This preview has been provided by Baroque & Beyond.
Johann Sebastian Bach was clearly intrigued by the musical life of Dresden, visiting at least five times, perhaps more. On each occasion, the Dresden aristocracy was made aware of his visit. Bach gave public performances at church and court. He wrote his Mass in B-minor in hopes of securing a position in Dresden. Although that never came to pass, Bach and his music were part of the Dresden musical scene.
Baroque & Beyond’s February 9 program focuses on that fact, and on a Dresden musical collection from the era of Elector Frederick Augustus III – also known as Friedrich August, and after ascending to the throne of Saxony in 1806, as King Frederick Augustus I. He was a music lover and harpsichord player but very shy about performing, even for his own family. So he instructed his court composer Peter August to arrange works for two harpsichords which the two of them could play in private. The result is an impressive collection of music for harpsichord duo.
From this collection, Baroque & Beyond has pulled two pieces for the February 9 program: a quintet by J.C. Bach (the London Bach), arranged for two harpsichords; and Mozart’s Concerto in A major, KV 414, in Peter August’s arrangement. Harpsichordists Elaine Funaro and Beverly Biggs are featured.
The program includes BWV 1061, J.S. Bach’s Concerto in C major for two harpsichords and strings. Joining Funaro and Biggs are Allison Nyquist and Elizabeth Field, violins; Suzanne Rousso, viola; Stephanie Vial, cello; and Robbie Link, violone.
This concert, which is part of the 2018 HIP Festival, begins at 7:30 pm at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 82 Kimberly Drive in Durham, and will be played without an intermission. Donations will be welcomed at the door (suggested $15).
For more information about Baroque & Beyond, visit www.baroqueandbeyond.org. The next concert on the regular B&B series takes place in Chapel Hill on March 11.