1685 was a banner year. Two little boys were born in Germany, about 100 miles apart. One is among the world’s most influential composers. The other wrote Messiah. Six hundred miles to the south, a third boy was learning the violin. Today, they dominate western music written before the arrival of Mozart.
Each year, around the world, professional and community choirs—as well as many intrepid audience members—gather to sing George Frideric Handel’s massive oratorio written on the life of Christ. On YouTube, a single video of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons has over 248 million views. And, thanks to NASA’s Voyager mission, two pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach are hurtling through interstellar space at over 38,000 miles per hour.
Of the three, Bach was the least traveled. He lived his life in central Germany. Twice he hoped to meet Handel, but their schedules never aligned. He encountered Vivaldi through a book of Italian concertos and was so impressed he made keyboard transcriptions of them. (For many years, Bach’s transcriptions served as a tether between Vivaldi, who was largely forgotten, and oblivion.) Vivaldi became a jumping-off point for Bach as he wrote concertos of his own.
Probably, Handel and Vivaldi did meet. In his early twenties, Handel traveled to Italy, learning the language, learning to imitate Italian music, and readying himself for a brilliant career in Great Britain.
Program to consist of selections from Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel.
Please Note: This concert will be performed without intermission. Approximate concert length is 80 minutes.
Pre-performance talk in Ramsey Concert Hall at 2:15 pm (free admission).
Free shuttle transportation to this performance is available for Clarke County seniors, thanks to a partnership between the Performing Arts Center and the Athens Community Council on Aging. For more information, click here.
Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall (View Seating Chart)
Athens, GA 30605
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Nathalie Stutzmann, music director
The Kleiner Foundation
Libby and Van Morris
The Trashy Book Club of Athens