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Wednesday August 27, 2014
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Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin

 

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forefront of the "period instrument" movement. Today the Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin, also known as Akamus, has built up an impressive Baroque and early classical discography and presents more than one hundred concerts annually worldwide. Although they are no strangers to Ann Arbor audiences, the Akademie's presentation of a Bach family program April 13 will be their UMS debut.

What is it that causes people to seek out European chamber music dating back nearly three centuries? There is something about it that calms, invigorates, and makes sense to some of us on an almost metabolic level. Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 1 virtually defines the High Baroque of the 1720s, a burgeoning tradition that he took a great deal of care to share with his sons. The eldest, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, was highly regarded in his day as an organist with a knack for improvisation. The Akademie's presentation of his passionately phrased Harpsichord Concerto in F minor will offer an all-too-rare opportunity to experience a work by W.F. Bach done live, in an auditorium known for its excellent acoustics. Balcony seats will be ideal for those moments when the dialogue between strings and harpsichord takes on the qualities of sunlight filtering through clouds on a spring afternoon.

Like his elder brother, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach deliberately wrote music that moved in dramatic shifts and mood swings, from hushed and ruminative to brusque and adamant. Perhaps in acknowledgement of his 300th birthday, the Akademie will contrast C.P.E.'s B minor Sinfonia with the exquisite Oboe Concerto in E flat major.

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