Wrocław Baroque Ensemble / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Wrocław Baroque Ensemble / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Orchestral concerts
Have a Coffee with Bach
25.02.2024
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Programme:

J.S. Bach
Concerto in A minor for 4 harpsichords BWV 1065;
Schweig stille, plaudert nicht  BWV 211 "Kaffeekantate"
***

J.S. Bach
Amore traditore BWV 203
Concerto in D minor for 3 harpsichords BWV 1063

Performers:

Andrzej Kosendiak – conductor

Wrocław Baroque Ensemble:
Aleksandra Turalska – soprano
Maciej Gocman – tenor
Tomáš Král – baritone
Agnieszka Gorajska –traverso flute
Zbigniew Pilch, Mikołaj Zgółka – violins
Elżbieta Stonoga – viola
Krzysztof Karpeta – cello
Julia Karpeta – violone
Přemysl Vacek – lute
Adrianna Gołos, Ewa Mrowca, Marta Niedźwiecka, Aleksandra Rupocińska – harpsichords

Venue:
NFM, Red Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Tickets:
from 30 to 75 zł

The genius of Johann Sebastian Bach was flourishing at the same time when the history  of European addiction to coffee began, continuing to this day. Cafes were operating in Paris and Vienna even before the birth of the composer. When Bach arrived in Leipzig in 1723, where he took the position of cantor at the St. Thomas Church, the first places serving the famous black drink were already there as well. The owner of one of them, Café Zimmermann, showed  great taste in both beverages and music.  To his venue, he invited to play the Collegium Musicum, an ensemble led by Bach himself for almost a decade.

The repertoire needs requested by these performances resulted in the creation of many of Bach’s harpsichord concertos. The vast majority of these works were not original compositions, but transcriptions of earlier works for other instruments. As for the Concerto in D minor for 3 harpsichords, BWV 1063, there is no consensus as to the original score of the work – originally it might have been a concerto for three violins. However, it was a work by Bach himself,  while the Concerto in A minor for 4 harpsichords BWV 1065 is a transcription of Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto in B minor for four violins and cello, Op. 3 No. 10 RV 580.

Leipzig's Café Zimmermann also witnessed the premieres of many of Bach's secular cantatas. One of them even has coffee in its theme – Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht BWV 211, known rather as the “Coffee Cantata”. The author of its libretto, the poet Picander, mocks both the devotion shown  by coffee’s newly minted 18th-century enthusiasts, and the prejudices presented by the bitter enemies of the new beverage, and perhaps all that is new, in general, who believed that drinking coffee was a dangerous habit and should be avoided at all costs. Pessimists are sometimes more useful than it may seem – which seems to be confirmed by the fact that moments of self-reflection producing such thoughts regularly happen to coffee lovers even today.

The program of the concert will be complemented by one of the two cantatas by Bach written to an Italian libretto, composed by the artist during his service with Prince Leopold in Köthen.

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