Music Preview: Nashville’s Bach marathon starts this Friday

BACHanalia2014Nashville’s biggest classical music marathon returns this Friday to Christ Church Cathedral.

BACHanalia, the ever-popular annual celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, begins at 5 p.m. March 14 in the Cathedral Nave. The six-hour-long concert will feature some 38 pieces performed by musicians from the Nashville Symphony, Belmont University, Blair School of Music, Middle Tennessee State University, and David Lipscomb University, as well as studio musicians, church musicians, and talented students.

“We are excited about the line-up of artists and works to be performed,” said Susan Dupont, organizer of the event. “We will be featuring some of Bach’s best-known and most beloved pieces, including ‘Sheep may safely graze’, ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’, excerpts from Partitas for Solo Violin, and preludes and fugues from The Well-tempered Clavier, but we have surprises in store, as well.”

Among the complete major works to be performed are Cantata 106, Solo Cello Suites no. 1 and 2, Toccata in F for organ, Sonata in B minor for flute and harpsichord, and the Violin Concerto in D.

Some works will be performed on authentic Baroque instruments, including viola da gamba, oboe d’amore, baroque cello, harpsichord, and recorder, others on instruments Bach wrote for, including organ, piano, strings, winds, and brass. One of the hallmarks of BACHanalia, however, is the inclusion of non-traditional arrangements of Bach’s music, and this year jazz, saxophone, and harp quartets, as well as several clarinetists, will interpret works by the master in unexpected and innovative ways.

“BACHanalia is a gift to the community from some of Nashville’s most talented musicians,” said David Paine, chair of the Cathedral’s Cultural Arts Committee. “Christ Church Cathedral is delighted to open its doors to the city’s music lovers for this remarkable evening of music.”

The event is free and attendees may come for all or part of the evening. Food and t-shirts will be available for purchase in the Cathedral parish hall.

Christ Church Cathedral is located downtown on the corner of Ninth Avenue North and Broadway. For more information about BACHanalia, click here.

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