Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Takes Bach to the Future Feb. 28

February 22, 2017

Erich Burnett

Orchestra musicians with stringed and wind instruments
Photo credit: Sian Richards

Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series resumes Tuesday, February 28, with a performance unlike any other in its 139-year history.

Tafelmusik, the award-winning Baroque orchestra from Toronto, will combine music, text, and stunning projected video and images to explore the world of the artisans—papermakers, instrument carvers, string spinners, and performers—who helped J.S. Bach realize his musical genius in 18th century Leipzig.

The 8 p.m. program, called J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation, touches on well over a dozen works by the composer, including selections from his Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major and the Goldberg Variations. (Hear the orchestra's take on Brandenburg 3 here.)

Founded in 1979, Tafelmusik performs more than four dozen concerts internationally each year. Its Oberlin appearance marks the opening night of a breakneck-paced, eight-date tour that stretches across the United States and back—with a stop in Puerto Rico—in less than two weeks. The Circle of Creation is one of a series of acclaimed multimedia performances crafted by Tafelmusik, which partners with numerous scholars, visual artists, and others to bring such pieces to the stage.

"Tafelmusik has always been ahead of the curve," says Associate Professor of Historical Performance David Breitman. "They were one of the very first professional Baroque orchestras in North America, and I’m eager to see what they’re up to now. The Circle of Creation program offers an intriguing mix of old and new: using multimedia technology to evoke the music’s historical context."

Tickets for Tafelmusik at Oberlin are $35 ($30 for seniors, military, and Oberlin staff and alumni). All student tickets are just $10. Order yours today at 800-371-0178 or online.

In addition, Tafelmusik members will lead a pair of free, public master classes at noon on February 28: one by Baroque violinist and longtime music director Jeanne Lamon in Kulas Recital Hall, and another featuring oboist Marco Cera in Clonick Hall.

The Artist Recital Series continues Sunday, April 9, with a 4 p.m. performance by piano legend Richard Goode. The series concludes at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, when The Cleveland Orchestra makes its annual return to campus under the direction of Andrew Davis and featuring oboe soloist Frank Rosenwein and cello soloist Mark Kosower. Learn more about events at Oberlin at oberlin.edu/artsguide.

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