EMV is proud to present a series of free films as complementary pairings with our concerts. These films provide context and historical insight, giving audience members a deeper understanding and larger perspective on the music that will be performed.
All screenings are free admission and open to the public, and will be held at Christ Church Cathedral in the Parish Hall.
Wednesday July 31, 2019, 4:00 pm
Introductions to Brandenburg Concertos 1 and 3 featuring Nicholas Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien
Klaus Lindemann, director, 2001
Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, named after their dedicatee the Margrave Christian Ludwig von Brandenburg, were from the beginning a central part of Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s explorations into the world of period instruments and historically informed performance practice.
The impulse which led Harnoncourt to establish the Concentus musicus in 1953 was his dissatisfaction with the “traditional” way of interpreting early music. The then uncommon and sometimes radically different style of the Concentus musicus, as well as its exclusive use of historical instruments, secured the ensemble its international reputation. In these short films, Harnoncourt introduces each concerto with a moving and fascinating analysis. Interesting musical examples, which Harnoncourt inserts in a humorous and relaxed manner, make these introductions informative and entertaining pocket book guides to these masterpieces. The production was filmed in the historical Baroque monastery library in Wiblingen, Germany.
Friday August 2, 2019, 4:00 pm
These screenings are a celebration of the great early music pioneer, cellist Anner Bylsma, who passed away on July 25th, 2019.
Cellist & Teacher: Anner Bylsma
A film by François Manceaux
Private music lessons: twelve hugely influential programmes broadcast by French television between 1987 and 1991. The guiding principle for Olivier Bernager and François Manceaux was to capture the art of the leading performers of our time, live in concert but also and above all in a teaching environment. In this film Anner Bylsma generously shares his artistry with us. The virtuoso violoncellist alternates between early and modern instruments and repertoires with the taste for eclecticism so characteristic of him.
J.S. Bach: Cello Suites
No. 1 in G major | No. 5 in C minor
Anner Bylsma, cello
Eszter Perovics, director
Anner Bylsma, Dutch master cellist and world-renowned as a distinguished interpreter of Bach’s cello music, plays the solo suites. The suites, on which he has also published an authoritative book, count among the most popular baroque chamber works.
Anner Bylsma plays the famous Stradivarius “Servais” and the disc was recorded in the beautiful village church St Bartholomew of Dornheim in Thuringia.
Tuesday August 6, 2019, 4:00 pm
“More than a Thousand Kisses – The Coffee Cantata” – J.S. Bach
Robert Chesterman, director
A Baroque soap opera with a modern twist, based on the “coffee” cantata by J.S. Bach. Featuring the legendary Canadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc, baritone Nathaniel Watson, tenor Blaine Hendsbee, and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra led by Marc Destrubé. Filmed in Vancouver by Prometheus Productions in 2001.
Wednesday August 7, 2019, 4:00 pm
Biber’s Missa Salisburgensis conducted by Václav Luks featuring Collegium 1704 from Salzburg Cathedral – 2016 Salzburg Festival
Polychoral music is so synonymous with 16th century Venice that it is easy to forget that the longest flourishing of this style- possibly even its invention- took place in Germany. Whether or not it was in Munich with the works of Orlande de Lassus that the Gabrielis first encountered its effects, polychoral music came to define German textures and techniques for over a century. Both apprentices and rivals to their Italian counterparts, composers such as Hieronymus Praetorius, Schutz, Hassler and Scheidt, as well as Austria’s Biber, fostered a tradition whose influence would extend all the way to the motets of Bach.
The Missa Salisburgensis à 53 voci is the largest-scale piece of extant sacred Baroque music, an archetypal work of the Colossal Baroque The Missa Salisburgensis is a polychoral composition which takes advantage of the multiple organs and various locations available for groups of singers and musicians to perform in Salzburg Cathedral, probably for the 1682 celebrations marking the 1100th anniversary of the founding of the Archbishopric of Salzburg.
Recording of live concert
Thursday August 8, 2019, 4:00pm
A Journey of Dmitri Shostakovich – The life of Shostakovich told through exceptional archive material
Oksana Dvornichenko and Helga Landauer, 2006, Horovod
With this documentary about the 1973 cruise that Dmirty Shostakovich went on, organised by the Soviet government, Oksana Dvornichenko and Helga Landauer try to shed light on the mysterious life of the icon considered the greatest Russian composer of the 20th century.
In 1973, at the twilight of his life, embarks on a Soviet Union ship to travel from Moscow to New York City. During the journey, many concerts and musical films were screened, most of them being propaganda of the USSR. Compelled to act as a cultural ambassador, the shy and reserved Shostakovich became a public figure. But the film mostly reflects a thoughtful man, spending most of his free time recalling his eventful past, fearing his uncertain future, due to polio quickly decreasing his physical capacities.
Kitsch as the Soviet Union, the aesthetics of the documentary is as interesting as disturbing. A visual background full of contradictions, the same contradictions agitating the master’s creativity, torn between his will to compose music for “the masses,” depicting social struggles as powerful harmonies, and the composition of more experimental chamber music pieces and operas.
The nine days of travel constitute the chapters of this portrait, combining private fragments of his life, but also music and words of a man getting old. Many sequences are fascinating, such as his working hours composing the operas The Nose or Lady Macbeth. Others, indirectly linked to the musician, suggest a highlight on a whole era, since Shostakovich witnessed the birth and the decline of the regime.
This relevant confrontation of art and politics sheds lights on the artistic vision of a persevering man, who knew how to avoid the destiny of many of his compatriots. By accomplishing himself as an artist, travelling across the world, he knew how to flee from the control of the political forces considering the artists as other instruments of power. In the end, his music is to enjoy as a painting, showing fear, despair, suffering, but also the hope of a whole generation. Maybe this life as an artist, close to a historical drama, can be seen as a warning on the dangers of abdication, and the serious consequences of a totalitarian system.