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Helmuth's fall tour includes US

  • Oct 15, 2012

OBF Artistic Director Helmuth Rilling hits the road for guest conducting appearances this fall, including a set of performances in Minneapolis. Rilling conducts the Vocal Essence ensemble of Minneapolis in a program entitled Romance in E Minor, with works by Mendelssohn and Bruckner, including the latter’s Mass in E Minor. The concert takes place Friday October 19 in the Cathedral of St. Paul. From there it’s on to Europe and northeastern Italy for performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Bruneck and Bozenen October 27-28. Soloists Letizia Scherrer, Barbara Hölzl, Lothar Odinius, and Michael Volle join the Choir of the Collegium Musicum...

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Concert series inspires flights of imagination

  • Aug 14, 2012

If the concert experience can be compared to a journey, then audiences of ChamberMusic@Beall will be treated to the excursions of discovery led by some of the world’s foremost classical music ensembles now through April 7. The Sunday concert series is a joint production of the Oregon Bach Festival and University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. Watch the preview slideshow or download the season brochure (pdf). [caption id="attachment_9660" align="alignleft" width="240"] The Miro Quartet performs Schubert December 9. Photo by Nathan Russell.[/caption] Named for the Spanish surrealist painter whose canvasses drew from the realms of memory and fantasy, the...

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Festival sets sales record in ambitious season

  • Jul 18, 2012

[caption id="attachment_9365" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Helmuth Rilling at the conclusion of the St. Matthew Passion. Photo: Jon Meyers"][/caption] As Helmuth Rilling conducted Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion for an unprecedented twelfth time in Eugene on July 15, the Oregon Bach Festival celebrated an achievement of its own: the third straight year—and fourth in the last five—of setting box office records. Opening with two packed concerts in Eugene and Portland featuring violin superstar Joshua Bell, through to the dramatic finale, the 2012 edition of the University of Oregon event (June 29-July 15) surpassed $550,000 in total sales, eclipsing last year’s mark and...

Rilling's final Matthew makes a worthy finale

  • Jul 18, 2012

By Marilyn Farwell From The Register-Guard July 17, 2012 The final Oregon Bach Festival concert each year is usually fraught with emotion. Excitement mixes with sadness, gratitude with relief. But this season’s culminating event, J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, carried the added burden of being the last time Helmuth Rilling would conduct this masterwork as the festival’s artistic director. Rilling led his large musical forces — a double orchestra, double chorus, a children’s choir and six soloists — in a concert to cherish at the Hult Center on Sunday afternoon. As he often does, Rilling combined dramatic insight with musical incisiveness, giving an operatic flavor to...

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Hewitt Goldberg concert invariably brilliant

  • Jul 16, 2012

By Terry McQuilkin From The Register-Guard July 16, 2012  Capping the Oregon Bach Festival’s exploration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations, pianist Angela Hewitt delivered an unforgettable account of the work on Saturday evening at the University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall. The concert sold out weeks ago — hardly a shock given Hewitt’s international reputation as a Bach interpreter — and more chairs were placed on stage to accommodate additional listeners. With the repeats, the music lasts roughly 80 minutes. Although the Canadian pianist took almost all of Bach’s repeats, the time flew by quickly for most of us,...

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Organist Scott does wonders with Bach’s Clavier-Übung III

  • Jul 13, 2012

By James Bash From Oregon Music News July 12, 2012  Over the past week, a minor-league heat wave has stayed in Portland long enough to cause even large spaces like Trinity Episcopal Cathedral to become uncomfortably warm. But the sweltering conditions did not deter John Scott, organist and director of music at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City, from delivering, on Monday (July 9), a superb two-hour performance of Bach’s Clavier-Übung III in a concert presented by the Oregon Bach Festival. The third volume of the Clavier-Übung (Keyboard Practice) contains a monumental praeludium, 21 chorale preludes, and a closing fugue.  Together,...

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Concert a fitting tribute to festival's co-founder

  • Jul 13, 2012

By John Farnworth From The Register-Guard July 13, 2012  The sell-out crowd that attended Wednesday’s Oregon Bach Festival concert at the University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall was treated to a very special and supremely musical program. First, it was all Bach. Although the music of many composers has been performed during the festival’s 42-year history, it is, after all, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach that sparked the birth of the festival back in 1970 and has been its cornerstone ever since. Second, the two men who created the festival were very much in evidence at the concert. Artistic...