Newswire | Complete Cantatas of J.S. Bach at Bourgie Hall: Year 8 Final Season

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Montreal, Thursday September 8, 2022 – This year will mark the conclusion of Bourgie Hall’s presentation of the complete sacred cantatas by J.S. Bach in concert. A long-time dream of Isolde Lagacé, this monumental project, the only one in Canada, was undertaken in 2014 and will finally come to an end in March 2023. This complete cycle provided an exceptional showcase for Montreal as a music centre of international stature, allowing the Montreal public to hear the Leipzig cantor’s 200 sacred cantatas, including those of the Christmas Oratorio and the Easter Oratorio. While only a dozen cantatas are well-known, each one is a masterpiece which deserves to be heard : and even if Bach is familiar to us, it is each time a delightful (re)discovery.

To carry out this complete cycle, Isolde Lagacé wished to include the entire Quebec musical community, regardless of aesthetics, from baroque ensembles playing at 415 Hz with one player per part to modern symphony orchestras playing at 440 Hz with several players per part.

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Over the course of these 8 years, an impressive number of musicians have taken part in this complete cycle. 33 musical ensembles, including 22 from Quebec, as well as 140 vocal soloists and 321 instrumentalists, conducted by 29 conductors from here and abroad, will have delighted audiences during 77 cantata concerts. Among the ensembles and singers who have joined the project, we can mention the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Les Idées heureuses, Les Violons du Roy et La Chapelle de Québec, I musici de Montréal, the Handel and Haydn Society, soprano Aline Kutan, mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne, tenor Frédéric Antoun and baritone Gordon Bintner.

During the 2022-2023 season, no less than 10 ensembles will, over the course of 13 concerts, participate in the conclusion of this complete cycle. The first, on September 24 and 25, will feature the musicians of the OSM, conducted by Rafael Payare, while the last, presented on March 26, 2023, will present the musicians of the Orchestre Métropolitain under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. They will be performing the highly celebrated BWV 147 cantata, with its chorale “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” – the very same one that launched this entire endeavour in September 2014. And so the circle is complete !

In keeping with Bourgie Hall tradition, the audience is invited, as at every concert, to sing the final chorale of the very last cantata along with the musicians.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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