it might not seem like the French writer, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, best known as the author of the popular 20th century novel Gigi, and baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach would have much in common. But Bach may well have appreciated Colette’s assertion that “music is love,” as audiences will discover when Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra presents “Bach’s Wedding Cantatas” on Saturday, February 18 at 8 p.m. at AT&T Center Theatre in Los Angeles and Sunday, February 19 at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica.
The program will include Bach’s Cantata No. 202 “The Wedding Cantata” and Cantata No. 210 “Oh, lovely day, longed for time.” Soprano Mary Wilson, hailed as “a gift from the gods” for her “exquisite singing” by San Francisco Classical Voice, will join the renowned orchestra as guest soloist.
“The Bach Wedding Cantatas are extremely poignant as they explore all the emotions that one experiences when approaching that life-changing event – everything from self reflection to bursting joy,” explains Wilson. “As a happily married woman, I especially find personal connections to this music. These cantatas are so beautiful and still as relevant as ever. If you've ever experienced any love at all, you will be able to personally relate to this music.”
But the wedding cantatas celebrate more than love, adds General Manager Laura Spino. “It’s almost impossible not to think of spring when you think of weddings,” Spino explains. “Both celebrate hope and new beginnings. As the opening line of The Wedding Cantata says, ‘Yield I say, ye brooding shadows, frost and tempests, take your rest!’ ”
Also on the program is J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Oboe in D minor, after BWV35/156, featuring oboist Gonzalo Ruiz.
“The Oboe concerto is a reconstruction from two of Bach's Cantatas – the outer movements from Cantata 35 and the inner movement from Cantata 156 – which prominently feature the oboist as soloist,” says Ruiz, who has served as principal oboist of Musica Angelica since its inception. “It is speculated that Bach himself recycled the oboe work into his cantatas and that the original manuscript was lost. Of all the Bach reconstructions for oboe, this one is the most spectacularly challenging for the oboist, a stunning showpiece that tests the soloist's virtuosic abilities.”
Musica Angelica’s Cynthia Roberts will appear as a guest soloist as well, when the baroque orchestra rounds out its evening of works by J.S. Bach, presenting the Violin Concerto in A minor BWV 1041. Roberts, a leading advocate of the baroque violin in the U.S., recently appeared at the Mostly Mozart Festival in a solo performance of Bach's Sonatas for Violin & Violin & Harpsichord and has participated in recordings of the complete Brandenburg Concertos.
Musica Angelica is especially grateful for the generous sponsorship received from The E. Nakamichi Foundation and Frank & Betty Pinkerton in support of these concerts. Tickets for The Bach Wedding Cantatas are reasonably priced, ranging from $29 to $49/person, with seniors receiving a 10% discount ($26 to $44) and students a special price of only $15 with valid identification. In addition, members of KUSC and SCEMS receive $10 off single ticket prices. For more information or to order tickets, visit www.musicaangelica.org or call 310.458.4504.
AT&T Center Theatre is located at 1150 South Olive Street in Los Angeles, 90015.
First Presbyterian Church is located at 1220 2nd Street in Santa Monica, 90402.