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Bach lives

img  Tobias

Mozart may keep the title of greatest musical genius of all time with the masses (if only for the fact that this is a pretty ridiculous title anyway), but most musicans will turn to Bach in times of need. His compositions' incredible freedom and simultaneous mathematical precision have fascinated generations and generations of artists (up to the early electronic pioneers - Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream is a fan) and been interpretated and rearranged over and over again. As if to prove his importance, the man now even has his own festival.

The "Europa Bach Festival" (an easy-to remember name) in Paris and Ile-deFrance will offer nothing but Bach, Bach and some more Bach. During four entire months, there will be 180 events, including exhibitions (such as Bach and the Bible), symposiums (e.g. a seven date lecture on "Bach and the chorale Cycle") and show-spectaculars such as "Bach and Dance"(the Compagnie Contrepoint moves to the metrum of the Goldberg Variations). But in the end, what the festival is really about is concerts - and there's lots of them, believe us. The organisors have been so kind as to arrange them in a sensible and not too academic order. If you feel like listening to some cello music, for example, tune in to Yo-Yo Ma on December 2nd in Paris. If cantatas are more to your liking, check out the free concert of the Conservatoire de Paris two days later or, on the same day, have a look at how students from Eric Lebrun's organ class at the Conservatoire de Saint-Maur contrast Bach with Franck.

Also present will be the ensemble Cairn, who are turning into one of France's most active ensembles - while keeping a mind of their own. To them, what makes Bach's music so special is the fact that it can be performed by Banjos, Accordeons, Balalaikas or Saxophones as well as by Jazz combos and Rock bands without loosing its coherence. To demonstrate their point, they have asked three entirely different composers to deliver themselves to a canon from his work and to transform it into seomthing new for various instrumentations. Jerome Combier, who has already recorded a CD with the ensemble and been featured in respectable newspaper "La Liberation", will contribute "Petite Obscurite", which "La Liberation" described as "strong, made of minerals and fantastic". Juha T Koskinen from frosty Finland presents "Per augmentationen" for Flute, Bass Clarinet and alto and Frederic Pattar has come up with "Hivernale", which features the guitar and cello (an instrument Pattar feels close to and for whom he has previously written, such as with "Exil" from 2000).

All of this will be highlighted by some original Bach-pieces and take place at the "Maison Heinrich-Heine" in France's capital of love. We strongly suggest you go there, but you don't have to take our word for it - move over to the ensemble's slightly artsy but highly interesting web page for more information!

Homepage: Ensemble Cairn
Homepage: Bach Europa Festival
Homepage: Maison Heinrich Heine

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