As was observed about a week ago, this Friday American Bach Soloists will hold a special concert to celebrate the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, which was recorded as March 21. However, that announcement noted that this was a date on the Julian calendar. The corresponding date on the Gregorian calendar, which is the one currently being used, is March 31. That date will be honored by a second birthday concert, which has been prepared by the Albany Consort, a Bay Area early music ensemble whose appearances within the San Francisco city limits are far too seldom.
The venue for this occasion will be Old St. Mary’s Cathedral for one of the weekly Noontime Concerts™ events that takes place there every Tuesday. The last time the Albany Consort visited Noontime Concerts™ for its annual Bach Birthday Celebration was on March 24, 2009, which was closer to the recorded date than the updated one and celebrated Bach’s 324th birthday. This time the occasion will be Bach’s 331st birthday; and, rather than being three days late for the Julian date, the ensemble will be two days early for the Gregorian one!
Because Noontime Concerts™ programs are shorter than those encountered in the concert hall (basically allowing time for a lunch break from work), there will be only two selections on the program, the BWV 1042 E major violin concerto and the BWV 1050 (“Brandenburg”) concerto in D major with solo parts for flute, violin, and harpsichord, the latter having an extended cadenza in the first movement. This will be the last of four concerts honoring Bach’s birthday. The other three will be given in Palo Alto and Berkeley; and two of them will also include three sets of variations, Purcell’s chaconne in G minor, Francesco Geminiani’s orchestration of Arcangelo Corelli’s setting of the “Folia” progression, and a chaconne by Georg Muffat. Information about all four concerts can be found on an event page on the Albany Consort Web site.
Jonathan Salzedo will lead the ensemble from the harpsichord. The flutist will be Marian Rubinstein. Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo, Caitlin Cribbs, Holly Piccoli, and Katie Hagen will alternate between violin and viola according to ensemble needs. The cellist will be Frédéric Rosselet, and Roy Whelden will provide continuo support on violone.
This performance will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29. Old St. Mary’s Cathedral is located at 660 California Street on the northeast corner of Grand Street. There is no charge for admission, but the organizers of the Noontime Concerts™ series appreciate a donation of $5 from each attendee.