The Brandenburgs on a Desert IslandSaturday, March 04, 2006
Sometime in 1963 I discovered Bach through my mother's Concertgebouw Orchestra recordings of his six Brandenburg Concertos. My mother, Filomena de Irureta Goyena de Hayward (left), played the piano beautifully but chose to teach physics and chemistry in high school, instead. She told me that she could live happily on a desert island with only the Brandenburg Concerti for company. I have had a soft spot for them ever since. In 1964 I heard the Swingle Singers scat through Contrapunctus IX, Fuga á 4 voci, alla Duodecima. I wore my Phillips record out.
So I went to a special concert of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra this Friday, March 3, at St James Anglican Church (Gore and Cordova)with great anticipation. Both the fugue and the No 4 Brandenburg in G Major were on the all Bach program. The acoustics of St James were like Meldon Salt flakes on a vine ripened tomato. The program began with five fugues including my fave. Colin Tilney (a distinguished diet version of Santa Claus)made me almost want to like the harpsichord in Bach's Concerto in E Major BMV 1053. The second movement Adagio for the Trio Sonata in E flat Major was exquisite. Just when I thought it was over it managed to repeat twice more. The players played with such fun that I was jealous that all I could do was listen. The finale Brandenburg was a contrapuntal contest between Marc Destrubé's virtuoso violin (above) and Stephen Creswell's viola. For just a moment I thought the viola was going to spontaneously catch fire, with no joke intended.
The concert repeats today Saturday and Sunday.
PBO Concert March 4 and 5