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The Weekly's top 10 BachFest picks.
Thursday, July 11, 2002
Photo: Aimee Kreston and Jiang Wang perform in the Candlelight Series on July 27 and August 2.
With over a hundred separate performances, choosing which Bach Festival concerts to attend can be daunting. Here is a list of some of this season''s best bets, listed in ascending order of price.
1. FAMILY CONCERTS Some of the Festival''s liveliest music will be performed during three one-hour Thursday noontime concerts (7/18, 7/25, 8/1) designed for the young and the young at heart. The Red Priest Ensemble, a rowdy, irreverent group, plays sparkling fare in the spirit of travelling minstrels. Thurs., Aug. 1, 12pm at All Saints Church in Carmel, between Dolores and Lincoln on 9th Ave., $15.
2. PAUL GALBRAITH This incredible guitarist''s transporting renditions of Bach are as warm and natural as a sunny day. In solo concert Fri., July 12, 9pm at All Saints ($20). Galbraith also plays with the Brazilian Guitar Quartet (Mon. 7/15, 8pm at the Carmel Mission, $50; Wed. 7/17, 12pm at All Saints, $20; Thurs. 7/18, 12pm at All Saints, $20).
3. CANDLELIGHT CONCERTS Eight solo performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings feature guitar (see Galbraith, above), violin and cello. Bach''s Six Suites for Solo Cello are a particular favorite among music lovers, and the candlelight setting will no doubt increase their sense of mystery and beauty. Fridays, 7/19, 7/26 and 8/2, 9pm at All Saints, $20.
4. CANTATAS OF HOPE, FORGIVENESS AND JOY Soprano Kendra Colton and oboeist Roger Cole join forces to present two of Bach''s extraordinary cantatas. Saturdays at All Saints, 1:30pm on 7/20, 2:30pm on 7/27 and 8/3, $20.
5. PIANO A welcome addition to this year''s Festival is the modern piano. While Bach may have written for the harpsichord, he sounds great on the piano. One-hour concerts on Mondays. Andrew Rangell, 7/15; Lucinda Carver, 7/22; Alexsandar Serdar 7/29, all 12pm at All Saints, $20.
6. TWILIGHT AT THE CHURCH IN THE FOREST With its dramatic window view of tall stands of Monterey pines, this Pebble Beach venue, at Robert Louis Stevenson School, is a sublime setting for concerts. "Love Letters from the 18th Century" features beautiful songs by Purcell, Handel and Mozart. Wed. July 17, 5:30pm. $40.
7. IDA HAENDEL AT ASILOMAR (See story, pg. 22.) A rare opportunity to hear a legendary musician in a spectacular setting. Splurge and treat yourself to an unforgettable concert. Wed. July 24, 8pm at Merrill Hall, Asilomar, $50.
8. OPENING NIGHT CONCERT Music Director Bruno Weil exquisitely crafts his programs to maximize their emotional impact. This concert will feature two Bach cantatas, his Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, and a mesmerizing work by Arnold Schönberg. Saturdays, 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, 8pm at Santa Catalina Performing Arts Center in Monterey, $50.
9. WEIL, HAYDN AND MOZART Despite his expertise with the Bach Festival''s namesake, Weil is best known for his brilliant work with Haydn and Mozart. His performances of Mozart''s final symphony, "The Jupiter," will undoubtedly be a Festival highlight. Fridays, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8pm at Santa Catalina, $50.
10. MISSION CHORAL CONCERT These Wednesday evening concerts are for many the heart of the Festival. Conductor Bruce Lamott and the Festival Chorale create an atmosphere of intense spiritual beauty each year. On the program are movements from a Mass by William Byrd, a Bach cantata, and an organ concerto by Handel. Wednesdays, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31, 8pm at the Carmel Mission Basilica, Rio Road, $65.