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Bach Festivals & Cantata Series
Europa Bach Festival

Name:

Europa Bach Festival

Location:

Paris, France (2005)

Venues:

Over forty different locations: concert halls, churches, and historic castles in the Paris area

Years:

2005

Months:

September-December (2005)

Artistic Director:

Martin Petzoldt, the president of the Neue Bachgesellschaft in Leipzig
Rudolf Klemm, director of the French Section of the Neue Bachgesellschaft
Gilles Cantagrel, musicologist, a Bach specialist, and a member of the advisory committee of the Bach-Archiv Foundation in Leipzig.

Ensembles:

V/A

Website:

www.europabachfestival.com [N/A]

History & Mission:

The Neue Bachgesellschaft has organized a series of Europa Bach Festivals, which will take place periodically in large European cities. The first festival occurred in Paris and its region from September to December 2005. It was organized by Martin Petzoldt, the president of the Neue Bachgesellschaft in Leipzig; Rudolf Klemm, director of the French Section of the Neue Bachgesellschaft; and notably by its director, the musicologist Gilles Cantagrel, a Bach specialist, author of Bach et son temps and Le Moulin et la rivière, air et variations sur Bach (Paris, Fayard), and a member of the advisory committee of the Bach-Archiv Foundation in Leipzig.

Inspired by J.S. Bach’s writings “for the entertainment of amateurs,” this festival offered high-quality music for all types of audiences in at least forty different locations: concert halls, churches, and historic castles. One hundred eighty very different events were offered, including about one hundred and fifty concerts. Many of these concerts were free admission. The Festival's universal approach has welcomed various interpretations and responses to Bach’s music (Baroque, Romantic, modern, even jazz) on a variety of organs and with numerous musical formations. In addition to the concerts, there have been lectures, international symposiums, expositions, and presentations for children.

At the German Evangelical Church in Paris, the organist Helga Schauerte-Maubouet gave 14 concerts on the 1964 Detlef Kleuker organ with commentaries by Gilles Cantagrel. Entitled “Bach & B” (J.S. Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude, Georg Böhm, Alexandre Pierre François Boëly, Johannes Brahms . . . ), these concerts symbolize the name of BACH (B=2, A=1, C=3, H=8). Two fine presentations accompanied them: Martin Petzoldt’s excellent exposition “Bach and the Bible” was complemented by two films that are available in DVD. The first film is a DVD made by France 2 Television on the life of J.S. Bach and was filmed in Germany (in Arnstadt and Leipzig). The second film presents François Delhumeau’s construction in 2004 of the organ at the church of Pontaumur (near Clermont-Ferrand), an exact replica of the historic Bach organ in Arnstadt. An exposition also provides details about two eminent Bach festivals in France: the first Bach Festival in France took place in 1962 at Saint-Donat-sur-l’Herbasse (in the Drôme); the second one occurred more recently: “Bach in Combrailles”, created by Jean-Marc Thiallier, and featuring the Pontaumur organ. Martin Petzoldt summed up his wishes for this first Europa Bach Festival in Paris by citing several lines of Johann Christoph Gottsched’s funeral ode written for the funeral in 1727 of Christiane Eberhardine, the Princess of Saxony:

May Bach’s music
Resound within us each day
And bring to all of Europe
An expression of our joy.

Logo:

1st Festival - 2005 Paris

Source: Article by Carolyn Shuster Fournier in The Diapason February 2006 Volume: 97 Number: 2 (Copyright © 2009 Scranton Gillette Communications)

Prepared by Aryeh Oron (November 2009)

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series: Main Page: Countries A-I | Page 2: Countries J-Z | Schedule of Concerts of Bach's Vocal Works
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Last update: November 30, 2009 08:31:59