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JS Bach and his Great Teacher


Sun 3 Nov 2013, 3:00pm–5:00pm

Where: Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, 136 Yarra Street, Geelong CBD, Victoria

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $30.00
  • Concession: $25.00
  • Child: $20.00
  • Additional fees may apply

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Listed by: jbashiruddin

"I'm not marrying that woman" and in saying that Johann Sebastian Bach missed out on one of the best posts in Europe: organist to the great Hanseatic church of Saint Marien, Luebeck. The successful applicant for that position was obliged to marry Dietrich Buxtehude's eldest daughter!

In the Autum of 1705, the 20-year-old Bach walked the 410 kilometres from Arnstadt to Luebeck to listen to and learn from the great Dietrich Buxtehude. Bach took ten days to cover the distance. He had been given four weeks leave, but stayed three months. This got him into hot water with the church authorities and he consequently spent some time under house arrest.

But for Bach, it was worth it! Many of the compositions written after his visit to Luebeck clearly show Buxtehude's influence. For example, Bach's setting of Jesu meine Freude (as a Motet) contains many references to Buxtehude's earlier work, a Cantata for choir, soloists and orchestra, which is performed in this program.

To compliment the Motets and Cantatas, Douglas Lawrence will perform some of the organ works for which both composers became famous: Buxtehude's C major Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne is perhaps his most famous work, and alongside this, Douglas will play a lesser known, but equally attractive work, the Passacaglia in d minor.

Douglas Lawrence achieved recognition for his organ playing long before he became a choral conductor. As a young man, he went to the Vienna Academy to study organ under Anton Heiller. While he was there, he also took conducting lessons with Hans Swarowsky and Hans Gillesberger of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. It was at this time that he began a career as a concert organist, playing the first concert on the newly-restored organ of Sion Cathedral in Switzerland. This organ, dating from 1420, is the oldest playable organ in the world. This was to be the first of many inaugural performances – the opening of the Sydney Opera House organ, the first solo recital on the new organ in Hamer Hall and the inauguration of the organ in Melba Hall at the University of Melbourne. Since 1979, he has toured Europe every year, either as an organ soloist or a choral conductor, giving something over 2,000 concerts, including in St Mark’s – Venice, Notre Dame – Paris, Casals Hall – Tokyo and St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals – London. He has released a small pile of CDs on the Move and Naxos labels, including a substantial number of works by Buxtehude and Bach.

Founded by Douglas Lawrence in 2007, the AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER CHOIR has given 70 concerts in four tours of Germany, Denmark, Poland and France. In this concert they will sing works by JS Bach and Buxtehude with a Baroque ensemble led by Briar Goessi. Soloists: Erika Tandiono, Jacob Lawrence, Matthew Tng
Douglas Lawrence – conductor and organ soloist

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) - Passacaglia in D minor BuxWV 161
- Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne in C major BuxWV 137
Cantata: Jesu meine Freude for choir, soloists, strings and continuo BuxWV 60
Johnann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – Prelude in C major BWV 547
- Chorale Prelude: Herr Jesus Christ, dich zu uns wend BWV 709
Motet for double choir: Fürchte dich nicht BWV 228
Motet: Lobet den Herren alle Heiden BWV 230
Cantata: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland for choir, soloists and orchestra BWV 61

Many of the ACC's concerts have been recorded by ABC Classic FM and three CDs are available for sale at their concerts.