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Friday, October 12, 2012 at 8pm
Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 3pm
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D
BACH: Cantata 71, God Is My King
BACH: Sinfonia from Cantata 18
BACH: Jesu joy of man’s desiring from Cantata 147
BACH: Sinfonia from Cantata 75
Harry Christophers, conductor
Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus
Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the Handel and Haydn Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at handelandhaydn.org, or in person at the Handel and Haydn office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M–F, 10am–6pm). Single tickets range from $20 to $78. Student rush is available starting one hour before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.
H&H opens the 2012–13 Season with Harry Christophers conducting the resplendent Bach Magnificat, featuring the Handel and Haydn Society’s (H&H) Chorus, considered one of the finest in New England. The Magnificat in D major was originally composed by Bach in 1723 in the key of E-flat Major and for the Christmas season. Bach removed the texts referencing Christmas and changed the key to D Major for a performance in 1733. The revised work is Luke’s telling of the canticle of Mary, arranged for orchestra, chorus, and five soloists (who will all be featured members of H&H’s own professional chorus).
Among other works by the master composer featured on the program are the Orchestral Suite No. 3, which contains the “Air on a G String,” and Sinfonias from Cantatas 18 and 75, never before performed by H&H. The program closes with Cantata 71, the first of Bach’s cantatas to use trumpets and timpani. “This will undoubtedly prove to be an uplifting opening to a truly enlightening season and one that showcases the collective and individual qualities of both of our Orchestra and Chorus alike,” said Christophers. H&H shares a long tradition of performing Bach, having premiered Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion in the United States in 1871, with complete performance in 1879.
Harry Christophers enters his fourth season as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society with the 2012–2013 Season. Appointed in 2008, he began his tenure with the 2009–2010 Season and has conducted Handel and Haydn each season since September 2006, when he led a sold-out performance in the Esterházy Palace at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Christophers and H&H have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey that began with the 2010–2011 Season with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society over the last 195 years, and the release of the first of a series of recordings on CORO leading to the 2015 Bicentennial. Christophers is known internationally as founder and conductor of the UK-based choir and period instrument ensemble The Sixteen. He has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th century music. In 2000, he instituted the “Choral Pilgrimage,” a tour of British cathedrals from York to Canterbury. He has recorded close to 100 titles for which he has won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel Messiah, numerous Preise der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics Awards), the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and the prestigious Classical Brit Award (2005) for his disc entitled Renaissance. In 2009 he received one of classical music’s highest accolades, the Classic FM Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year Award; The Sixteen also won the Baroque Vocal Award for Handel Coronation Anthems, a CD that also received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination. Harry Christophers is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama and was awarded a CBE in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Teresa Neff received her PhD in Musicology from Boston University. Her research interests center around Gottfried van Swieten, a late 18th-century Viennese patron and composer. Artaria will publish Neff’s edition of Swieten’s symphonies later this year. She has presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and the Architecture/Music/Acoustics Conference. She presents concert preview lectures for Elderhostel and Boston Lyric Opera, and also teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Boston Conservatory.
HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) is a professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognized leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Handel and Haydn today, under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, is committed to its mission to perform Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence and to share that music with as large and diverse an audience as possible. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. In September 2010, H&H released its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label, Mozart Mass in C Minor—the first in a series of live commercial recordings leading to H&H’s Bicentennial in 2015. The 2010–2011 Season marked the 25th anniversary of Handel and Haydn’s award-winning Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, which brings music education, vocal training, and performance opportunities to 10,000 students annually throughout Greater Boston and beyond.
Friday, October 12, 2012 at 7pm
Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 2pm
Higginson Hall, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Free with concert tickets
Musicologist Teresa Neff gives an illuminating look inside the music and historical context of the program.
Friday, October 12, 2012 post-concert
Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
$35 admission (available in advance or at the door)
Handel and Haydn celebrates the opening of H&H’s 198th Season and H&H’s newest CD release, Mozart Coronation Mass, with Harry Christophers and H&H musicians.
Mozart Coronation Mass CD Signing
Sunday, October 14, 2012 post-concert
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Free with concert tickets
Artistic Director Harry Christopher’s signs copies of Mozart Coronation Mass, H&H’s latest recording, released September 11, 2012 on the CORO label.
Handel and Haydn Society is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
WBUR, 90.9 FM, is the media partner for Bach Magnificat.
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