I am delighted to present the 8th edition of the Montreal Bach Festival, a now unique Fall tradition I warmly welcome you to.
I have been asked many times, what exactly is the Montreal Bach Festival? Is Bach the sole composer being showcased? Is it more of a baroque or a classical event? Will we hear period instruments or should we expect a more modern instrumentation? The Montreal Bach Festival is quite proudly a blend of all of the above. I believe it is actually how the event finds it beauty. As it bridges between the ancient and the modern, the classical and the baroque and as it also dares sometimes with a more experimental touch, the festival truly celebrates the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and fellow composers.
Why Bach and why am I so inspired by his work? To explain this, what better words than those of Frederic Chopin who so eloquently said : « Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvellous stars ». Through Johann Sebastian Bach’s amazing work and the talent of brilliant artists and ensembles honouring us with their presence in Montreal this fall, I wish for all of these stars to shine through the Festivals’ many concerts.
In this 8th edition, we will hear Bach’s Magnificat, the entire Christmas Oratorio, concertos for multiple harpsichords, the Violin concertos, the Musical Offering and the Well-Tempered Clavier, only to name a few. A special attention will furthermore be given to Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, son of Johann Sebastian Bach, whose 300th anniversary is celebrated this year. To discover the festivals numerous concerts and events please have a look at the fesitval’s brochure or its website. I hope you will be pleased with its diversity, the fabulous artists performing on stage this year and of the many different Montreal venues opening their doors to Bach.
As I leave you with the music, the words of prominent Bach specialist Albert Schweitzer come to mind: « Thus, Bach is the end point. Nothing comes from him ; all simply leads to him »
The entire team of the Montreal Bach Festival joins me in welcoming you to this exciting 8th edition!