Yale Schola Cantorum
Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
With members of Yale Baroque Ensemble
Cantatas # 106, 150, and 198
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012 | 8 PM
The Memorial Church, Harvard University
One Harvard Yard
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2012 | 5PM
Christ Church Episcopal
free; no tickets required. presented with support from Yale School of Music
On Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10, Masaaki Suzuki, founder and director of the world-renowned Bach Collegium Japan, will conduct the Yale Schola Cantorum in a performance of Bach cantatas. Also featured on the program are members of the Yale Baroque Ensemble. The free concerts will take place on Friday in Cambridge, MA at 8pm at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard, and the following day in New Haven at Christ Church Episcopal at 5 pm.
Like all Bach cantatas, the three on this program—Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich (BWV 150); Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (BWV 106); Lass, Fürstin, lass noch einen Strahl (BWV 198)— were composed either for use during Sunday worship or to suit a special occasion. Cantatas provided an important opportunity for scriptural insight and meditation, and in the case of these three cantatas, had their origins in penitential services and funerals. (Read the full program note here).
Yale Schola Cantorum was founded in 2003 by Simon Carrington, is a 24-voice chamber choir that sings in concerts and choral services. Supported by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music with the School of Music, and open by audition to all Yale students, it specializes in music from before 1750 and the last hundred years. Since 2009 Schola Cantorum has been under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki.
Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of Bach. He has remained the Collegium’s music director ever since, taking the group regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the USA and building up an outstanding reputation for the expressive refinement and truth of his performances. In addition to conducting, Suzuki is also renowned as an organist and harpsichordist.
He is regularly invited to work with renowned European soloists and groups, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and the Freiburger Barockorchester; he recently appeared in London with the Britten Sinfonia in a program of Britten, Mozart and Stravinsky. Forthcoming engagements with other ensembles include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Nagoya Philharmonic and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2001 Suzuki was decorated with the Federal Order of Merit from Germany.
Suzuki’s impressive discography on the BIS label includes his interpretations with Bach Collegium Japan of Bach’s major choral works and sacred cantatas. With forty volumes now completed, the Times has written: “it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigor.”
His commitment to sacred music is reflected both in his deep reflection on theological meanings in the music he conducts, and also in his interest in music of congregations. Following his return to Japan from the Netherlands, he launched a project to translate the entire Genevan Psalter into Japanese. This collection is now used in Christian Churches throughout Japan.