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In this the final installment of our "Ahhhh, Bach . . ." blog, we take a parting glance at Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and leave you with a lovely parting gift.

Ahhhh, Bach . . . "And Outro We Go!"

  • Jun 8, 2011
A Slightly Askew View of the Oregon Bach Festival. OUTRO WE GO! In this the final installment of our "Ahhhh, Bach . . ." blog, we take a parting glance at Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (July 9, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and July 10, Silva Concert Hall), the final movement of the maestro's Ninth Symphony. An OBF writer who is clearly not us describes the piece as "A grand summation of [Beethoven's] passion, humor, despair, and triumph . . . a world-changing masterpiece of winding suspense, epic themes, and pounding revolutionary fervor." That certainly sounds like an earful, but truth is, the... read more
The Festival's first 2011 sellouts: June 23 with Yo-Yo Ma; Caminos del Inka evening concert June 24.

Sold out: Yo-Yo Ma and Caminos 6/24

  • Jun 6, 2011
Updates: Both the Thursday, June 23 opening night concert with Yo-Yo Ma conducted by Jeffrey Kahane and the Friday, June 24 concert with Caminos del Inka and Miguel Harth-Bedoya are sold out. Tickets are still available for the Friday, June 24 Discovery lecture concert of Bach's Magnificat conducted by Kahane; the Saturday, June 25 OBF Kids concert by Caminos del Inka; and the Tuesday, June 28 chamber music concert conducted by Harth-Bedoya. read more
What's not to like about the cello? In the right hands, it's capable of producing music that makes us feel as if we'd been submerged in soft, warm caramel. And as audiences at three OBF concerts will discover, we've got the right cellists on hand to prove it.

Ahhhh, Bach . . . "Mello Cello."

  • Jun 1, 2011
A Slightly Askew View of the Oregon Bach Festival. MELLO CELLO. What's not to like about the cello? It has a pleasing shape reminiscent of a Botero subject. It's capable of making music that makes us feel as if we'd been submerged in soft, warm caramel. (Warning: Metaphorical intent only; do not attempt at home.) And, unlike the guitar, it's exceedingly difficult to pull off a convincing "air cello" performance. In fact, former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore credits the cello's complexities for convincing him to return to the guitar. And, hence, for better or worse, "Smoke on the Water." CELLO DALI! Throughout the years, the cello has... read more
The OBF in Portland expands to five concerts for 2011, with a variety of choral music from sultry South American sounds to Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

PDX mini-fest a choral bonanza

  • May 31, 2011
From the sultry sounds of Venezuela to the glorious finale of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Oregon Bach Festival’s 2011 Portland concert series encompasses a wide range of choral music and reflects each of the Festival’s three main programming themes—In Praise of Women, Masterworks and the Bach legacy, and Music of the Americas. Tickets are on sale now for the five-concert series, which takes place June 27-July 9 in First United Methodist Church, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The Portland series is one part of the larger Oregon Bach Festival, the University of Oregon program which will produce nearly... read more
He's a renowned composer and virtuoso pianist whose most familiar melody has been putting audiences to sleep for generations. This week we take a look at Johannes Brahms, who felt at home in both his salon and his favorite saloon.

Ahhhh, Bach . . . "The Piano Man."

  • May 25, 2011
A Slightly Askew View of the Oregon Bach Festival. PIANO MAN! After two consecutive weeks writing about the lives of saints (Joan and Cecilia), it's something of a relief to turn our focus on someone more down to earth, a renowned composer and virtuoso pianist whose haunting melodies still linger in our collective subconscious. No, not him. On Wednesday, July 6, OBF will celebrate the music of Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) with excerpts of several of his compositions in a recital titled "A Brahms Soiree." A soiree is what the French and other people of sophistication call "an evening gathering, typically in a private house,... read more
The 2011 OBF schedule includes 17 free concerts and lectures that provide an additional look at this year's music and musicians.

Cellos, choirs, conversations: OBF free events

  • May 20, 2011
As part of this summer's Oregon Bach Festival, 17 free events—from concerts to lectures, cellos to choirs—will be presented in Eugene and Portland. These events are drawn from the many facets of music in community and our lives and provide opportunities to learn more about this year's Festival music and musicians. [caption id="attachment_4101" align="alignright" width="240" caption="The Portland Cello Project presents a free concert at the Hult Center on Monday June 27 at 1pm"][/caption] On the House - concerts (all 1pm in Hult Center Lobby) PICCFEST Choirs (Saturday 6/25) Portland Cello Project (Monday 6/27) SFYCA soloists (Friday 7/1) Idit Shner and Friends (Saturday 7/2) Let's Talk - meet... read more
She has inspired Purcell, Handel, and Blue Oyster Cult. Before you hear the July 7 concert, read the blog to find out more about her.

Ahhhh, Bach . . . "Saints Alive!"

  • May 18, 2011
A Slightly Askew View of the Oregon Bach Festival. SAINTS ALIVE! On July 7 conductor Matthew Halls will lead the OBF Orchestra, OBF Choir and several soloists in a performance honoring St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music. The concert will feature compositions by such noted heavyweights as George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), whom Beethoven described as "the master of us all"; Henry Purcell (1659-1695), whose harmonies Pete Townshend once cited as the inspiration for such Who classics as "Pinball Wizard" and "Won't Get Fooled Again"; and Benjamin Britten (1915-1976), who also composed an operetta about Paul Bunyan. No, seriously, that Paul Bunyan. Incidentally, you... read more
Maria Guinand is one of six guest conductors joining Artistic Director Helmuth Rilling for more than 50 concerts in Eugene, Portland, Bend, and Ashland.

2011 Festival celebrates women, the Americas

  • May 15, 2011
The themes In Praise of Women, Music of the Americas, and Masterworks encompass the OBF concert programs June 23-July 10 in Eugene, Ashland, Bend, and Portland. Tickets are now on sale. Helmuth Rilling returns as artistic director for the Festival’s 41st anniversary season, leading performances of the Brahms Requiem June 26 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Portland July 9 and Eugene July 10. The headliners include: Yo-Yo Ma, as soloist in Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul, a showcase for cello written for the classical superstar. Jeffrey Kahane conducts this opening night concert Thursday, June 23, which also includes Bach’s Magnificat. Marin Alsop premieres a dramatically imagined... read more