Classical Spree 17-18

12.Infinitely Bach

12.Infinitely Bach


Maison symphonique de Montréal

You are invited to join Kent Nagano and the OSM for this concert devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach – perhaps the most important composer in the history of classical music. Among other gems, the program features the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto, which illustrates Bach’s incomparable genius for counterpoint and fugue.


YOUTH RATE 17 years and under : $10 per concert


From $22 à $45*



Redirection to the Place des Arts

Chamber orchestra of OSM musicians
Kent Nagano, conductor
Mayumi Seiler, violin
Vincent Lauzer, recorder
Caroline Tremblay, recorder
Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord
Geneviève Soly, harpsichord
Mark Edwards, harpsichord


S. Bach, Concerto for Three Harpsichords in D minor, BWV 1063

S. Bach, Partita for violin no. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 (excerpts)

S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 in G major, BWV 1049

Video excerpt from the Orchestra Mozart and Claudio Abbado

Programme Notes:

This program is devoted to the secular instrumental music of J. S. Bach, largely created either for the court at Cöthen, where Bach was Kapellmeister from 1717 to 1723, or for the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig, which he directed starting in 1729. The delightful Concerto for Three Harpsichords belongs to the latter group. Bach essentially invented the harpsichord concerto genre, and with it demonstrated both mastery and free treatment of form in the Baroque concerto. The first movement is in ritornello form, alternating between orchestral passages and solo episodes, but boundaries between the two gradually break down, and the last ritornello mingles with virtuosic harpsichord figurations. The second movement features simple, swaying two-part dances with varied recapitulations, and the final Allegro is a brilliant concerto fugue.


Composed in Cöthen, Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin are among the most illustrious works in the entire violin repertoire. For Bach and his contemporaries, partitas were dance suites, and the Second Partita in D minor follows the standard pattern of four contrasting dances – Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue – with the addition of a magnificent final Chaconne. Cast in an Italian mould, the carefree Gigue flows in endless streams of sixteenth notes within an ever-rigorous form and harmonic structure.


The six Brandenburg Concertos are also from the Cöthen years. One violin and two recorders form the solo group or concertino in the Fourth; these instruments are accompanied by strings and continuo. Bach playfully manipulates normal concerto hierarchies throughout this work, drawing on a rich palette of instrumental colours. The violin has an ample supply of fast, dazzling solos, whereas the recorders are generally paired – as when they imitate each other in the opening Allegro. Occasionally, however, the violin joins the other strings to accompany the recorders, each of which enjoys some moments of individual display in the E minor Andante. The violas introduce the subject of the final Presto, an animated fugue concerto, and Bach concludes the Concerto with his signature effortless counterpoint.



© Ariadne Lih, 2018

Kent Nagano

Kent Nagano has established an international reputation as one of the most insightful and visionary interpreters of both the operatic and symphonic repertoire. He is Music Director of the OSM since 2006. Maestro Nagano was General Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich from 2006 to 2013. He became Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Since 2015, he has been General Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in California, Kent Nagano spent his early professional years in Boston, working in the opera house and as Assistant Conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Opéra national de Lyon (1988-1998), Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra (1991-2000), Associate Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra (1990-1998) and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (2000-2006) and remains their Honorary Conductor. Kent Nagano was also the first Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera (2003-2006). As a much sought-after guest conductor, Maestro Nagano has worked with the Berlin, New York and Vienna Philharmonics, Chicago Symphony, Dresden Staatskapelle and Leipzig Gewandhaus, and at leading opera houses including the Opéra national de Paris, Berlin State Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Semperoper Dresden. He has won two Grammy awards for his recording of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and for Busoni’s Doktor Faust, recorded with the Opéra national de Lyon, among other awards. Maestro Nagano was named Commander of the Ordre de Montréal, Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec, and he was decorated with the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal. 

Recent recordings with the OSM: A Quiet Place (Decca, 2018); Danse macabre (Decca, 2016); L’Aiglon (Decca, 2015); Saint-Saëns, Moussa, Saariaho: Symphony and New Works for Organ and Orchestra (Analekta, 2015); Complete Violin Concertos of Saint-Saëns (Analekta, 2015). 

Recent tours with the OSM: Krakow and Salzburg (2018); United States (March 2016); China and Japan (October 2014); Europe (March 2014); and South America (April-May 2013).

