Clavecin en Concert – Bach’s Instrumental Celebration

The works on the program of this concert are written in a lively and happy style, and each corresponds to a specific compositional model. In the Concerto in C major for two harpsichords BWV 1061, Bach pits the two instruments against each other in a form of dialogue that is reminiscent of a musical joust. The remarkable 5th Brandenburg Concerto BWV 1050 follows the Italian model of the concerto con molti stromenti, with flute, violin and harpsichord as protagonists – the latter for the first time in music history. The Suite in B minor BWV 1067 is famous for its final Badinerie. Throughout the work, various dances follow one another, in which the flute competes with the strings. It gives them a rich and velvety sonority.

Grégoire Jeay, flute

Specializing in Baroque flute, Grégoire Jeay frequently performs in Quebec and Canada and has also played in France, Belgium, Mexico, Turkey, the UK, and the US. He is recognized for his musicality and expressiveness, as well as for his great skills in ornamentation and improvisation. His virtuosity on the transverse flute is paralleled only by his abilities on the recorder and various flutes from around the world. Indeed, in addition to baroque music, he is interested in a variety of musical styles such as medieval, Irish, Arab-Andalusian, Sephardic, and has participated in several concerts and recordings with some of these specialized music ensembles.

Jeay is a member of several prominent early music ensembles, with which he regularly performs and records, including Tafelmusik of Toronto, Clavecin en Concert, Les Idées heureuses, Theatre of Early Music, Les Voix humaines, Les Boréades, Ensemble Caprice, La Mandragore, Constantinople, and La Nef.

He has performed with many internationally renowned artists, notably Karina Gauvin, Phillipe Sly, Suzie LeBlanc, Emma Kirkby, Marie-Josée Lord, Hélène Guilmette, Philippe Sly, Daniel Taylor, Luc Beauséjour, Sylvain Bergeron, Simon Standage, Olivier Brault, and Hendrik Bouman.

Benjamin Alard, harpsichord

While still quite young he began studying music in his hometown in Dieppe, France. He was soon drawn to the organ and entered the Conservatory of Rouen where he studied with Louis Thiry and François Ménissier.

He was first introduced to the harpsichord by Elizabeth Joyé, with whom he studied in Paris before going on, in 2003, to the Schola Cantorum in Basel to work with Jörg-Andreas Bôtticher, Jean-Claude Zehnder and Andrea Marcon.

Since 2005 he has been organist of the Bernard Aubertin organ in the church of Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile in Paris where each season he gives concerts about the music of Bach.

Today, Benjamin Alard divides his time between performing recitals and chamber music on both the harpsichord and organ. He often performs repertoire for two harpsichords with Elisabeth Joyé, in duo with the violinist Francois Fernandez or in trio but also with Emmanuel Pahud. He is regularly invited to perform as soloist in music series in Europe, Japan and North America. He now devotes himself to the complete works for harpsichord and organ solo of Johann Sebastian Bach for harmonia mundi.

Karl-Frédéric Bolte, harpsichord
Thibault Bertin-Maghit, doublebass
Quatuor Cobalt

Concerto for 2 harpsichords in C Major, BWV 1061
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067

Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 2:30pm
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