ou l'art du contrepoint allemand

On May 7th, 1747, King Frederick II of Prussia receives Johann Sebastian Bach and his son Wilhelm Friedemann.
Tradition tells that during the evening, the king presents a theme to Johann Sebastian and asks him to improvise and to develop a musical discourse from it. After numerous variations, the musician apologizes for not being able to go any farther. On his return in Leipzig, Bach sets to work, writes down faithfully his entire improvisation, and enriches it of canons, ricercars and fugues with two to six voices. Two months later Bach sends his composition under the title of "Musikalisches Opfer" to the king. Around this work, we gathered pieces by composers having crossed the way of Johann Sebastian Bach at some moment in their lives.
Dietrich Buxtehude met in 1705 the young Bach who, at that time was still a student. Pioneer in the art of counterpoint in Germany, Buxtehude composed, among others, trio sonatas for violin, viola da gamba and basso continuo where the fugues, the chromaticism and the dissonances follow each other at a rapid pace in a virtuosity without limit just like future compositions of Bach.
Georg Philipp Telemann, friend of Johann Sebastian and godfather of his son Carl Phillip Emmanuel, brings back from his numerous journeys in Europe elements of French and Italian style. He offers us surprising passages in the second book of his "Methodical Sonatas", with latin consonances mixed with typically German counterpoint.

This program around Bach's Musical Offering proposes a panorama of the musical art in the XVIIIth century in Germany.

• Johann Sebastian Bach - Musikalisches Opfer (l'Offrande Musicale)

4 instruments


Margaux Blanchard - Artistic direction and viola da gambe
Sylvain Sartre - Artistic direction and traverso
Jérôme van Waerbeke - Violin
Nadja Lesaulnier - Harpsichord

Les Ombres

© DR - Sala Greppi (Bergamo)