Mayumi Seiler

Mayumi Seiler is of Japanese-German heritage and was raised in Salzburg. She started on the violin at the age of three, went on to study at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg with legendary violinist and conductor Sandor Végh, and later established a career in London. Her solo albums include recordings of concertos by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Haydn on the EMI label as well as several recordings of sonatas and chamber music repertoire on the JVC, Hyperion, and Capriccio labels. Performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Salzburg Camerata, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Toronto Symphony have taken Ms. Seiler to the stages at the Weiner Musikverein, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. An active and dedicated pedagogue, Ms. Seiler has taught at the Mozarteum University and has given master classes throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. She currently teaches at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, where she resides.

Vincent Lauzer

Révélation Radio-Canada 2013–2014 and Breakthrough Artist of the Year (2012 Opus Awards), Vincent Lauzer graduated from McGill University where he studied with Matthias Maute. He serves as Artistic Director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival. The recipient of several prizes at national and international competitions, he won the 2015 Fernand Lindsay Career Award of the Fondation Père-Lindsay, in addition to First Prize of the Canadian Music Competition’s Stepping Stone in 2012. As both a soloist and a chamber musician, Vincent has participated in several recordings that have received critical acclaim. He has played in various series and festivals in Canada and the United States, as well as in Mexico, France, Germany, Spain, and Belgium.

Caroline Tremblay

A native of the Côte-Nord region of Quebec, recorder player Caroline Tremblay is known for her contagious musical communicability, simmering intensity, and fluid technique. A First Prize winner in her category of the Canadian Music Competition, Caroline graduated with a master’s in Music Performance from the Université de Montréal. While her ensemble Flûte Alors! performs widely, Caroline has also performed as a soloist with chamber music orchestras such as I Musici, Les Violons du Roy, Ensemble Caprice, and La Bande Montréal Baroque. She can also be heard in several recordings on the Atma label. Caroline is a musical director of the Montreal Recorder Society, the Quebec Recorder Society (SOFABEC), the Toronto Early Music Players Organization (TEMPO), and teaches at the CAMMAC Music Centre. Constantly exploring the power of music in its diverse applications, Caroline is currently studying music therapy.

Luc Beauséjour

Luc Beauséjour is an exceptional harpsichordist and organist who is never short of ideas when it comes to offering concert programme imbued with authenticity and refinement. “The naturalness of his harpsichord playing, the remarkable attention he gives to proportions and to a singing quality have made him a one-of-a-kind artist.” (Le Devoir) Luc Beauséjour leads a very active concert career, performing as soloist in North and South America as well as in Europe. He was named “2003 Performer of the Year” by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique and has won Félix awards for two different recordings at the Gala de l’ADISQ. Beauséjour has completed over 35 recording projects, either as soloist or as musical director. Teaching is also an important part of Beauséjour’s professional activity, and currently he teaches at the Conservatoire de musique in Montreal and at the Université de Montréal, where he had obtained is Doctor of Music degree.

Geneviève Soly

Geneviève Soly is widely admired for her many talents as an organist, harpsichordist, and musicologist who has made significant contributions to the rediscovery of the music of Baroque composer Christoph Graupner. She is also a pedagogue and an arts administrator who has served as Musical Director of Les Idées heureuses for the past 30 years. Her tireless championing of Baroque music was recognized with an Opus Prize in the category of “Personality of the Year” in 1997. She was also named “Personnalité de la semaine” in La Presse for the week of April 2, 2006. In 2010, she was invited to sign the City of Montreal’s Livre d’or. In 2018, Breitkopf and Härtel will publish her edition of the first volume of Graupner’s works for the harpsichord. She is the first Canadian editor to work for this publisher.

Mark Edwards

First Prize winner of the 2012 Musica Antiqua Bruges International Harpsichord Competition, Canadian harpsichordist and organist Mark Edwards is recognized for his captivating performances, bringing the listener “to new and unpredictable regions, using all of the resources of his instrument, […] of his virtuosity, and of his imagination” (La Libre Belgique). Since 2016, he is an Assistant Professor of Harpsichord at the Oberlin Conservatory. He has given solo recitals at a number of prominent festivals and in prestigious concert series, including the Utrecht Early Music Festival, Bozar (Brussels), the Montréal Baroque Festival, and Clavecin en concert (Montreal). His first recording, Passaggi, with Canadian recorder player Vincent Lauzer, was released on the Atma label in 2013 and nominated for an ADISQ award. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Leiden University and the Orpheus Instituut in Ghent. His research examines the intersections of memory, improvisation, and music in seventeenth-century France.