Token Creek Chamber Music Festival

Program I

Continuo

Saturday, August 26, 8:00 P.M.
Sunday, August 27, 4:00 P.M.

Works of Bach, Harbison, and Haydn

Tickets: General Admission $32 / Student $12


Program

Sonata in E minor for violin and continuo, BWV 1023 Johann Sebastian Bach Trio in F major for flute, cello and piano, Hob. XV:17 Franz Joseph Haydn Two Fugues, from The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 Bach Mark the Date, for flute and piano (pre-premiere) John Harbison Sonata in G major for violin and continuo, BWV 1021 Bach Three-Voice Ricercar, from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079 Bach Sonata in C minor, from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079 Bach

Program Notes

Every musician has the experience of understanding a piece better after they have performed it. A few have careers which welcome (sometimes to a fault) chances to re-perform, hopefully with greater insight, a piece they wish to carry with them and continue to share with colleagues and listeners. We have performed two complete Bach Musical Offerings at Token Creek. Why are we going back to its Trio Sonata? Because it has become necessary, for the fullness of our encounter, to present what is a revision, a reconsideration, a reinforcement of vows, regarding a masterpiece whose carrot remains forever on the stick.

Such could be said about other elements on this program. One of the subtexts is about the fascinating issue of continuo realization, the strange language in which harmonic structure is described to the player in cipher. In Bach’s pieces this language is strained to the breaking point in pieces like The Musical Offering and the E minor continuo sonata, it is in fact about to disappear, replaced by the explicit writing out, in pitches, all the musical information. Living in the world before and after this decision was taken is one of the preoccupations of this concert.

In a concert dominated by Bach, the requirement of the other pieces is really sufficient originality and integrity not to be dwarfed or rendered ephemeral by his authority, a high bar, considered carefully by the management.

— Notes by John Harbison
Artistic Co-Director, Token Creek Chamber Music Festival