Baroque music boring? Not the best way Bach Collegium San Diego does it

Individuals could not instantly equate the time period “whole sound explosion” with music written within the 18th and nineteenth centuries. However they’d in the event that they knew Ruben Valenzuela, inventive director of the Bach Collegium San Diego.

Valenzuela, 50, who performed keyboards in a ska band in highschool and faculty, exudes enthusiasm for baroque music.

“Some individuals assume it’s dusty, museum music but it surely’s not,” he stated. “We work onerous to dispel the concept. Early music is its personal factor. For us, it’s simply good music. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ska band at a membership down the street or Handel’s ‘Dixit Dominus.’ If they’re carried out properly, each are speaking in a visceral approach.”

“Complete Sound Explosion,” the title of the collegium’s 2021/2022 season, originates from a phrase Valenzuela typically makes use of in rehearsals when he desires the ensemble to have interaction dynamically and at a excessive degree.

Inventive director Ruben Valenzuela based Bach Collegium San Diego in 2003.

(Gary Payne Pictures)

Chances are high he’ll be saying that phrase typically this week, making ready for the opening concerton Saturday. It’s not simply the joy of starting the season; Bach Collegium San Diego can be recording its first album.

Grammy-winning conductor Peter Rutenberg, who was nominated for a Classical Producer of the Yr Grammy Award in 2011, can be coming from Los Angeles to engineer and produce.

“After we had been near the undertaking nearly 10 years in the past, it went on the back-burner,” Valenzuela stated. “I’ve contacted donors who had been again then which are coming to bat and serving to us with our purpose. And the board goes past the decision of its common generosity to make this undertaking occur.”

Valenzuela expects Saturday’s live performance — after an intense week of recording — to be particularly high-energy. Titled “1707: A Sonic Youth,” the night will function Handel’s “Dixit Dominus” and Bach’s “Christ Lag in Todesbanden BWV 4.”

“Recording is a unique type musicmaking,” stated Valenzuela, who based the nonprofit collegium in 2003. “You might be beginning, stopping, and scrutinizing the work you’re doing alongside the best way. The musicians can be very excited to go from recording to speaking with a reside viewers. Everyone loves these two items. A number of them haven’t carried out a lot due to COVID.”

The collegium’s principal cellist Heather Vorwerck, a member since 2011, seconds that sentiment.

“After rehearsals and recording, we can be relieved to play reside in entrance of an viewers,” she stated. “We haven’t achieved that in over a 12 months. I’ll be stoked — I’ll in all probability cry. It’s an enormous deal.”

Valenzuela selected these two well-known items for this twin undertaking very fastidiously. Each had been composed round 1707 when the German-born Handel and Bach had been every of their twenties. Handel had left Germany and was already garnering consideration in Rome, the place his profession was about to take off. However Bach, Valenzuela famous, stayed in his residence nation, impressed by the tradition and music surrounding him.

The 2 items dramatically display that the composers had been set on totally different paths. In an uncommon transfer, Valenzuela set Handel’s “Dominus” to a decrease pitch than what modern-day variations use.

“We’ll play Bach as is often achieved,” he stated. “So, we’ll have two pitch requirements for this live performance, which is exclusive.”

The “funnest” group

Bach Collegium San Diego, as artists-in-residence at MiraCosta School in Oceanside, will rehearse and document on the campus studio. College students within the faculty’s music division will be capable to observe the classes.

The ensemble for the album and live performance will quantity round 18 and have 4 soloists: soprano Teresa Wakim and baritone David Tinervia (each from Boston); countertenor Jay Carter (Kansas Metropolis); and tenor Aaron Sheehan (Baltimore). All have carried out with the collegium. Carter and Sheehan are mainstays.

Valenzuela lives in Rolando Village together with his spouse, Anne-Marie Dicce. They’ve two sons, Anthony, 5, and Luca, who was born in September. Dicce, a soprano, is a member of the collegium’s core group, whose members hail from San Diego, Los Angeles and the East Coast.

“It’s fairly a tight-knit neighborhood — a household of musicians,” Valenzuela stated.

Cellist Vorwerck, who performs in a number of chamber-music ensembles and can also be a music instructor, cites the collegium as her favourite. She additionally performs viola da gamba, a baroque-era instrument, and fiddles in an Americana band.

“The collegium is the funnest group,” she stated. “We problem one another and take probabilities we wouldn’t absorb different ensembles. Ruben’s bought a terrific, upbeat character. He leads however doesn’t dictate. Individuals have conversations and work the music out. He has a mediator character. He’s a enjoyable man.”

Past this season

Together with its 4 foremost stage concert events this season, the collegium will current 4 “Bach at Midday” reveals. These bite-sized packages are held at Level Loma’s All Souls’ Episcopal Church, the nonprofit’s residence base.

The season will proceed the collegium’s exploration of fashionable works. The Dec. 18 and 19 Christmas program will function two items by French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine, together with “Joyeux Noël.”

Could’s “Apotheosis of the Dance” live performance will spotlight Beethoven’s celebrated Symphony No. 7.

In mid-March, the collegium will put a brand new spin on a well-loved basic, “The Messiah” by presenting it in Spanish. The venues internet hosting “El Mesías: Messiah for a New World” embody La Jolla’s Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Heart and Tijuana’s Centro Cultural (CECUT).

“Everyone is aware of ‘The Messiah’ so properly,” stated Valenzuela, who’s working with a Tijuana-based translator. “This isn’t an outside-the-box model; it’s the simply the one one we all know of to be achieved totally in Spanish. We need to tour it in Spanish-speaking international locations. Our purpose is that ‘El Mesías’ may have a life after this season.”

Bach Collegium San Diego 2021-2022 Season: Complete Sound Explosion

When: Season opens at 7 p.m. Saturday

The place: Concert events can be held at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Level Loma; Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cardiff; The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Heart in La Jolla; CECUT in Tijuana.

Tickets: $15-$55 for single tickets; $160-$250 for season subscriptions

Telephone: (619) 341-1726


Well being Protocols: Musicians are all vaccinated. Viewers members want to indicate proof of vaccination or a unfavourable COVID take a look at and all viewers members must be masked.

Bach Collegium San Diego season schedule

Oct. 30: “1707: A Sonic Youth,” All Souls’ Episcopal Church

Dec. 18-19: “Charpentier: Joyeux Noël,” Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church (Dec. 18); All Souls’ Episcopal (Dec. 19)

Mar. 18-20, 2022: “World premiere: El Mesías: Messiah for a New World,” Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church (Mar. 18); The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Heart (Mar. 19); CECUT (Mar. 20)

Could 13-14, 2022: “Apotheosis of the Dance,” All Souls’ Episcopal Church (Could 13); Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church (Could 14)

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