If you ever wanted to hear J. S. Bach’s orchestral music played masterfully, then the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra is as close as it gets. They are on their world tour presenting their J. S. Bach cycle and were one of the major musical attractions of the Adelaide Festival.
The first program consisted of J. S. Bach’s four orchestral suites, all composed during Bach’s Leipzig years. The royal demeanour of the BWV 1068 and BWV 1069, both in D major, featured a full line-up (3 trumpets, 2 or 3 oboes, 1 bassoon, 1 timpani, 8 violins, 3 violas, 2 celli, 1 double bass) and exciting trumpet and timpani overtones. They were contrasted by the more chamber flute suite, BWV 1067 in B minor, and the suite in C, BWV 1066 in C major.
The Adelaide Town Hall was almost full. There has been rarely such an ecstatic burst of applause there. Connoisseurs and novices alike took pleasure in refined instrumental colour, phrasing, texture and dynamics and in the engaged manner of the ensemble’s playing.
These suites are almost part of collective memory now, however, in the hands of an ensemble of early music virtuosos playing on period instruments, they resound with a dynamic, fresh and vibrant interpretation and delivery. Acknowledging the inherited dance rhythms of this music and the never-ending melodic streams of Bach’s musical idiom, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra demonstrates an approach to early music performance that is both historically informed and embedded in creative practice. This is the reason why their music speaks to contemporary audiences so eloquently.
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Venue: Adelaide Town Hall
Dates: 7pm, Sun 4 Mar – Mon 5 Mar, 2012
Tickets: $99 – $30
Bookings: BASS ONLINE | 131 246
Written by Daniela Kaleva, University of South Australia