In this program of dichotomies, period instruments explore their past and modern voices in works that express the pangs of unfulfilled dreams against the promise of eternal peace. Bach’s meditation on death in Cantata 82 proposes that eternity is a better place than our world. One of his best-known vehicles for solo voice, this cantata also blends the melancholy sound of the Baroque oboe with accompanying strings, to magical effect.
Excerpts from the Art of Fugue offer an additional glimpse into Bach’s vision of the great beyond with its “mirror” fugues and unfinished final movement. Jonathan Dove’s L’Altra Eurydice (The Other Eurydice) upends the Orpheus legend by giving voice to Pluto, King of the Underworld, who exposes the treachery of our own world in a remarkable chamber opera for bass-baritone plus a mix of period and modern instruments.
• J. S. Bach, Ich habe genug, BWV 82
• J.S. Bach, Excerpts from the Art of Fugue, BWV 1080
• Jonathan Dove, L’altra Euridice *
Meg Bragle, Mezzo-Soprano; Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone **; Carleen Graham, Stage Director **
* Houston Premiere
** Ars Lyrica Debut