Thursday, September 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

American Bach Soloists wrap up season with rare Handel cantata

By
From page A15 | May 03, 2013 |

Mischa Bouvier will perform with the American Bach Soloists on Monday, May 6, at Davis Community Church. Courtesy photo

Details

Who: American Bach Soloists

When: 7 p.m. Monday (with 6 p.m. pre-concert talk)

Where: Davis Community Church, 412 C St.

Tickets: $22-$60 general, $20-$55 seniors and students; www.americanbach.org, 415-621-7900

American Bach Soloists will wrap up their spring season in Davis with a vocal showcase at 7 p.m. Monday at Davis Community Church, 412 C St., featuring vocal works by Handel and Bach.

Central to the program is Handel’s dramatic cantata “Apollo & Dafne.” Written in Venice when the composer was 24 years old, the cantata tells the story of the god Apollo, who in his vanity suggests that even Cupid’s bow is no match for his own. Challenging Apollo’s boastfulness, Cupid shoots his arrows and Apollo falls prey to rapturous yearnings for the unsuspecting Dafne.

To escape the amorous god’s advances, Dafne transforms herself into a laurel tree and, to some of Handel’s most expressive music, the chastened Apollo declares that his tears will water Dafne’s leaves and her branches will crown the heads of great heroes.

Though “Apollo & Dafne” predates most of the composer’s operas and oratorios, the cantata’s central conflict is operatic in scope. Music director Jeffrey Thomas will conduct soprano Mary Wilson, baritone Mischa Bouvier and the American Bach Soloists in this rarely performed Handelian masterwork.

Wilson, whose previous appearances with the American Bach Soloists have established her as an audience favorite, will sing the role of Dafne, and also sing Handel’s motet for soprano soloist and orchestra, “Silete venti.”

Bouvier, in addition to singing the title role in “Apollo & Dafne,” also will perform a trio of arias by J.S. Bach, including the buoyant and charming “Doch weichet, ihr tollen, vergeblichen Sorgen!” (So yield now, ye foolish and purposeless sorrows!) from Cantata 8. ABS flutist Sandra Miller, cellist William Skeen, violone player Steven Lehning, and organist Corey Jamason also will be featured.

Over the years, many have compared and commented on the very different lives led by J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel. Both composers were both born in 1685, in German cities barely 100 miles apart. But while Bach lived in what is now Germany his entire life (never straying terribly far from home), Handel roamed much of Europe and the British Isles, starting at an early age.

“At the age of 21, George Frideric Handel embarked on an expedition that would prove enjoyable, enlightening, profitable and integral to his career,” says music director Thomas. “A Medici prince had made an offer to Handel to visit Italy. Handel packed up his things in Hamburg and began his journey to Florence, Rome, Naples and Venice.

“Italy was the center of European music, and one of the most valuable traits of Italian music was the expressive style in which its composers wrote for the voice. Italian vocal writing was characterized by its qualities of suppleness, expansiveness, flexibility and lyricism. Handel would quickly master the art. ”

Handel went to Italy with the expectation of writing operas, but soon turned to writing dramatic cantatas like “Apollo & Dafne” for very practical reasons. As Thomas points out, “In Rome, where Handel spent most of his time between 1706 and 1710, papal decrees had closed the public theaters. Opera was an unprofitable medium (for a composer). The medium that would provide him with the most opportunity to grow and to succeed as a composer was the Italian cantata.

“It was a popular genre, due in part to the constraints of the papal ban, and further supported by the patronage of foreign visitors and local aristocrats — even church officials — who were eager to hear the considerable talent of imported Venetian singers put to good use, even if opera was out of the question. Performances of cantatas, which in some cases were remarkably operatic in all ways except by name, were often presented in the ‘academies’ held in the private theaters of discerning (and wealthy) patrons of the arts.”

Eventually, the papal ban on opera was rescinded, and the theaters reopened. Handel became an established master of the form, with Italian opera forming the bedrock of his career.

The American Bach Soloists are known for their period interpretations of Baroque music, and the group includes performers with considerable expertise in early music from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

A 6 p.m. talk will precede Monday’s concert. Tickets are $22-$60 general, $20-$55 seniors and students, available at www.americanbach.org or 415-621-7900.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Jurors see Marsh questioned by police

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Grace Garden: Five years of feeding the needy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Bike sale on Friday will benefit King High

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

     
    Wildfire shows explosive growth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Per Capita Davis: What to think

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

    International Festival moves to park for fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Essay contest underway

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sudwerk Wet Hop Lager plants seeds for area hops rebirth

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Speakers plumb issues around the Constitution

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Governor signs bill to support state’s ailing bee population

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Backyard poultry symposium Sunday at UCD

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5

    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Australian pop band Dick Diver plays Third Space

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    RepowerYolo hosts solar seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Local Girl Scouts are looking for a few good leaders

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    Reneau, Silberstein will read their poetry Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Parents host campaign coffees for Archer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Nominate deserving volunteers for top citizen honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    PG&E, Dixon company unveil truck that can restore power

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    $12M earmarked for UCD life sciences center in Chile

    By Karen Nikos-Rose | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Forum

    She’s had it with his neglect

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Off-leash dogs are a danger

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Davis makes the NY Times

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Affordable housing affects health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Choose to wipe out hunger

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    DHS girls pound Mustangs in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Davis captures final nonleague volleyball outing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS golfers blow past St. Francis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils blow out Marauders at Brown Stadium

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth softball: Hurricanes win one of two slugfests with Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: These Diamonds are forever in the record books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Baseball roundup: Duffy comes up big for Giants in Arizona

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Young Devil harriers carry the day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Davis falls to Vintage in a JV shootout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

     
    DHS girls tennis team stunned at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    What’s happening, Sept. 18

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    Students get into the act with Shakespeare

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Street-smart tips for safe cycling

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    Eagle Scout project makes life easier for Yolo Basin volunteers

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

     
    Wineaux: Back and forth in the high and low debate

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    Catie Curtis brings folk-rock ‘Flying Dream’ to The Palms on Friday Sept. 19

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Jean Botelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, September 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6