Carmel Bach Festival 2018 – Bach and the Harpsichord

Harpsichordist Dongsok Shin

For the past five years fans attending the Carmel Bach Festival might have noticed that the festival seemed not to acknowledge that Johann Sebastian Bach, the festival’s namesake, was the greatest keyboard player and keyboard composer of the 18th century. A glaring omission in recent Festivals was the solo harpsichord recital. Since there was no solo harpsichord recital, representative works including The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Partitas, the Toccatas, the Suites, the Goldberg Variations, the Concerto in the Italian Style, and many other important works were much missed.

Yesterday afternoon the CBF took a significant step to rectify this omission by presenting an intimate harpsichord recital for a small elite audience in the foyer of Sunset Center — this concert will be repeated next week in this same venue. For this concert to have taken place we have to be grateful to Jerry & Christine Baker, whose support helped make this event possible. Chris Baker herself is a serious keyboard player and has a personal collection of two museum-quality, Flemish-style harpsichords, plus her newest keyboard acquisition, a replica of an 18th-century Lautenwerck, a lute harpsichord with gut rather than steel strings. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Harpsichord

Camerata: Arts In Harmony Gala

On May 14, Hidden Valley in Carmel Valley was the setting for the annual Camerata Arts In Harmony Gala. While this is the groups’ main fundraiser, it is also an afternoon of tempting morsels and wine catered by Jeffrey’s of Carmel Valley, a silent and live auction and of course the music of these well polished singers under the direction of John Koza, Artistic Director and Conductor. What may seem a festive lighthearted afternoon – and it certainly is – does not dim the music endeavors of the Camerata Singers. Franz Schubert’s An die Musik (To Music) was a most fitting beginning reminding the audience of the noble art that transports to a better world and better times. If “I Cannot Count The Stars” with music by Eugene Butler and text by Gwen Frostic was not lovely enough, Kathy Kirkwood’s flute embroidery was more than icing on the cake. Kirkwood’s lovely liquid and seamless tone fairly floated on the music in ensemble with Pauline Troia’s always polished and assured piano. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, Harpsichord, Romantic Era

Carmel Bach Festival 2016 Grand Finale — Best of the Fest

Paul Goodwin July 2016

The program of the final concert of the Carmel Bach Festival is always a surprise. Members of the audience entering Sunset Center have no idea what works will be performed, for there is no printed program. However, our Emcee for the evening, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival, Paul Goodwin, is constantly onstage to inform us of his choices of works that have been heard durning the previous two weeks at various venues around Carmel. Except possibly for Dramaturge David Gordon, there could be no more endearing host at a concert than Paul Goodwin. He is charming with his intelligent and witty comments that enhance and enlighten us at every step along the way.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Chamber music, Choral, Classical Era, Harpsichord, Oboe, Opera, Orchestral, Romantic Era, Strings, Violin, Vocal ensemble, Woodwinds

Monday Evening at the Festival: Bach & Sons, A Musical Legacy

Bach & Sons 7-19-16

Peter Hanson, Concertmaster and Director of the Festival Orchestra, was the genial emcee at the charming Monday evening main concert in Sunset Center titled “Bach and Sons: A Musical Legacy.” This is not to imply that Mr. Hanson merely introduced and commented on each work performed, for he also led the ensemble and performed as soloist in Bach’s Concerto for Violin in E Major, BWV 1042. However, his introduction to each work was a welcome addition to the more lengthy program notes in the Festival Program.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Chamber music, Concerto, Harpsichord

Noël Wan — Heavenly Harp at Sunset Center

Noel Han 5-31-15

Overheard during intermission: “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.” It was a happy audience at Sunset Center yesterday afternoon as Noël Wan, Grand Prize winner of the Carmel Music Society’s 2014 Instrumental Competition returned to play a charming and exciting solo harp recital on the Society’s regular subscription series. However, last year, after her victory in the competition, there were some who wondered whether a full ninety-minute harp recital containing unfamiliar works by composers nobody had ever heard of before (the harp repertoire viewed from a non-harpist’s perspective) would result in a pitifully small audience huddled in the first few rows of Sunset Center.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Carmel Music Society, Classical Era, Competition, Harpsichord, Opera, Romantic Era