For centuries now, the composer Franz Josef Haydn has often been called “Papa Haydn.” But J.S. Bach, father of 19 children, was one proud papa, too, as music lovers will learn when Musica Angelica presents the opening concert of its 20th anniversary season – “Bach Harpsichord Concerti” – on Saturday October 27 at 8 p.m. at AT&T Center Theater in downtown Los Angeles and Sunday October 28 at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica. The programming will feature works for not just two, not just three but four harpsichords as well, and Bach’s inspiration for these multiple harpsichord concerti may very well have come from his very own children.
“Among the six children from Bach’s first marriage were Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, very gifted composers in their own right and great harpsichord players,” explains Musica Angelica’s Music Director, Martin Haselböck. “Bach arranged some of his best concertos for multiple harpsichords and orchestra, probably to show off the virtuoso playing of his offspring. We can imagine how very proud he must have been of his two teenage sons as they tackled the concertos’ fast passage work so very successfully.”
Now, centuries later, Haselböck has no doubt the four soloists joining Musica Angelica’s strings will rise as brilliantly as Bach’s sons to the challenge of performing these works.
“We’re presenting two keyboard superstars of our local scene here in LA, Patricia Mabee of LA Chamber Orchestra and Ian Pritchard, along with two musicians who work regularly with me in Vienna – Davide Mariano, and Jeremy Joseph, who last thrilled Musica Angelica audiences with his brilliant and virtuosic performance on our Bach Cantatas program,” says Haselböck. “If you like concertos, this program will dazzle you. It’s a veritable Bach blowout!”
The program for “Bach Harpsichord Concerti” is as follows:
Concerto for two harpsichords in C major
Concerto for three harpsichords in D minor
Concerto for four harpsichords in A minor
Concerto for two harpsichords in C minor
Concerto for three harpsichords in C major
“Musica Angelica is offering lovers of Baroque music a very rare and exciting opportunity to see four harpsichords on one stage,” adds Managing Director Laura Spino. “In fact, at Intermission, we’ll be encouraging audience members to come up on stage and see the harpsichords up close for themselves.”
All four harpsichords are built and painstakingly hand-painted by the renowned harpsichord restorer Curtis Berak, who is the “go to guy” for harpsichords for not only Musica Angelica but LA Chamber Orchestra and LA Opera.
Tickets for “Bach Harpsichord Concerti” 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. Subscription discounts are also available, with first time subscribers receiving 25% off single ticket prices when they buy a package of three or more concerts. For more information, to purchase a subscription, or to order tickets, visit www.musicaangelica.org or call310.458.4504.
AT&T Center Theater is located at 1150 South Olive Street in downtown Los Angeles, 90015. First Presbyterian Church is located at 1220 Second Street in Santa Monica, 90402.