The New Bach

is a unique cultural exchange project in collaboration with the Conservatory of Amsterdam, Stichting Orgel Festival Holland and the Moscow Gnessin Special School of Music.

Performed by the young talents aged 14-18, this program is a unique selection of chamber pieces either written by or connected to Bach. The new arrangements for unusual types of ensembles with organ include classical saxophone, voice, and strings. The concerts will take place on Saturday June 29th in the Hartebrugkerk in Leiden and onm Sunday June 30th in the Lutherse Kerk in the Hague

The Program

J.D. Michat Back to Bach for alto saxophone and organ                                                                                                                                                                                            J.S. Bach – Trio – Sonata in c minor BWV 526 for organ solo                                                                                                                                                                                      Bach/Gounod Ave Maria for Voice, Viola and organ                                                                                                                                                                                                      J.S. Bach – Sonata for violin and organ in C minor BWV 1017, Largo and Allegro                                                                                                                                                  J.S. Bach Air in G for saxophone soprano and organ                                                                                                                                                                                                  F. Mendelssohn – Sonata in d minor N6 op.65 for organ solo                                                                                                                                                                                  J.S. Bach ’Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben’ from Matthäuspassion, BWV 244 for voice and organ                                                                                                                      J.S. Bach – Orchestral Suite No.1 in C major, BWV 1066 arr. for organ (four hands), saxophone, Violin, Viola: Forlane, Courante, Menuet 1 & 2, Bourree 1 & 2

The Project

The aim of this project is to enhance the collaboration between Russian and Dutch young talents (children of 14-18 years), giving them an opportunity to learn from each other on the international level and create ensembles despite of the fact that they have no language in common besides that one of music. We bring 4 exceptionally talented young organists, students of the famous Moscow Gnessin Special School of Music, to the Organ Festival Holland 2019 and offer them a unique chance to play 8 different authentic instruments in the course of 10 days. In collaboration with the Conservatory of Amsterdam, a special program has been developed for them which includes visiting master-classes given by the most renowned European organists, performing chamber ensembles together with Dutch musicians of their age, visiting organ concerts and workshops, learning about the development of the instruments throughout the centuries. During one week, they will participate in the Organ Academy course which will end with 2 concerts on big podia, jointly with their Dutch peers performing a beautiful program named “The New Bach”.

Why The New Bach?

Bach is the encyclopedia and guidelines for everyone connected to classical music. Various genres, forms, techniques, characters, and colors were dedicated to organ by the great composer, who worked as an organist himself. Our choice of specific authentic instruments from Bach’s times comes from the understanding that they would better convey the original ideas of his masterpieces painted with sounds. The New Bach program is a unique selection of chamber pieces either written by or connected to Bach. The new arrangements for unusual types of ensembles with organ include classical saxophone, voice, and strings. The fact that the program will be played by children gives it a very refreshing note and eliminates the barriers between his listeners centuries back and the modern-day audience.

The Special Link

It is for a very good reason that the Netherlands are called “the organ garden of Europe”. No other country can present such an impressive collection of well-maintained and carefully preserved historic instruments concentrated in a rather small area. They form a very important part of the country’s cultural heritage, people come from all over the world to hear their particular voices, study the instrument’s development throughout the centuries and enjoy a unique experience of playing such a rare specimen. The earliest organ in the Netherlands dates back to the XV century!

In Holland “young organist” usually means a musician around 18-19 years of age. The young organists from Moscow are only 14-18, however they have mastered the instrument on such a high level that the Dutch Conservatory professors found it truly surprising. For them, the unique chance to play on genuine historic instruments cannot be overestimated. There are only a few organs in Russia (comparing to 1,600 in the Netherlands), and none of them are historic. For example, one of the organs they are going to perform on was played by Mozart himself when he was only 10 years old! Another instrument, in Alkmaar, where the Festival and master-classes will take place, dates back to 1518 and was one of the organs highly praised by Handel. The collaboration with the young Dutch talents and greatest professionals will create very special ties and musical friendships.