Americas, Bach film, Brahms classic highlight opening

  • Jun 23, 2011
[caption id="attachment_5263" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Jeffrey Kahane conducts a rehearsal for opening night"][/caption] In the opening days of the 2011 Oregon Bach Festival, audiences can journey through impressions of South America, be inspired by one of the great choral masterworks, and enjoy some of the best of Bach. Tonight’s opening concert heralds the arrival of the 42nd Festival with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and the celebratory strains of the Magnificat. The music then travels through the evocative worlds of composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul with guest artist Yo-Yo Ma, all under the direction of Jeffrey Kahane, one of two possible candidates as the next OBF artistic director. The Caminos del Inka ensemble colors the Music of the Americas theme on Friday, June 24 in the Hult Center. Their research and performances recognize new and overlooked musical gems by composers influenced by South and Central American traditions. The Fort Worth, Texas, ensemble founded by former Eugene Symphony conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya is composed of classically trained musicians dedicated to discovering, preserving and performing music from the ancient Incan Empire. While Friday night’s concert is sold out, the Caminos band returns Saturday morning June 25 at 11 am with an OBF Kids concert—with multimedia projections and demonstration of percussion instruments, it’s a great way for all ages to be introduced into this exciting project. In residence at this year’s Oregon Bach Festival, Schola Cantorum de Venezuela will give two evening performances (in Eugene Saturday June 25 and in Portland July 6) showcasing the versatility of its repertoire, with works by composers from throughout the Western Hemisphere. A favorite of OBF audiences, the Schola will deliver an incredibly rich choral experience—one that will also get you moving to the rhythms of their land. Voices of the Caracas-based chorus can also be heard supporting the OBF Berwick Chorus in Brahms’ Requiem (June 26), the great masterwork of the opening weekend. With the announced transition of Helmuth Rilling in 2013 as the OBF artistic director, this may be one of the last opportunities to hear this essential work with his unmistakable command of the music. And in the launch of the new OBF Cinema series, Bach is star of a new film by Michael Lawrence, where an array of world-class musicians share their thoughts and personal relections on the power and genius of J.S. Bach. The comments and musical excerpts come from the likes of Joshua Bell, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, The Swingle Singers, Philip Glass, and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro. “Bach & Friends” plays three times at the Bijou Art Cinema: Saturday, June 25, Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3, all at 12 pm.