Ton Koopman conducts Bach and Kuhnau

Bachfest Leipzig 2003

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Deborah York — Soprano

Bogna Bartosz — Singer, mezzo-soprano

Jörg Dürmüller — Singer, tenor

Klaus Mertens — Singer, baritone, bass

Amsterdam Baroque Choir — Singer

Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra

Ton Koopman — Organist, conductor

Program notes

In Leipzig, Ton Koopman delivers a passionate performance of Bach's Magnificat.

The name of Ton Koopman is closely linked with Baroque music, in the same way as that of Gustav Leonhardt with whom he studied the harpsichord at the Amsterdam conservatory, the Mecca of the Baroque "revival" at the beginning of the sixties. An organ and harpsichord player, Ton Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra then the Amsterdam Baroque Choir. It is with these two ensembles that we see him several decades later in 2003 in Leipzig.

To pay tribute to its glorious composer, Leipzig organises every year, close to Ascension Day, a "Bach Festival," and a must for all the fans of Baroque music. It is in this town that Johann Sebastian Bach lived for the last twenty-seven years of his life (1685-1750), where he filled many different functions and principally that of the cantor of the church of Saint Thomas.

That evening in 2003, Ton Koopman conducted a programme that functioned like a mirror: the Magnificat by Johann Kuhnau, the composer Bach succeeded at the organ of Saint Thomas, and Bach's Magnificat. Between the two, Cantata BWV10. With singers, an orchestra and a choir who are perfectly prepared, Koopman offers us a performance full of passion under the arches of this edifice that once echoed to Bach's own chords.

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